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Havana’s Rumba Paradise

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Havana is a paradise for music and art, and on our Sunday there we decided to check out an amazing little spot for both!  Callejon de Hamel is a short block in central Havana that’s also the center of Afro-Cuban culture in the city.  Eclectic and artsy, it almost seems like the Burning Man of Cuba.  Funky art galleries, rapping buskers, recycled street art, Santería icons, performers, and wall-to-wall people enjoying the lively atmosphere.

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“I am art among the arts, and in the hills, I am a hill.”

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Bathtub art

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At the end of the alley was a whole rumba group.  The crowd was thick but we gradually made it close enough to see most of the action.  The rhythms were free-flowing and improvisational, each drummer vibing off the others.  The singers chanted, and other percussionists danced maniacally with maracas.  Check out the video below!  We loved it!

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