Cuban Memorial Plaza

 

Sitting inside of a small median in the Little Havana area of Miami is the Cuban Memorial Plaza. The entrance to the plaza lies just off of 13th Street in the district commonly referred to as Calle Ocho.

 

Inside of the plaza you will find a bust of Jose Marti, the monument dedicated to the Bay of Pigs Invasion, statues of the Virgin Mary,

statue of Tony Izquierdo, a 16 feet long map of the island of Cuba, a

bust of Antonio Maceo, and a few small monuments commemorating the Cuban Wars of Independence in the 1800’s. This area of Calle Ocho is considered sacred and is honored by the Cuban population living in this part of Miami.

 

The entire area of Little Havana is proud of its heritage and struggle for freedom. Throughout this part of Miami are many different quotes from famous Cuban exiles that devoted their lives to freeing their home country.Little Havana was named after the capital of Cuba, Havana.

cuban memorial plaza in miami

 

The high number of Cuban refugees in this area felt that they needed to remember their heritage and the struggle that their fellow Cubans

went through to gain their freedom.

 

This small part of Southern Florida is famous for its once a year festival that brings in visitors from all over the world.

This festival is listed as one of the largest in world with over 1 million people showing up every year to celebrate with the Cuban community.

 

The festival is not so much a time to celebrate; it is more like a time to share immigrant pride.

Ethnic groups from all different countries dance throughout the streets of Calle Ocho wearing the flags of their home countries.

 

Most people are from Latin American descent, but you can even see German and Irish parading their colors as well.

Foods from all of the different ethnic groups normally go on sale first thing in the morning and all you can see for blocks is one huge group of

mixed heritage enjoying each others company.

 

The music kicks off in the early afternoon spreading out onto 30 or more stages around the area. Salsa, reggae, and meringue music normally drown out any other sounds. This festival has been going strong for 30 years and it just keeps getting better.The 1988 festival was a landmark celebration for all because it marked the entry into the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s largest conga line!