Cuban Coffee Chronicles – Day 5

Day five was a day celebrating Cuba’s dance, fashion, and natural beauty. We began our day in the morning visiting the Danzan’s club composed of retired men and women who protect and perform the traditional dance of Danzan involving quite a developed language using hand fans. They were such a fun bunch of people and such elegant dancers! Jim made quite a few friends.

Next, we visited the studio of fashion designer and textile artist Mariella Aleman Orozco.  The colorful rooftop runway fashion show is something I’ll never forget. Mariella demonstrated composing one of her current art piece inspired by Frida Kahlo by first placing beads, leaves, and other things. Then she squeezed bottles of vivid and bright natural dyes to create unique patterns of colors and forms. She graciously signed every item we bought at that rooftop. We also visited her husband’s wood-working shop (he built all the machines himself) where he crafts humidors. Her son is a photographer and her daughter is a painter attending art school now. What an inspiring family!

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After returning to our resort hotel that seemed so far from the Cuba we were visiting, we had a delicious lunch of fish and fries by the sea. We also had coffee, of course.

We completed our day with some people watching on the beautiful beach and by walking up to Xanadu Mansion that used to be owned by the Duponts. What an amazing architectural monument celebrating local craftsmanship, materials and design. The bar on the top floor has the best views of the turquoise open water.

We had a wonderful dinner with our travel friends at one of the hotel’s many restaurants to end day 5.

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