Only a very small portion of
Havanas Chinatown is occupied by Chinese Cubans and their
The Chinese younger generation now include doctors, lawyers and engineers.
young people, often the product of intermarriage with non-Chinese, are
determined to regain their lost traditions.
The Chinese Language and Arts school opened in 1993 and thrives
Various community groups are working to revitalize Havanas
Chinatown and to rescue and foster Chinese traditions for future
Several years ago, Cubas economic policy was altered
to allow individual operation of small businesses such as repair shops,
beauty salons, and produce and food stands.
Many such ventures are now
active in the Havana Chinatown, and the Chino
Barrio community are experiencing a renaissance with a bustling market
and plans for a museum and renewal of the historic architecture.
While the government provides health care and there are many
doctors. The Chinese
doctors are introducing the use of acupuncture and massage to help
alleviate the lack of pharmaceuticals.
Education in Cuba is free. About 90 percent complete high school and
70-80 percent go on to college.
Kwong Wah Po Chinese Newspaper
Kwong Wah Po is the only Chinese newspaper in Cuba. Located in Havana’s Barrio Chino (Chinese neighborhood), the weekly newspaper serves a population of approximately 1,000, living principally in the city.
government’s continued support of Kwong Wah Po is part of an overall
effort to preserve Chinese culture and history in Cuba. Over the last few
years, with the help of the government, the younger generation of Cubans
of Chinese descent have launched a Chinese Cultural Center with language
and martial arts classes, as well as holding the first Chinese festival
late last year.
An staff of eight keeps the newspaper going from
week to week, which is no small feat given there are no computers in the
The typeset for the newspaper is all hand set from the thousands
of different Chinese characters that are neatly sorted by character in the
large room next to the printing press.
The Spanish page is also hand set
but only deals with the 26 letters of the alphabet.
It’s no surprise the
paper takes a whole week to publish even if it is only four pages.
press itself was made at the turn of the century in the U.S and is
reminiscent of something that should be in a museum
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