Cuban teacher and kids painting.
Photo Randy Piland

The power of the people makes a world of difference

We help revitalize historic Havana

When visiting the island with Cuba Explorer you are making a positive impact. Your travel dollars benefit the people.

An urban renewal success story nurtured by the community

Our Cuban sponsor, the Office of the Historian of City of Havana (OHCH), was founded in 1938 as a history and culture preservation society.

Today, OHCH is a UNESCO-recognized humanitarian organization responsible for the architectural restoration and preservation of historic buildings and monuments. Havana has the most extensive inventory of Spanish colonial-era architecture outside of Spain.

Travel partners you can feel good about

OHCH has received numerous international awards for its achievements in rescuing ancient landmarks, and several World Heritage Sites. The success of the work of OHCH is studied by urban planners, architects, and sociologists in major cities on every continent. The essential ingredient in the accomplishments of OHCH is the direct participation of citizens in the planning and execution.

Office of the Historian of Havana.
Eusebio Leal Spengler.
San Cristóbal travel agency.
Empowerment fuels vitality. This humanitarian approach to urban renewal has resulted in hundreds of community-based resources benefiting thousands of Cubans in the historic district known as Old Havana. Collectively these socially-oriented facilities and services have come to define Old Havana, cement community spirit, spark civic engagement, and provide near full employment. These self-sustaining grassroots services include in part:

Health clinics
Daycare spaces
Pharmacies
Radio stations
Trade schools
Lifelong learning classes
Libraries
Museums
Retirement homes
Centers for disabled people
Places of worship
Recycling efforts
Farm-to-city produce outlets
Theaters
Galleries
Art and crafts workshops
Micro tourism initiatives
Hundreds of small businesses

From a seed to a mighty tree of sustainability

The innovative humanitarian practices of Havana’s Office of the Historian have spread across the island resulting in a collaborative network of Historian Offices and Curators of Heritage Cities. Currently, nine other historic cities coordinate restoration work with OHCH: Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Remedios, Sancti Spíritus, Camagüey, Bayamo, Santiago de Cuba, and Baracoa

The integral relationship between OHCH, its travel arm San Cristóbal, and Cuba Explorer lends a humanitarian focus to all of the activities we share with visitors in Cuba. Employees of OHCH escort our guests. Our guides ensure travelers enjoy experiences reflecting the compassionate philosophy of OHCH.