Facts About Cuba for Kids
Around 4.3 million health tourists worldwide visit the Cuban islands annually. It is a primary center of attraction for tourists who love cozy beaches, favorable climates, and beautiful architecture. Cuba is the largest elongated island in the Caribbean Sea. It is 1,200 kilometers wide from east to west.
You’ll witness Caribbean-flavored food and Latin-blended music throughout many locations. About one-third of Cuba is covered with towering mountains and undulating hills, and the remaining two-thirds are fertile plains utilized for agriculture. This place treasures some of the weird yet remarkable facts from history—That’s why Cuba is a great place for research and leisure.
Out of a hundred, we bring you the 13 most interesting facts about Cuba in this article. Are you interested in learning about these facts? Keep reading to explore these Cuban facts.
Basic Facts About Cuba
According to location, Cuba lies between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, situated in the North American continent. It touches the Gulf of Mexico. Cuba’s formal name is The Republic of Cuba (original name). Its Coordinates are 21.5218° N, 77.7812° W.
Cuba was formed a million years ago due to the collision of the tectonic plates. It covers 42,426 square miles of land, making it the largest island in the Caribbean Sea and the 106th largest country.
It stands in the 80th position based on population. For decades, the Finales Valley in Cuba used traditional farming practices due to its dire economic situation. But today, Cuba stands at 18th position for its agriculture. Thanks to the organic farming practices that made the country self-sufficient and reliable.
Cuba is known for its wildlife and forestry. It is a habitat for more than 1700 species of animals. Here killing animals is an offensive crime. If we talk about national animals, it is the Cuban hutia which is omnivorous. It weighs around 19 pounds.
We have listed the most famous animals in Cuba.
- Cuban hutia
- Cuban Gar
- Cuban Crocodile
Cuban cuisine is almost meat-centric; many meals are not suitable for vegetarians. Instead, hot tropical fruits like bananas and guava are commonly found, making it a fascinating culinary destination.
Here’s what you should do if you’re traveling to Cuba or eating at a Cuban restaurant.
When it comes to the famous dishes, Cuba has a plethora of food to explore. A few from the food dishes are listed below:
- Ropa Vieja
- Arroz Con Pollo
- Guava Paste
- Cuban Sandwich
- Cuban Bread
Read also: Puerto Rico Facts for Kids
13 Interesting Facts About Cuba
1. High Literacy Rates
Most people are misunderstood about Cuba’s literacy rate. Since it is smaller compared to other developed countries, many think it has less to no literacy rate. But surprisingly, the literacy rate of Cuba is 99.8%.
Although, before seven decades, it had a 60% literacy rate. The literacy rate increased because the government made education compulsory until 15 years of age, making Cuba great in literacy rate today.
Literate citizens of Cuba provide teaching services to adults and children, where students learn to read and write. A successful literacy campaign was held from January 1 to December 31, 1961. As a result, Cuba retained a high valued educational system for years.
2. Cuba Has Two Official Currencies
It is one of the more unique facts about this country. The two currencies of Cuba are Convertible Peso (CUC) and the Cuban Peso (CUP), also known as the Moneda National.
The Cuban Peso (CUP) is widely used among Cubans, and the majority of salaries are given in the Cuban peso (CUP). On the other hand, CUC, i.e., the convertible peso, is mostly used by visitors and international foreigners.
3. Cubans Favorite Sport – Basketball
Basketball is mostly played in Cuba as a favorite pastime and leisure game. It was introduced in Cuba in the year 1864. According to Cuban history, basketball was banned by Spanish rulers in 1869. However, the basketball ban did not last for long. Finally, in 1874, basketball was announced as an official game.
Cubans have a long history of this game as they were frightened of it. However, the Cuban National League is currently the best basketball team in the Olympics. In basketball, the country has won two gold medals in the Olympics, one in 1992 and another in 1996.
Also Read: Basketball facts for kids
4. Cubans Burn Dolls on New Year
Did you know that dolls are burnt on the streets of Cuba once a year? Cuban people start burning the dolls on the eve of the New Year on the street. People burn human-sized dolls as an omen for good luck for the coming years. This tradition commenced after the Cuban revolution.
The dolls are set on fire in the wee hours of New Year’s Eve. Burning dolls, also known as Ano Viso dolls, means to forget about the negative things that happened in the past. These Ragdolls are usually burned on New Year’s night
5. Music of Cuba
Ever wondered how Cuban music sounded? Like any other music worldwide, Cuban music is one of its kind. The most renowned form of music from Cuba is called Salsa. Salsa is hardly ignored in any dance because it is extremely popular in the hip-hop industry.
Therefore, Cuban musicians have impacted artists worldwide with their rich and distinctive musical traditions. For example, Buena Vista Social Club is a well-known musical band from Cuba.
6. Not Enough Hotels to Stay
Cuba strangely possesses only 3-4 hotels. So instead, tourists stay in the houses of Cuban people and pay them some rent for their stay in their houses. As far as the hotels are concerned, their charges are very high, that’s why many tourists can’t afford it. Therefore, most tourists stay on rent and pay the owner. This rent acts as a side income for many Cuban residents.
7. The World’s Biggest Ballet School
Another fact in the list of 13 interesting facts about Cuba is that it houses one of the world’s biggest and oldest ballet schools. This ballet school was formed in 1931 in the capital of Cuba (Havana). The school was initiated with approximately 3000 students. That’s why the People of Cuba love Ballet.
8. Hitchhiking Is a Popular Mode of Travel
Whenever you travel to Cuba, you will find many hitch-hikers on your way because most Cubans do not own cars. Buses are overcrowded despite a good transport system. So you’ll be doing maximum hitch-hiking while traveling around the city and exploring the city.
9. Homage to Hemingway
Did you know that Ernest Hemingway was situated in Havana? He and his cats lived on the outskirts of town for 20 years. He authored books like The Old Man and Who the Bell Tolls. His ancient house, a museum dedicated to his life, you can visit and pay homage whenever you travel to Cuba.
10. Hummingbird Habitat
Cuba is home to more than 2500 bird species. The world’s unique and smallest bird hummingbird is located in Cuba. It is 6cm long in species as its height is only 6 cm and weighs around 1.6 to 2 grams. People often make the mistake of thinking of it as an insect. You can effortlessly find hummingbirds in the Alexander Humboldt National Park near Baracoa in eastern Cuba.
11. The Beatles Were Banned
A thing that was prohibited in Cuba was the music of the Beatles. Before 2000, it was forbidden to broadcast the Beatles because Castro believed they symbolized irrational materialism, and instead of the Beatles, Cuba should focus on its rich musical tradition.
In 2000, Castro relaxed the embargo, declaring, “I am a dreamer who has seen my dreams come true,” and erecting a life-size monument of John Lennon in Havana Park.
12. Mobiles and Telephones Were Banned Until 2008
Other items banned in Cuba included mobiles and telephones. Cubans were not allowed to utilize the phones till 2008. No Cuban was legally allowed to own a mobile phone for national security reasons. It was mainly occupied by foreign companies only. Some Cubans may circumvent the prohibition by enabling others to sign contracts on their behalf.
After the 50-year dictatorship of Raul Castro’s brother, the restriction on owning mobile was finally abolished. So let us move to the next interesting fact about Cuba.
13. Cuba is the Great Exporter of Tobacco, Sugar, and Nickel
The principal tobacco product originates from Cuba, known as Cuban cigars. These cigars are considered the gold standard compared to other cigars worldwide. As a result, they are considered a substantial export. Sugar is also transported as raw material and various other forms from the island.
When it comes to nickel, Cuba is believed to have more than five million metric tons of deposits. Indonesia, Australia, Brazil, and Russia rank fifth in producing nickel globally. A large quantity of nickel from Cuba is exported to make alloys like stainless steel.
In the above article, we have discussed some interesting facts about Cuba, which are quite unknown to Hayman. Cuba is much more than simply a leisure and touristy destination. It’s unlikely to know the above facts like famous traditions, cultural food, and music.
We’ve compiled all the facts for you to witness and cherish until the next time you visit Cuba. We hope you learned many interesting facts about Cuba after reading our article.