HAVANA, June 14th Inspired by the spirit of protesters from the United States and around the world, the Cuban Educational Travel has compiled a list of Afro Cuban businesses in Havana that you can support during your next visit.
Founded in 2014, Salchipizza is owned by Alberto Gonzalez, the first Cuban chef to ever win a Michelin star.
His food is known to put you through a taste-based emotional journey where he recreates Afro-Cuban recipes with traditional methods.
Find it on Calle Infanta #562 between Valle and Zapata, Centro Habana.
ReglaSOUL is the brainchild of Regla born activist, organizer and Cuban hip hop pioneer Alexey “..el tipo este..” alongside independent filmmaker, photographer, and holistic wellness advocate Amberly Alene.
ReglaSOUL promotes an alternative holistic lifestyle and serves as a resource of plant-based holistic medicine for a growing green community Havana.
3. Beyond Roots
University professor Adriana Heredia founded Beyond Roots with the goal of empowering the people and sharing the culture of her Guanabacoa community, according to Cuba Educational Travel.
Professor Heredia saw Cuba’s tourism market lacked Afro Cuban representation and began with an Airbnb experience exploring Afro Cuban culture.
Eventually she created more experiences, including Afro Cuban food, religion, art and dance. As more tourists came to visit, the more requests she got for Afro Cuban goods and souvenirs. In 2019, she opened a storefront in Old Havana selling Afro Cuban goods.
Find the store on San Ignacio #657 between Jesus Maria y Merced in Old Havana.
4. Lo Llevamos Rizo
Lo Llevamos Rizo was started in 2015 by Susana Pilar as a space to provide events and resources to celebrate and care for natural afro hair.
After a successful workshop in 2019, Lo Llevamos Rizo continues to host virtual workshops on taking care of natural hair.
Liber Puente Baró’s shop is where you can go to fix all of your technological needs. His team can repair laptops, phones, printers, and more.
Contact him here.
Hilda Zulueta began Zulu bags in 1992. She began crafting and weaving hand-made leather bags from repurposing scraps of leather into unique designs.
Over the years, she has perfected her skills and eventually opened up a store.
You can visit her store that she runs with her family in Old Havana to see their entire collection of leather bags, handbags, backpacks and duffel bags.
Visit Zulu at Aguacate 456, between Teniente Rey and Muralla.
7. El Café
After six years working in London cafes, Nelson Tamayo Rodriguez decided to go home to Havana to start a cafe of his own: El Café.
El Café offers fresh juices, coffees, and more.
Find the café at Amargura #358 | e/ Aguacate y Villegas.
DADOR was founded by Lauren Fajardo, Isle Anton, and Raquel Janero, friends from Havana’s Institute of Design. The three opened a sustainable fashion- based brand in Havana.
Find DADOR at Amargura #253 between Habana and Compostela.
Jibaro is a Havana-based is a clothing brand started by Marlon White Luna. Jibaro is an act of freedom expressed through graphic and Baroque pieces, which connect two universes which are moving further and further apart: postmodern society and Biblical thought.
Jibaro is sold in shops around Havana, including Capicua.
Citykleta is a bike tour business based in Havana started by Yasser Gonzalez.
He started with bikes in 2014, after following his heart and leaving his job as a software developer to dedicate himself 100% to what he loved best: bikes. After joining a friend to launch Havana’s first bicycle tour business, he also started organizing critical mass Havana in 2015 to promote biking in the city and encourage Habanero’s to adopt the bike as an alternative lifestyle.
In January of 2017, he founded Citykleta with a mission to give visitors, the community, and residents the best cycling experience in Havana.
11. Que Negra
Erly Pennycook Ramos set out to make natural hair products for afro hair that would hydrate and keep healthy natural curls.
Erly believes that Cubans need to rely less on outside experts and focus on what they already have—everything from the line is sourced and produced locally in Ciego de Avila, where Erly is from. Her products can be found in shops in Havana.
12. Robe “El Ninho”’s El Gao
Roberto Alvarez is a barber, rapper and owner of barbershop El Gao. His mission, according to an interview in Havana Times, is to “advocate for natural hair, not because we reject straightened long hair, but because of the damage, these treatments cause people, who, a lot of the time, want to stick to an imposed and widely-accepted stereotype. His mission is to find a solution so that ‘you look beautiful with your own style, how you are’.”
13. Casa Sanchana
Casa Sanchana is managed by Doña Alvara. She owns a breathtaking colonial home in Vedado with three spacious and beautiful rooms.
14. Casa Osmary
Osmary Armas Ruiz also owns a home in Vedado, which she opened to visitors in 2015, after living in Germany for a couple of years.
Not only is she a Superhost on Airbnb, but she also hosts tours and offers transportation for travellers.
15. Casa En La Habana
16. Corpus Habana Spa
Corpus Habana is a project led by professional and entrepreneurial Cuban women that provides comprehensive body massages, cosmetology services, and lifestyle counselling in Havana, Cuba.
The Vedado-based spa offers an array of massages, facials, and beauty services.
Find the spa at Calle G #351, on the corner of Calle 15, email@example.com.