FFC: MEET … the people of Chivirico

This is post from my archives. I published it shortly after my first trip to Cuba and it featured the people met during a walk around Chivirico.

Chivirico is a small village located 90 minutes outside of Santiago de Cuba and about 840 km east of Havana. It is a small rural community set between the mountains of Sierra Maestra and the Caribbean Sea. It’s a sleepy little town with a main street that fronted a rum shop, a pharmacy and a small town square. There was also a school, a church, two markets, and a bus terminal. 

It also had a lot of goats. Maybe that was the inspiration for the village’s name, as chivo translates to goat. But then chivirico also describes a cheerful and lively person. So maybe the town was named after a cheerful and lively goat!

Our hotel was at a the top of hill where I had an unobstructed view of the Caribbean Sea. Looking out across the clear blue water I often imagined seeing the island of Jamaica, the country of my birth. Many things about Cuba reminded me of Jamaica. The landscape and climate were identical and the rugged little village could easily have been in the Jamaica of sixty years ago.

Here are some scenes clicked during my walk around town.

Cuba’s favorite sport is baseball and on this particular afternoon, I was treated to local game.  Everyone participated. Even the goats. For those kids not old enough to play, they had loads of fun in the surrounding trees.

Photos were taken in Chivirico, Cuba. 2018

This is my second contribution to the Friendly Friday Challenge: MEET … where Sarah asks us to post about the people we meet during our travels at home or abroad. You have up until Thursday to respond, after which it’s my turn to post a new topic.

P.S. If you are a fan of the Friendly Friday logo, you might want to download the latest version. I’ve updated it to include Sarah’s Travel with Me website. You can get the latest logo here.


    1. I was born in Jamaica and I grew up there. I left when I was teenager but that was many many years ago.

      Three generations ago, many Chinese left China to live/work in North & Latin America. Many ended up in the Caribbean. At one point in 1920s, Cuba had the largest population there (120,000+) but they all left after the revolution. I hear that there is still a Chinatown in Havanna, but there are no Chinese there anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve not been to Jamaica recently but when I was a child, we’d regularly go to Ocho Rios for our family vacations. Back then it was relatively undeveloped (compared to Montego Bay) and aside from the beach, my favorite memory was having real jerk pork on Boston Bay. Real jerk pork was pit roasted, highly spiced with lots of scotch bonnet peppers and hot smoked with wood from the local pimento trees. Yummy.

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        1. Hakka Chinese from the south China area of Guangzhou (old Canton). The Hakka people a lesser known minority group, who migrated all over the world. They’re sometimes called the ‘Jews of China (East)’ because of similarities in the diaspora. Most of the Chinese in the Caribbean are Hakka.

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          1. I’m learning a bit of history here. You should write about it. I’m a Jew from Ukrainian and then British heritage. 91 yo mum is from London. Came to US in 1939 to escape war.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Thanks for staying with me in my history lessons. Maybe I will write about it πŸ˜‰

            I find it funny that history is so much more interesting now that I’m older. When I was in school, my least favorite subjects were history, & social studies. Now I find the topics so interesting just because of how they shaped countries & culture.

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          3. I teach English to young Chinese kids online weekday mornings and really love it. They are adorable and so love to learn. Ages 5-10 primarily so a great age to engage them, plus they really respect older folks, I.e. ME!

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          4. So what’s your history starting in Jamaica, to now being in Canada? Vancouver? Have you been to Tofino? One of my favorite places in your country, along with Nova Scotia.


  1. My wife was in Cuba a few years ago when Americans could visit there for educational purposes and loved it. She taught gardening to the locals and assisting with crop collection. One of her most memory trips.


    1. Growing food and harvesting it with people brings us back to basics, doesn’t it? That’s probably why I enjoyed my trip there. I can imagine your wife’s trip was even more memorable.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a super post Sandy – both the text and the photos transported me instantly to this little rural village! I loved your opening shot in particular, with two of the kids aware of and looking straight at your camera while the women shopped, and the last one of the boy in the tree πŸ˜€ You’ve given me an idea for a future ‘Meet’ post too, about a village in southern Laos where a young lad climbed a tree and waved to us! Thanks so much for joining in for a second week 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He does have a bit of attitude, doesn’t he? πŸ™‚ Thanks for pointing out the features you like in the photos. It’s nice to know when people see what I see when I choose and compose pictures.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Neil. All things considered, I would go back to Cuba. That was our plan when we left. We didn’t go to Havanna then and I think that city would have a totally different feel. However, I’m not sure when we’ll feel comfortable with international travel again, so we’ll have to see.

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