Old Havana; it’s the city center and one of the 15 boroughs forming Havana, Cuba. it was founded in 1515 by the Spanish, and still contains the core of the original architecture of the city of Havana. Old Havana is considered by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
When walking the streets of Old Havana you can feel the warmth of its people. the humbleness that embodies their character. For an instance you may feel you’re frozen in time. The vintage American cars, the old colonial buildings, and old pay phones are still highly used. People in old Havana are very picturesque and friendly. they usually greet you on the street and ask where you come from. Some will try to approach you in order to get a peso out of you, others are simply interested in befriending you and have a nice chat but most people allow you to take their pictures. I usually support them by shelling out a peso which is equivalent to 1 dollar, to someone who really needs it. But some just love to have their picture taken.
Time seems to pass slowly in old Havana. You find people on the streets at all times. The heat is unbearable down here in Cuba, so this might be one of the reasons. I feel life is pretty layback here. Day and night activities in old Havana seems non-stop. As a tourist, you will always find something to do. Whether you hang out a the Malecon with local fishermen, a city tour on an Chevy taxi ride, or just enjoying a mojito with locals are very common daily activities.
Not everything is just fun. Cubans are also hard working people. Construction workers, taxi drivers and street vendors all work under the intense heat to provide for them and their family since the government support is not enough to stay afloat. Tourism is one the main driving force for locals to be better off. Especially in Tobacco farms where famous Cuban cigars are produced to sell to tourists and export overseas.
Just like any country in the world, there’s poverty in old Havana, Many homes seem to be in unlivable condition or about to crumble. Daily chores are a bit of a challenge. Regular shortages of home supplies and other basic goods underscore the many problems facing Cuba.
In conclusion, in spite of all hardships, Havana remains a beautiful and a very safe place to visit. Great events such as Marathons and live music make this city very inviting. The friendliness and courteous attitude of its people makes it a great world destination. I hope you can all visit some day. I will miss old Havana.