Wednesday 20 August 2014

A great place to visit on a tour of Old Havana

The Rafael Trejo boxing gym in the heart of Old Havana, is a hidden gem and a great addition to any extended tour of Old Havana.

An image of the Rafael Trejo boxing gym in Old Havana
The Rafael Trejo boxing gym in Old Havana

Its tucked away across from the Iglesia de la Merced church on calle Cuba.
The special thing about the gym is that it welcomes foreign visitors - either to train in boxing or simply to watch others train. Sometimes the olympic boxers come here to work out or have a spar.
An image of Cuban children training boxing in Old Havana
Cuba has a very proud tradition of boxers and boxing excellence. In fact Cuban boxing is even known to have its own particular style. The successful Cuban boxers are not as famous as boxers from other countries, mainly because they are amateur and not professional. So the biggest fights they usually have in their careers are at the olympic games.  The popularity of the sport in Cuba (much like baseball) is an example of the powerful and lasting influence of 1950's American (ie United States) culture from on contemporary Cuban culture.

Usually during the morning the adults train, and during the afternoon the children train. You can call to see when there are boxing matches. Entry is 1cuc, although you can stand at the entrance door and probably still see some action.If you are interested, you can pay for half a day of training with a boxing trainer - 25cuc.They sometimes have proper boxing matches in the ring.

Perhaps this kid is the next olympic champion in waiting.

The address is Calle Cuba 815 entre Merced y Leonor Perez. Telephone 07-862 0266

About Cuban Adventures

Cuban Adventures is a tour operation service that caters to budget-end travellers who are interested in having an experience of the more authentic side of Cuba. The tours are all small group tours from 6 to 20 days, some of which cover practically the entire length of Cuba. Cuban Adventures provides the local tour services for several larger world-wide travel companies.
The blogs on this site describe findings of the various research trips that I have personally undertaken in Cuba to search out new and exciting destinations.
Cuban Adventures prides itself on being a leader for responsible travel practices in Cuba and in providing sustainable benefits for the Cubans we work with.
We use almost entirely homestay (or casas particulares) accommodation in Cuba. These are small guest houses that are run by local Cuban families. They are private businesses and are legal enterprises and pay taxes to the Cuban government, however they make their own profits and have autonomy to make their own business decisions and conduct their business in the best way they see fit.
All of the tour guides who work for Cuban Adventures are local Cubans. We don't train them about Cuban history or on how to explain what Cuba is like to live in as a country, however we do give them preparation in sustainable tourism practices, leadership, cultural orientation of travellers from all over the world, and guidance on how to deal with specific situations they will confront on the job.
The parent company of Cuban Adventures is based in Australia and called Big Planet Adventures Pty Ltd. Although we are based in Australia, ALL of our tour operations and travel services are conducted in Cuba. Being based in Australia facilitates sales and banking operations, and interacting with our clients from all over the world.

John Ahrens Founder - Cuban Adventures