Slavery, brought to Cuba by the Spanish conquistadors, left a deep imprint throughout the Caribbean Island, as thousands of African men, women and children were uprooted from their land.
In addition to the loss of thousands of human lives, the tragic toll of that process that resulted from the need for cheap labor force also left a valuable legacy that greatly contributed to the formation of Cuban nationality.
In order to rescue that rich cultural and historic heritage, the House of the Caribbean was founded in 1982 in eastern Cuba, where there are several sites linked to the slavery period.
The House of the Caribbean combines scientific research with cultural promotion, as it focuses on the study of the peoples of the region.
The institution deals with a wide range of topics in its daily work, including the struggle strategies used by enslaved aborigines and Africans, Cubans and other people whose fight was encouraged by a sentiment of nationality.
It also researches on the wars for national independence, religion and spirituality in Cuba and the Caribbean, and on the process that led to the formation of cultural identities, both locally and regionally.
That is precisely the area of influence of the Museum of the Runaway Slave, in the town of El Cobre, in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, where the House of the Caribbean is based.
In that region, which was severely damaged by copper mining for centuries, a statue made by artist Alberto Lescay was erected to pay tribute to African slaves, as part of a project known as the Slave's Route in Cuba.
According to experts, the monument is a point of call and reflection on the value of resistance and rebelliousness against oppression and injustice.
The promotional work of the House of the Caribbean is aimed at rescuing and highlighting the most authentic roots of Cuban spirituality, a goal whose maximum expression is the Caribbean Festival, which is held every year in Santiago de Cuba.
The work of the House of the Caribbean is supported by the "Toussaint Louverture" Information Center, which provides valuable information on Cuba and the Caribbean.
As a cultural institution, the House of the Caribbean publishes periodical scientific publications like "Revista del Caribe" and the yearbook "El Caribe Arqueológico".
For that reason, the House of the Caribbean is a permanent referral for experts interested in a polychromic, sonorous, indomitable and autochthonous culture.
Therefore, it is the prefect place for those who want to get deep and serious knowledge of the history, culture and hopes of a region that is located in the middle of the continent.