Almost every dance enthusiast in the know gravitates to “Salvador’s Alley” (Callejón de Hamel e/ Aramburu y Hospital), an alley where local artist Salvador González Escalona has adorned the walls with evocative murals in sun-drenched yellow, burnt orange, and blazing reds, inspired by santería.
The alley features a santería shrine and fantastical totemic sculptures. González, a bearded artist with an eye for self-promotion, has an eclectic gallery, Estudio-Galería Fambá ((Callejón de Hamel #1054, tel. 07/878-1661, eliasasef [at] yahoo [dot] es, daily 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m.). On Sunday, he hosts Afro-Cuban rumbas.
Nearby, Parque de los Mártires Universitarios (Infanta, e/ Calles Jovellar y San Lázaro), one block west of Callejón de Hamel, honors students who lost their lives during the fights against the Machado and Batista regimes.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Cuba, 5th Edition