Proyectos Comunitarios in Havana: Tourism as Resource for Grassroots Development in Late Socialist Cuba

Keywords: Cuba, tourism, development, community projects, informal settlements


The aim of this article is to consider intersections between tourism-oriented economies and the politics of infrastructure and community development in a (late) socialist country. I argue that although tourism is usually considered a mechanism that deepens existing inequalities and creates new ones, in the context of late socialist Cuba it becomes a resource that the creation of new ideas for community development and brings attention to various social issues. My research builds on a rich body of work that considers the impact of touristic transformations in Cuba while linking it to the critical reflection on Cuban revolutionary ideology and strategies of community engagement.

Author Biography

Oskar Lubiński, University of Warsaw

Oskar Lubiński is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology. Since 2018 he has been conducting research on informal settlements in Havana and strategies of overcoming social marginalization realized by community projects in the city. He received his MA in the same Institute where he presented a thesis on networks of mutual help created by owners of private b2bs in Cuba. He also received an MA in Iberian Philology at the University of Warsaw where he prepared a thesis on Pacific Alliance as a new proposal for regional integration in Latin America.


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