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Learn All About Cuba at the American Museum of Natural History

Learn All About Cuba at the American Museum of Natural History

If you have ever wanted to learn more about Cuba, here is your chance.

On Monday, Nov. 21, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) will be opening its new exhibit called ¡Cuba! in collaboration with the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Cuba (MNHM).

Cuba is known for its diverse ecosystems and species, along with its rich culture. It is the largest island nation in the Caribbean, and now AMNH visitors can experience the country in New York City.

When visitors first walk in, they will see portraits of Cubans as a way to look into culture. Around the corner, there is a theater area showing a video of Cuba’s history and insight into the country’s future.

The rest of the ¡Cuba! exhibit explores the country’s caves, forests, coral reefs, wetlands, religious traditions, food, tobacco, and contemporary art. In the forests area, be sure not to miss out on seeing live reptiles, including the Cuban knight anole, Cuban tree frog, and Cuban boa.

Cuban Knight AnolePhoto courtesy of AMNH

See the Cuban knight anole at the forest section of the exhibit.

The center of the exhibit is known as the “boulevard,” which resembles a street you may find in Cuba, with buildings influenced by Renaissance Europe and ancient Greece. There is a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air to signify the vintage cars that are still popular and notably found in Cuba.

Kids will be drawn towards the back of the exhibit, where there are tables and chairs resembling a café with games like Cuban dominos and plates of famous Cuban dishes, such as malanga fritura (fried malanga root) and a Cuban stew. 

Cuban Dominoes
Photo courtesy of AMNH

Kids play Cuban dominos

This is a fully bilingual exhibit, with text and audio in English and Spanish, was made possible because of the museum’s longstanding partnership with MNHM that dates back to the 19th century. Both museums signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2016 to formally announce their partnerships in research, exhibitions, and education, and this exhibit is the first initiative under this agreement.

“It underscores that science and education as museums, like ours, as institutions can and should transcend borders and bring us together for the advancement of knowledge and the wellbeing and progress of humanity,” Ellen Futter, president of the American Museum of Natural History, said at a media preview of the exhibit.

¡Cuba! will be on display through Aug. 13, 2017.

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