Jorge Milanes Despaigne
HAVANA TIMES, April 11 — The “Cabildo Quisicuaba Socio-cultural Project” is conducted by Dr. Enrique Alemán in collaboration with the community in the Centro Habana municipality, specifically in the Los Sitios neighborhood.
Its aim is to rehabilitate traditional folk culture there, taking into account the spiritual, cultural and material needs of this population.
Given the qualitative and multidisciplinary character of this effort, social concerns are of great importance, since the project is an attempt to rescue and rehabilitate tangible and intangible values of a locality with serious social problems.
Carrying out this project also affects the process of improving and sustaining the quality of life of the area’s inhabitants, and therefore the community as a whole.
The name given to this socio-cultural project, “Quisicuaba,” came in part from the name of free blacks who lived their in the 16th century: the “Quisis,” individuals who originated from the southern Angolan Basin.
The word used for designating a settlement of black slaves was “cuabal,” which came from the word for the farmhouses built in the area.
The merger of these two terms gave the neighborhood — and now the project — the name “Quisicuaba,” which is the rescue of an important historical and cultural value that evolved from the area’s past (though the neighborhood later acquired the name of “Los Sitios,” which has remained through today).
Actions carried out within this project are in one way or another achieved by the participation of many community members. This is the key to the sustained success in this socio-cultural project designed for the comprehensive transformation of families as the basic unit of society.
The effort is also aimed at addressing problems associated with drug abuse, the insertion of ex-prisoners into society, adolescents prone to crime, high-risk diseases, alcoholism, single mothers, prostitution and pimping, homosexuality, health care and education.
On a visit I made there recently, I realized the importance and the social impact of this project as well as its role in calling the attention of institutions, specialists, psychologists, philosophers, historians, students and anthropologists to this community in need.