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Cuba Facts from Havana tourism guide dated 1929

Posted September 29, 2005 by publisher in Cuba Travel.
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Barton’s American Guide to Havana and Cuba 1929

Perhaps You Know

There are 11,000 men engaged in the construction of the main highway across Cuba.

A ferry with capacity of 95 freight cars operates between Havana and New Orleans.

Bootblacks in Havana are licensed, which if not paid, means removal of their chairs from place of business.

A Coral Gables woman is establishing a $300,000 silk worm industry in Cuba.

There are 15,000 citizens of the United States in Cuba.

Southern Dairies of Cuba and Phoenix-Kraft Cheese Co., are establishing plants in the Island.

Cuba has 45,000 more births than deaths per year and an annual immigration of 45,000.

Ninety per cent of Havana’s tourists travel 2,000 miles or more to make the visit while the distance from most South Florida points is less than 300 miles.

Automobiles now enter Cuba from U. S. ports as `hand baggage’ and are declared accordingly. A permit for 90 days is issued free to each owner. If you want to remain longer it is necessary to post a bond to cover duty. Very simple.

It costs only $17.50 to ship a car from Key West to Havana. Thirty dollars for round trip.

Cuba’s good roads will entice many drivers to tour Cuba.

Gasoline in Cuba sells for 29 cents per gallon and has sold as high as 68 cents.

Before the discovery, Cuba was inhabited by a race of Indians called “Siboneys.” Hatuey was a Siboney chief burned at the stake by the Spaniards.

Matanzas, the name of a large Cuban city, mealy “slaughter” in Spanish.

Explorers have walked in the Bellamar Caves at Matanzas for 17 hours without coming to the end.

Cuban and Spanish candies and sweets are a real delight and should be purchased and taken home.

General William Jenkins Worth, who was very active in =military affairs throughout Florida around .1840,` and for whom the body of water, 25 miles long in Palm Beach county, which separates the cities of Lake Worth and West Palm Beach from Palm Beach is named, at one time planned to take 5,000 men to Cuba to aid Narciso Lopez the great Cuban patriot perfect his plan to establish Cuba as a sovereign state. The first plan failed and President Zachary Taylor stopped the second.

Roses are so cheap in Havana that $1 buys a large boquet.

The full name of Havana is “San Cristobal de la Habana” ó St. Christopher of Havana.

The great war for Cuban independence started on February 24, 1895. The anniversary of this date is a national holiday.

The method of calling or attracting ones attention in Cuba is to make a sound like the letters p-s-s-t run together.

Cubans beckon or direct you to follow by closing and opening the hand, palm downward, which at first seems to indicate that you are to go away.

Cuba has a National Library with more than 200,000 volumes to which is daily being added new books. It is open to the public.

“Arroz con pollo” a Cuban dish you will certainly en-joy in Havana is `rice and chicken.’

A visit to the free public markets in Havana is worth while. Here the native fruits and vegetables may be seen fresh from the farms.

Forty per cent of English is Latin and 90 per cent of Spanish is Latin, therefore you already have a considerable Spanish vocabularly if you only knew it.

The average visitor should acquire 20 new Spanish words or phrases per day and be able to use them singly if nothing more. It’s excellent `skull’ practice.

The National Museum, 108% Aguiar street, is open daily except Mondays. A trip there will not disappoint you.

The letter ‘y’ used in Spanish means “and.” It will be observed particularly in advertisements and firm names.

The Spanish word `hay’ (pronounced like I in English) means “We have,” which accounts for the signs which read “Hay Sandwiches,” Hay Gaolina,” etc. The word “Hoy” means “today” and will be observed in moving picture announcements.

Only one auto in three in Havana is for private use. The other two out of three represent cars for hire and commercial vehicles such as trucks. In all there are 25,000 registered of which 8,500 are for hire.

In Cuba the milk of the green cocoanut is highly valued for its medicinal properties and every refreshment parlor keeps a supply on hand.

Drug stores in Havana are actually `drug stores.’ Excepting a few scattered throughout the city to accommodate the public, drug stores close at 6 p. m. Daily papers carry list of those required to remain open.

IN THE COUNTRY, CUBA IS ABOUT TO DISMISS THE PACK-HORSE AND ADOPT VAPORED HORSEPOWER

Some sidewalks in Havana are really `sidewalks’. If you walk on them you walk sideways.

Cuban auto drivers are the most accurate judges of time and distance in the world. They have to be.
The driver sounding h:s horn at a corner first has the right-of-way.

When some Havana merchants close their shops they pull down a sheet iron barrier that even cuts off the show windows from view.

There are so many interesting things to be seen in Havana shop windows that even husbands are willing to window-shop.
Havana has one of the best police forces in the world. Don’t ever argue with or hit a cop in Havana, the former offense nets 3 months and 29 days and the latter, one year and 29 days.

Most streets in Havana have two names and most houses two numbers.

The fire department of Havana is all motor equipped and any station can get out in 19 seconds. The city has 300 fires a year but only about 10 that prove troublesome.

The are no flies or mosquitoes in Havana, hence no screens.

“Se Aquilla” which you will observe on autos, in vacant shop windows and tacked on some dwellings means “for rent” or “for hire.”

There are 30,000 Chinese in Havana.

If you fail to purchase the current issue of The Times of Cuba you fail to get the biggest 30-cent bargain to be had in Havana.

Wilford’s “Seeing Havana Intelligently” will take you over the historic hurdles of Havana in grand style. The price is 40 cents at any news stand or at office of The Havana Post, of which Mr. Wilford is editor and manager.

The average cost of a trip to Havana including expences, from any South Florida point is about $100 and worth five times the amount as a business or health conditioner.

The word “calle” means street.

HONEY
One million dollars worth of honey and wax are annually exported from Cuba. This industry is certainly self-supporting as Cuba is doubtless the bee’s idea of paradise. There are three varieties, the native, the German, brought from the Spanish Colony at St. Augustine in the 16th century and the Italian bees.

Member Comments

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On March 31, 2009, alex wrote:

very helpful website considering that i need these facts for my spanish project. i think this was a very helpful website knowing that i scored a 99 on my project

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On March 31, 2009, publisher wrote:

Great. Thanks for sharing that with us. Like it says up there at the top…

Read. Discover. Understand.