Santiago de Cuba is the cradle of a large part of Cuban culture. The eastern city has in fact spawned some of the most distinctive elements for which the island nation and its people are recognized: son music, the partying spirit, the joyful attitude, the rum and the conga.
Internal migratory waves have contributed to export the city’s traditions to the rest of the country, including the capital. As a local saying goes, “The self-respecting sons and daughters of Santiago de Cuba are those who live in Havana.”
Most Cubans, even those who have never set foot in Santiago, know the city’s iconic buildings and personalities: the steep streets connecting the sea to the hills; its patron saint, the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre; the Santa Efigenia Cemetery, where National Hero Jose Marti is buried, as well as other illustrious martyrs of Cuban history.
And of course we cannot forget the city’s baseball team, and the many fans who gathered at the Plaza de Marte to support or criticize their favorite players.
Santiago is much more than words and people. It is an experience to be lived.