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The City of Matanzas

Matanzas is a city of 250,000 people 100 km east of Havana and is the capital of a province of the same name.  It is a hemispheric seat of African culture, with many cabildos, or self help cultural organizations formed under slavery, and many music groups.  The first of the cabildos dates back to 1806.

The Red Barrial Afrodescendiente has a chapter in Barrio Marina, Matanzas. They are a community organization implanted in many Havana barrios and support community self help. Barrio Marina, Barrio Simpson and Pueblo Nuevo are among the more African areas of Matanzas.

The Centro Cultural Comunitario Nelson Barrera is located in Barrio Marina, where many members of Afrocuba de Matanzas and los Muñequitos de Matanzas live. They are two of the most impressive traditional groups in Cuba. Centro Barrera was founded by rumberas who want to promote a non misogynist approach to culture.

Matanzas is a sister city to Pittsburgh, PA in a program that has enabled both sides to engage their respective institutions and resources in an open structure.  It has for example made possible direct donations to the city hospitals in Matanzas through Global Link, which has a Treasury license to move medical aid.

Matanzas Province was the site of a vicious US biowar attack in 1997 which had long lasting effects on the output of crops grown in the province.

For more on the music in Matanzas, check out our music page under Matanzas for the groups and for the performers.

See also for an interesting set of pages on artists in Matanzas maintained by Maria Esther Ortiz, whose own page is at

Matanzas Web Sites

Afroarte (Facebook) - tienda de arte,
Portal de Matanzas
Ministry of Culture

Afro-Cuba de Matanzas

Cultura Comunitaria, grass roots:

Los Muñequitos de Matanzas

Red Barrial Afrodescendiente has a chapter in Barrio Marina, Matanzas

Towns of the World - Perico

University of Matanzas

Carlotta and the Triumvirato slave rebellion

Carlota, a slave woman, takes up the machete to lead a slave uprising at the Triunvirato sugar mill, in Matanzas, and is killed.  Her name was later given to Cuba's operation Black Carlota in Southern Africa, which culminated in the battle of Cuito Cuanavale and the defeat of the South African army in pitch battle. See photos.

Municipios de Matanzas


Contact points in Matanzas

Cultura Provincial
Felix Garcia, Jefe: 011 53 52 2210
fax: 011 53 52 48.45 and 46.72

Poder Popular, "el gobierno"
President: Victor Ramirez
phone: 011 53 52 50.81
fax: 011 53 52 53153

Hotel Louvre
011 53 52 40.74
Located right on Parque de la Libertad, the city's main square. Has running water on occasion...  Can be noisy at night. But it's the only place in Matanzas itself.   The other hotels near Matanzas are Hotel del Valle, 2 or 3 km away, and the Canimao, 3km away.

Weather in Varadero, 40km from Matanzas


Matanzas page, info on Varadero

Hay negocios afro en Cardenas:
Directorio de negocios afrocubanos
Directory of AfroCuban businesses


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