Summer Activities in Havana’s East-Laying Neighborhoods (I)

Regina Cano

Los Papines
Los Papines

HAVANA TIMES — The Verano en el Barrio (“Summer in the Neighborhood”) entertainment program, a series of concerts held in different neighborhood venues around Havana, has had an impact on the public as has not been experienced in years in the city. It has afforded many the opportunity to enjoy music by performers one usually does not get to see outside of a major theatre.

Los Papines

The residents of Havana’s Antonio Guiteras district (more popularly known as “Bahia”), a neighborhood located a few kilometers from the Havana Bay tunnel, were pleasantly surprised to see a performance by Los Papines, staged at a lot located to the side of their local polyclinic.

This rumba band, renowned both in Cuba and abroad, was created fifty years ago and have been working with Tropicana performers for a very long time.

Los Papines

Today, made up of new, younger members, the band has taken on new popular dance rhythms and a whole new series of musical numbers. With these, Los Papines offered those in attendance a delightful concert.

Around 300 people were in attendance. The crowd had been waiting for the concert the entire day but no one knew exactly which band was going to play and many joined the concert when it was starting. The lack of publicity meant that many fans of Los Papines lost a good opportunity to enjoy their music.

As there is hardly anything to do at night in this peripheral neighborhood, the concert-goers (mostly young people) jumped on the opportunity to dance to the rumba rhythms that Los Papines wholeheartedly offered the neighborhood this past August 25.

Regina Cano

Regina Cano: I have lived my entire life in Havana, Cuba – the island from which I’ve still never left, and which I love. I was born on September 9, and my parents chose my name out of superstition, but my mother raised me outside the religion professed by her family. I studied accounting and finance at the University of Havana, a profession that I’m not engaged in for the time being, and that I substituted for doing crafts, some ceramics, and studying a little English and about painting. Ah! – concerning my picture: I identify with Rastafarian principles, but I am not one of them. I wear this cap from time to time, but I assure you I just didn't have a better picture.

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