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Weekly report on Cuba's tourism industry
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Cuban Handicraft: Works of Art for Everyone's Taste

The capital of the largest Antillean island, a city that never stands still, provides visitors with offers ranging from sun, beaches, culture and history to the possibility of buying pieces of local handicraft as mementos of their stay in Cuba.

Havana has some indispensable places for the city because of their history, functions and attractiveness, such as the craft fair across the old San Carlos Seminar, where hundreds of vendors, many of whom are artisans, offer every day the most varied pieces of Caribbean handicraft.

Decorative objects create the different styles of those artists, who offer visitors masks, butterflies, fish, coffers and animals of various sizes, decorated with an explosion of colors that attracts clients by itself.

Sculptures in papier maché are present in their most varied shapes on the vendors' stands, attracting both adults and children, the latter enjoying the sight of dolls of different sizes.

The fair's location in Havana's historic heart complements the attractions of the centennial city for thousands of foreign visitors who walk its streets, very often looking for some mementos of their stay in this Caribbean island.

African religious traditions, accumulated for centuries and transmitted from generation to generation, attract visitors in the form of images, figures of different materials and strings of beads, whose colors have their own symbols, all this accompanied by detailed explanations from vendors.

Metal works are also present at the fair, especially those made of silver and copper, although the popularity of a material known as volcanic rock is increasing among young people, who like to wear necklaces, bracelets and earrings made of that material.

Landscapes and images go hand in hand on t-shirts of different colors to please the most demanding buyers, in addition to musical instruments, figurines and ornaments of precious wood and jewelry made of seeds, among other articles.

All these objects blend with paintings on canvas and cardboard, where artists portray Cuba's nature and corners of the island's centennial capital. In some cases, they also recreate the colonial atmosphere that still prevails in many cities throughout the country.

The existence of these kinds of fairs confirms the tradition leading visitors to take a souvenir from the country they visited, as if they wanted to take the warm atmosphere they enjoyed in Cuba to other lands.

All this is accompanied by a usual bargaining between buyers and vendors, which is usually satisfactory for both parties and is also an involuntary system to expose the friendly nature of Cubans when they deal with foreigners.

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