Spotlight: Buena Vista Social Club and NPH

This weekend I stayed in Antigua to descansar un poco, but the weekend was full of action despite my intentions.

After a mint flavored hookah at the popular lounge downtown, we flocked to Cielo’s where two members of the Buena Vista Social Club performed saucy salsa jams.

In Havana, the Buena Vista Social Club was a well known salsa house where members could dance the night away.  Considered the Golden Age of Cuban Music, in the 40s and 50s Buena Vista Social Club provided a place for talented and innovative musicians to collaborate.

In the 90s, some members finally recorded a compilation album as well as a produced a documentary.  Both productions were international successes and restored some of  Buena Vista Social Club’s former glory.

Friday night, Katie Dowd came to Antigua and stayed the night.  We went out to dinner at Frida’s, a low lit cafe dedicated to Frida Kahlo with mosaics and Mexican artwork adorning the walls.  After turning in for an early night, I went to Parramos with Katie the next day.

At the NPH (Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos) facility, I met Katie’s friends, some of her students, and ate delicious home made pizza.  The NPH place resembles a small campus with well-maintained buildings, lawns, and playgrounds.  It’s presentation is impressive and seems like a safe and loving place for displaced or abandoned kids to grow up.

After meeting lots of kids and volunteers, Katie and I planned our entire trip down to Panama.  There is so much to do in Central America that we won’t be able to cover nearly everything, but we agreed on some must-see places—waterfalls, cloud forests, jungles, cave repelling, canopy zip lines, volcano climbs, and lots of beaches—that should serve as a sound introduction to Central America.



Published by

Kate Springer

Freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong. Contributor at CNN, Forbes Travel Guide, BBC Travel, Fodor's Travel Guide, superfuture, Tatler, and more.

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