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Callejón de Hamel – Havana, Cuba

Entrance To Callejón de Hamel, Havana
The entrance to the Afro-Cuban cultural mecca of Callejón de Hamel, Havana

Callejón de Hamel is a city block in Havana Centro, dedicated to the preservation and expression of Afro-Cuban culture. The entire block is covered in bright abstract murals and sculptures, many made from everyday objects like bathtubs and hubcaps.

 African inspired murals on the walls in Callejón de Hamel, Cuba
Colorful African inspired murals and sculptures from every day objects cover an entire block in Callejón de Hamel

The area was first started in 1990 by sculptor and painter Salvador Gonzalez. Today it seems to act like a plaza for locals to gather and just relax. When I entered, I was welcomed and given a short tour. The ad hoc guide then asked for a donation for the children’s art lessons that are held somewhere in the area. He also asked if I wanted to buy a CD and invited me back for the rumba concert that happens most Sundays.

Callejón de Hamel was a nice little stop on a longer day of sightseeing in Havana, especially since I just stumbled on it accidentally. I would recommend checking it out if you have time, especially on a Sunday to see the street concert, but I wouldn’t go out of your way unless you are really into Afro-Cuban culture.

View of monolithic sculpture in Callejón de Hamel
A view of a monolithic sculpture locals hang out under in Havana, Cuba

Callejón de Hamel Map

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