Cuba Study Tour Photos - PAGE FIVE

James Hayes-Bohanan, Ph.D.
Earth Sciences and Geography
Latin American
and Caribbean Studies
Bridgewater (Massachusetts) State College, USA/EEUU

The photos on these pages are selected from photos taken during a joint Bridgewater State College / Cape Cod Community College study tour of Cuba in January 2003. Unless otherwise noted, all photos were taken by me (or by nearby friends with my camera - if you see me in the photo). All commentary is my exclusive responsibility. All camera time-stamp dates seem to be two days early.


In Lajas we were given a presentation by local leaders, explaining exactly how local leaders are connected to the Communist Party.
This woman was wearing a shirt showing five prisoners currently held in the United States, over the caption "Prisoners of the Empire." They are considered political prisoners by Cuba, and spies or terrorists by the United States. I have so far been unable to find any reasonably balanced account of this situation online.
The community center in Lajas serves as a local cinema, using a television and VCR provided as part of an international project that supports a local distance-learning program.

This is the marquee and box office.

In Lajas we had the privilege of  attending a Santaria ceremony. We were all given basil to place behind our ears during the ceremony.

I created quite a stir -- and quite a bit of good-natured teasing -- in town when I left the temple without returning my basil to a collection box - it is intended to stay in the temple!
Photo by Tim Darling

The ceremony in Lajas involved much dancing, most memorably during the opening part, when this man -- smoking a huge cigar -- used a Cuban flag to drive bad spirits through the windows and doors. He appeared to be in a trance, and it was up to us to stay out of the way of his vigorous flag waving.
Photo by Tim Darling
Photo by Greta McCrae

Also in Lajas, we watched the performance of a play/dance that dramatizes the story of Africans who were brought to Cuba in bondage. We were able to see several variations of this story during our trip. The story was tragic, but the dancing and the music was beautiful.

Photo by Greta McCrae

Members of the local community in Lajas joined us as audience members.
Diane, a professor in our group (left) is exchanging addresses with a new friend she met during the performance. In the background are both members of our group and local people, including high school students wearing the customary yellow skirts or pants with white shirts.
Following a delicious and elaborate lunch (below, left) in Lajas, a local journalist (left) interviewed one of the student members of our group.
Lajas was the home of Benny Moré (mor-AY), an important Cuban musician who has quite a following in the U.S. The man in the white shirt above is does an excellent tribute show, and took part of the show right to Moré's graveside.

Visit other photo pages for many more photographs and more commentary:
 PAGE 1 -- PAGE 2 -- PAGE 3 -- PAGE 4 -- PAGE 5
PAGE 6 -- PAGE 7 -- PAGE 8-- PAGE 9
(More to come!)

This page maintained by Dr. James Hayes-Bohanan. All opinions expressed herein are his responsibility.

Return to Main Cuba Trip page.