California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

The dogs of Cuba

Photo by Wriaunna Brown/Contributor

Photo by Wriaunna Brown/Contributor

Wriaunna Brown,
Contributor

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In the bright, worn streets of a tourist-filled Old Havana, a furry canine laid seemingly lifeless on the cobblestone ground. As I walked closer to see if it was still breathing, the dog perked its head up before collapsing again under the blazing sun. In Cuba, there are growing numbers of animals, specifically stray dogs, that roam the streets and capture the hearts of tourists. They are usually friendly, timid, and if you whistle softly, they are not afraid to come up to you with bedroom eyes, hoping to win you over. I quietly thought to myself, how are these animals are being cared for in such an impoverished country with little resources? Yoruba culture and its heavy influence on Cuban society instilled the ideology that all dogs are sacred and are not to be mistreated. I realized during my time in Cuba, these dogs are a part of Havana and an important part of Cuban culture.

Photo by Wriaunna Brown/Contributor

Tourists and locals collide in the vibrant streets of Old Havana, Cuba.

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California State University East Bay
The dogs of Cuba