House Of Benito Juarez (Habana Vieja) Havana

                 You can't stroll more than a hundred meters through Habana Vieja without walking by one or several museums along the way. As in most if not all cases, these buildings are converted mansions and sometimes it's difficult to discern what's inside without taking a peek or reading off a guidebook. This is one of those places.              
               The building that the 'Casa Benito Juarez' is located in dates back from around the late 1700's. It's on Calle Obrapia in Habana Vieja's Historic Center. It's been converted into a Mexican Museum housing several galleries that will display works of art from prominent artists from that country as well as history and culture from Mexico. Although the building is named after Mexico's first indigenous president of that country, there's very little if anything at all to be found about him except for his statue in the courtyard to the back of the building.
             Originally the house was first owned by Dona Isabel Pedroso and Herrera with the upper level being housing and the lower used as a warehouse and barbershop. After 1864 the ownership had passed onto Don Luis Pedroso and Echevarria who inherited it from his grandfather and by 1891 to Dona Josefa Pedroso and Herrera. During the 20th century it was used as a dwelling until the 1980's when it was slated for restoration with the help of certain Mexicans, distinguished individuals and the Cuban Government. By the 31st of October, 1988, it is inaugurated as the House of the Father of the Americas Benito Juarez who had been to Havana on two occasions prior to his presidency in 1853 and in 1862.
              The Mexican artist Alvaro Blancarte was featured on my visit this past summer and the paintings I've posted are his creations. The 1.80-meter tall sculptures scattered around the building are known as Xico (Xoloitzcuintle in Mexico), which is a dog who is infamous for helping his master overcome difficult situations. They were once shown around the city in different Plazas and now have come to rest here in the Casa Benito Juarez. Originally the statues were created by renowned artists from Cuba, Mexico, Panama and Colombia.






Calle Obrapía No. 116 esq. a Mercaderes
Opening hours: 9am-5pm Tues-Sat; 9am-1pm Sun
Addmission: Free