Postcard From Havana

The city gets gussied up for the Pope.

Image
Reuters

This poster, outside of Havana's cathedral, is one of many dotting Havana's streets these days. The pope will celebrate mass in Havana today (at an alter in Revolution Square, no less) and the city is getting a make-over in preparation. Houses have been painted. Roads have been paved. And hundreds of signs touting Cuba as a "worshiper of charity" have been hung around the capital.

"They are fixing (potholed) streets, painting some building facades, there is a lot of cleaning going on, a lot of organization," Consuelo San Martin, a 74-year-old retired nurse who now works at Sacred Heart church, told the AFP.

 

Cuba's Roman Catholics account for about 10 percent of the country's 11 million citizens. The church also plays an important political role - some say it is the most influential non-state actor.

Photo by: Enrique de la Osa/Reuters

About the Author

  • Amanda Erickson is a former senior associate editor at CityLab.