Get Your Fill of Art and Rumba Music at Callejón de Hamel.

When I was in Havana, Cuba there was only one place I loved more than Plaza de San Francisco. And that was  viewing the striking artwork and listening to live rumba performances one Sunday afternoon in Callejón de Hamel, a street in an area known as Cayo Hueso. It’s one of the best ways to experience authentic Cuban culture and take in the “preservation of local traditions at a community level“.

Stunning Graffiti

Afro Cuban artist Salvador González is responsible for the development of Callejón de Hamel, which is now a “shrine to both santería and the power of artistic vision“.

The street is a living art installation filled with the artist’s famous murals and various other stylized objects such as bath tubs and totem poles. Visitors can even browse his gallery and purchase artwork of their own at very affordable price.

Extra special is Sundays when there are live rumba performances that differ from the more traditional Spanish forms of rumba. Locals and tourists alike gather to watch the dancers and listen to the beats.

Me With a Local Man Dressed in a Traditonal Afro Cuban Outfit

The concert is free, but as a tourist you will be asked to offer up a small donation for the pleasure of taking in their unique performance. Don’t let yourself be hustled too many times (they will continually ask you for money every 10-15 minutes), but do give some money to people who live on so little.  Especially when you’re taking tons of photos and videos like me.

While I could say so much more about my delightful Sunday afternoon spent at Callejón de Hamel, I’ll let these photos speak for themselves.

Bath Tub in the Sky

José Martí Memorial That Rivals Plaza de la Revolución.

Bath Tub Art

Art That Tells A Story

Bath Tub Benches

Beauty in Every Day Things

Callejón de Hamel in Central Havana

Nontraditional Rumba Performances

Evoking African Tradition and Remembering the Past

Bold and Beautiful

Not The Ideal Phone Booth for Clark Kent

A Community of Art and Progress

A Totem Pole in Havana

Guarding a Little Courtyard

Rumba Performers

A Tribute To Afro Cuban Culture

The Magic of Callejón de Hamel

Locals and Tourists Mingle to Enjoy the Art

An Advertisement for Benjamin Moore

What's Art Without a Che Tribute?

Be sure to learn more about Cuban rumba performances and how to find out the exact location of Callejón de Hamel.

Founder of Canadian in Berlin. Frequent traveller now at 43 countries and counting.

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