A IS FOR AGRICULTURE, ARCHAEOLOGY, & ARCHITECTURE
ARCHAEOLOGY has been studied in Cuba. So far, more 3,000 aboriginal archaeological sites have been located in the country. Many of the oldest sites in Cuba are located in caves and rock shelters on the interior valleys and along the coast.
ARCHITECTURE in Cuba has combined various outside influences over the last 600 years, mixing Moorish, Baroque, Art Deco and more to create strikingly unique cityscapes. Many classic colonial mansions survive today including the Casa de los Condes de Jaruco now an art gallery, and the Hotal Conde de Villanueva, now a hotel, both in Old Havana. Grand public buildings, such as Old Havana’s Palacio de los Capitanes Generales today is the city museum. The finest example of Cuban Baroque is considered to be Havana´s strangely asymmetrical Catedral de San Cristobal is on the south coast of Cuba.
Many species of BIRDS have been found in Cuba including at least 21 species found no place else in the world — the vireo and woodpeckers among them. The Zapata Sparrow is the only sparrow endemic to the West Indies. The Bee Hummingbird is the smallest bird on the planet. Nine endemic species are endangered or vulnerable. The country is one of the most important wintering and stopover sites for North American migrant birds. Bird watching is popular and there are many Birding Hotspots. The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, now possibly extinct, was last seen (according to an unconfirmed report) in the Sierra Maestra in 1998. The Cuban Trogon is the National bird. The Cuban Parakeet. The Cuban Kite is classified as critically endangered.
DINOSAUR DINOSARS once roamed in Cuba. In 2002, the first identified remains of a DINOSAUR was found in Cuba. Valle de la Prehistoria near the city of Santiago de Cuba is a prehistoric-themed tourist attraction that features life-size models of over 200 dinosaurs and cavemen.
EDUCATION in Cuba has been a highly ranked system for many years. School attendance is compulsory from ages 6 to 15 or 16 (end of basic secondary education) and all students, regardless of age or sex, wear school uniforms with the color denoting grade level. Primary education lasts for six years. Secondary education is divided into basic secondary education and pre-university secondary education. Private schools are gaining in popularity.
The FLAG of Cuba consists of five blue and white alternating stripes, and a red equilateral triangle at the hoist with a white five-pointed star and was adopted on May 20, 1902. The country has several other flags. The Coat of Arms of Cuba is the official heraldic symbol of the country. The Cuba Shield is divided into 3 parts.
Cuba has several FORTS and several are World Heritage Sites. Fort Castillo de la Real Fuerza is considered to be the oldest stone fort in the Americas. Castillo de Jugua, also called the castle, was erected by King Philip V of Spain in 1742 to protect the bay from pirates who prowled the Caribbean coast. The tower of Torreon de la Chorrea has a restaurant. Castle del Principe has special system of underground tunnels. Fort Saint Charles known as La Cabaña, is part of a historical park, along with the El Morro fortress. A cannon is fired at 9 p.m. every night, a custom kept from colonial times signaling the closure of the gates in the city wall.
The GLOBAL POSITION of Cuba is approximately 22 degrees latitude north and 80 degrees longitude west. The geographic center, Guaracabulla, is located in Placetas. The lowest point is the Caribbean Sea and the highest point is Pico Turquino. Cuba lies west of the North Atlantic Ocean, east of the Gulf of Mexico, south of the Straits of Florida, northwest of the Windward Passage, and northeast of the Yucatan Channel.
The HISTORY of Cuba dates back to the earliest known human inhabitants who colonized the island in the 4th millennium BC. The Current history of the country began with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 and the subsequent invasion of the island by the Spaniards.
Several HOLIDAYS in Cuba are celebrated nationally. Many commemorate events from the country’s revolutionary past. The largest of all holidays in Cuba is Revolution Day (July 26). Other major holidays include Independence Day (May 20), and Children’s Day (April 4). January 1st is not only New Year’s Day but also Cuban Liberation Day and is celebrated with fireworks and carnivals.
Cuba is the largest of the Caribbean ISLANDS and the largest of the West Indian islands. In addition to the main island, the Cuban archipelago includes the Isle of Pines. Offshore isles, islets, keys, and rocky sandbars number more than 4,000, and are grouped in 5 archipelagos. The Gardens of the Queen archipelago is a string of hundreds of islets and keys stretching along southeastern coast of Cuba. The largest cay, the Island of Youth, has been inhabited since prehistoric times, the other cays have been partly transformed into modern-day beach resorts with facilities for deep-sea fishing, swimming, and sailing.
The JUDICIAL branch of Cuba is currently one of the 3 branches of the Cuban government the others being the executive and legislative. The Peoples Supreme Court is the highest body of judicial power in Cuba. Raul Castro is President of the Council of State of Cuba.
Many aspects of life in Cuba focus on KIDS.
As a former colony of Spain, Spanish is spoken in Cuba and it is the official language. Haitian Creole is the second most spoken language. Many words from Cuban Amerindian languages have entered common usage in both Spanish and English. Another language of Cuba is Cuban Sign Language, and English is commonly studied as a foreign language.
Cuba has many LIGHTHOUSES. Most are not automated so keepers are on site at most locations. Some of the stations are staffed by civilian keepers, but others are tightly restricted military posts. A lighthouse is an important aspect to the mariner.
Cuba has a population of over 11 million PEOPLE. Several famous people have called the country their home. Cuba has had many leaders including governors from 1511 to 1902 and presidents from 1902 to present.
Cuba has a variety of REPTILES and amphibians. The smallest frog in the world is found in Cuba. A special specimen is the Night Lizard that lives in the eastern coast areas. Monte Iberia Dwarf Frog is an endangered species endemic to Cuba. The Monte Iberia Eleuth is the smallest species of frog in the Northern Hemisphere. Cuban Tree frog is the largest Tree frog in North America. The Cuban Boa is listed as near-threatened. The Cuban Ground Iguana is one of the most endangered groups of lizards that currently exist. The Cuban crocodile is highly endangered.
Cuba has many RIVERS. The longest river is the Cauto River. It is one of the two navigable rivers in Cuba. The other, Rio Sagua la Grande, is the 2nd longest river in Cuba and is also not drinkable like the Río Cauto.
TRANSPORTATION in Cuba includes buses and a system of railways, roads, airports, waterways, ports and harbors.
Cuba has many species of TREES. The Cuban Royal Palm is the national tree and symbol of Cuba. There is a secret world under This Tree. The Kapok Tree is considered one of the most representative of Cuba. Mangrove forests are found in lagoons and are made up of the 4 indigenous species: red mangrove, black mangrove, patabán and yana. Other trees include mahogany, cedar and ironwood trees. There are also the fruit trees bearing mango, guava, grapefruit, and avocado.
Cuba has many UNIVERSITIES and other institutions of higher education. The University of Havana was founded in 1728 and is the oldest university in Cuba and one of the first to be founded in the Americas.
Enormous tsunamis presumably from VOLCANOES on the Canary Islands carved great steps on the coast of Cuba. The country rides on a tectonic plate that results in violent events including volcanic activity, fractured huge slabs of rocks.
Cuba has a variety of WILDLIFE. The Prehensile Tail Hutia is a small rodent creature that cannot be found elsewhere and is considered endangered. A species of shrew, the Cuban Solenodon is a nocturnal creature. It was once considered extinct, but has recently been found to be alive but seriously endangered. The Indian Mongoose was introduced to the island to help control the population of nuisance rodents. The island is home to a few different species of bats including the Bulldog Bat, the Pallid Bat, the Fruit Eating Bat, and the Funnel Eared Bat. Huge colonies of bats can be found inside the Saint Thomas Caves. The country has many Protected Areas .