Let’s just stop to think for a moment…perhaps we are more similar than we believe.Although the ocean separates us, it also bathes both cities. Gijón and Havana have many things in common.What difference would there be between the famous Malecon and our very own San Lorenzo Promenade, popularly known as El Muro [The Wall]?Both are meeting points.Places to take a stroll.Places where you can breathe in the scent of the sea, inviting you to lose all sense of time while gazing at the horizon.Each in its own city, but each with the same purpose:enjoying the beauty of the sea.
It is not only the sea that we have in common, though.Havana has salsa and Gijón has zest to season it.Cubans and the residents of Gijón share joyfulness, a love for colour and the good life.They managed to make the mojito known worldwide…while we are internationally known for our cider.
How can two cities renowned worldwide for their hospitality not to be twinned?
There is clearly a close relationship between Havana and Gijón for many reasons. Reasons of language and culture, social reasons, and more. A relationship that is evident in many corners of our city.The participation of Cuban writers and artists at the Semana Negra or Noir Week (a literary festival held in Gijón) is well known.There are exchanges between the National Botanic Garden of Cuba and Gijón’s AtlanticBotanic Gardens .The visit to Gijón through the Operación Añoranza [Operation Homesick] programme, grants to develop projects in the island’s capital, and so on.
Accordingly, an agreement was reached in 1994 via which Gijón and Havana became twin cities.A commitment to foster exchanges between both city councilsand to strengthen the bonds of friendship, solidarity and fraternity among their inhabitants.