Cuba to renovate Chinatown for Havana’s 500th anniversary

Barrio Chino

HAVANA, Jan. 13th Renovating Chinatown is one of the priorities in the plan to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana, which will be held in November, local media reported Friday.

In commemoration of the anniversary, authorities organized a general restoration program, which includes refurbishing the popular area built by Asian workers.

The buildings in Chinatown, many of which date back to the founding era and are of great heritage value, show certain signs of deterioration, the daily Juventud Rebelde said.

Buildings to be renovated included well-known Chinatown sites like the offices of the Chinese newspaper “Kwong Wah Po,” launderettes and traditional pharmacies.

The restoration efforts also include the repair of public lighting, sidewalks and parks, street paving and the removal of overhanging electrical cables.

According to historical data, the first 206 Chinese citizens arrived in Cuba in 1847 as laborers.

During the 20th century, a large number of Chinese immigrants arrived in Havana and became an important part of the community. They built the Chinatown to promote their culture and cuisine.