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 Excursions to Cuba’s Historical Churches and afro-cuban ceremonials:


Excursions to Historical Churches


Religions in Cuba

Two of the main ethnic and cultural trunks of the Cuban nationality are the Spanish and the African ones. Other cultures also coincide in th econfluence (the Caribbean, American, Chinese, and from other parts of Europe). This complex process of cross over and mix have brought as consequence a sui generis religious composition.

The Spanish colonizer imposed its culture, language and religion: Catholicism, but the African slaves also contributed to this process.

The original African religions modified in the Cuban conditions, due to the fact that practitioners were uprooted from their natural environments, and exposed to an ethnic interaction.

For instance, with the difficulties of slavery the rituals concerning protection and fortune telling prevailed, leaving behind others as those referring to fertility. In that way several expressions of the Cuban religions of an African origin emerged.

From the Yoruba culture derived the so called Regla de Ocha, known as santeria. It has as cult a group of orishas (deities), with different myths and attributes. The most important ones are: Olofin, Olorun and Oloddumare, the creations gods.

In Cuba it is practiced the Regla Conga, Palo Monte or Palo Mayombe, cults derived of some expressions of the peoples part of the kingdom of Congo. These religious forms focus on the cult to the natural forces.

An important element in these creeds is the nganga (also known as pot). It is a pot where some objects and organic and mineral substances are placed. They are considered as the religions fundament, which is carefully watched by the leaders of the cult. The highest hierarchy is the Tata Nganga.

Other forms of an African origin is the secret male group abakuá, also known as ñañiguismo . It was created at the beginning of the 19th century, with a similar structure of the organizations in Calabar, Nigeria, where the carabalies were originally from.

There are some other religious organizations of less influence as the arará and iyesá.

The expressions of African origin are present in representation systems, symbols, and rituals of a mythological content, linked to nature, ancestors (spirits), and everyday life. They do not have central regulating structures in their doctrine and liturgy, they instead independent groups.

All these religious expressions, specially the santeria, are very extended in the Cuban population, however, it is impossible to identify the number of devotees.


The Virgin Caridad del Cobre
The Virgin Caridad del Cobre is also worshiped in Afro-Cuban syncretic cults as Ochún, the goddess of love and money, the patroness of the fresh waters. Her feast is on September 8th; even from the previous day offers of all kinds are made to her.

Saint Lazarus
The cult of Saint Lazarus is one of the most popular traditions in the Island. This worship emerged of the catholic and Yoruba religions and it is related to a poor leprous man, a friend of Jesus, revived in a biblical parable.
On December 17th many believers travel from every part of the country to visit the Sanctuary of Saint Lazarus, in a place named El Rincón, 25 kilometres south Havana. It is a small catholic hermitage placed next to a hospital for persons suffering from leprosy.



Descripción: elcobre



The Basilica de Nuestra Senora de El Cobre


Destination: Santiago de Cuba

The Virgin of Caridad del Cobre is the saint of Cuba. It is Cuba’s most sacred pilgrimage site. Hemingway deposited there its gold medal of the Nobel Prize 1954.


Descripción: sanlazaro



El Rincon - San Lazaro Church


Destination: Havana

"El Rincon" is a little town near to Havana where La Iglesia de San Lazaro is located.
December 17 is San Lazaro`s day. That day is impossible to go there, thousands of people go, most of them to fulfill their promise.




Descripción: catedralhabana


Havana Cathedral


Destination: Havana
The cathedral has a marvelous baroque facade which is a Havana city’s identity.


It was orginally built by Jesuitas Order in the period 1749 to 1767. In there were kept  Cristóbal Colón remains until its translation to Sevilla.




Descripción: asuncion



Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Catedral


Destination: Baracoa


Since the days of meeting of European and American ancestral cultures has been preserved  by  Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Baracoa parish church the oldest  histórical-religious Cuban relic which is named as la Cruz de la Parra, made of a piece of wood from Baracoa forest and placed there by the same Christopher Colombus on Saturday December the 1st, 1492. That Cross has been venerated  by different Cuban generations of Baracoa people and people from all places of the country.


Afro-Cuban Rites




Descripción: afrocubano



If you want to know about Santería and other African cults, including conferences on their origin and actual practice, participation in ritual ceremonies, as well as initiation in such religious practices.

During your visit you could appreciate the African heritage in current Cuban culture..

           Let’s know and we will help you to get a lifetime experience.







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