Skip to Main Content
Link to CSU Home
Link to CSU Home
Students in the Library

Michael Schwartz Library

Students in the Connection Lounge
Michael Schwartz Library

Engaging with International Students



Early History:

The earliest inhabitants of Cuba are believed to be the Guanahatabey, Ciboney and Taíno people. It is thought that they had come from South America around 500 A.C. But like in the other Caribbean islands that where colonized, much wasn't learned from these people as they would get killed, would die to disease brought from the Spaniards or would die from the shock of conquest.

The name Cuba is pre-Hispanic in origin and its exact derivation is Unknown.

In 1492 Christopher Columbus lands on Cuba, subsequently the Spanish invasion follows.

After Cube gets colonized several historic stages unfold before Cuba achieves a self-government system. These being:

- The Spanish Rule Era (1400s - 1600s)

- Sugarcane and the Growth of Slavery Era (1700s)

- Occupation by the United States Era (1800s)

- The Republic of Cuba Era (Early 1900s)

Modern History:

In the Mid 1900s (The Castro Regime Revolution Era beginnings) Cuba undergoes political changes that enable the country to be independent.

Culture (Food)

Ropa Vieja

Considered the national dish of Cuba even though this dish has history beyond Cuba as the residents hold a special affinity for it. The name "Ropa Vieja" translates to "Old Clothes," likely because its traditionally made with tough cuts of meat that break in to long thin fibers resembling torn clothe when cooked. The dish mainly consists of slow cooked shredded beef and tomato sauce.


A warm pressed sandwich with roast pork, ham, mustard, Swiss cheese and most importantly its soft, sweet and eggy bread roll. This dish earned its name "Medianoche" translating to "Midnight" because it is notably and often served during the midnight after people come out from being in the Nightclubs in Havana in the late nights.

The Cuban Coffee

A type of sweetened expresso originating from the island. Commonly made with Moka pot (stovetop expresso maker), locals rigorously whip together natural brown sugar with a few early drops of brewed expresso, thus creating a creamy foam which they then pour the remaining expresso onto.

Culture (Traditions)

Smoking Cigars

A well-known tradition in Cuba is smoking hand-rolled Cuban cigars. There is a social side engrained in the tradition which makes Cuban Cigars vital to social gatherings. Locals often offer each other cigars while they engage in conversation.

Cuban Superstitions

Cubans believe in bad luck:

One superstition associated with their belief of bad luck being that if you are invited into a local's house there are things you should not do beforehand in order to avoid bringing bad luck to the house you will be visiting. These being:

  • Leaving your hat on the top of a bed
  • Spilling Salt on the floor
  • Getting out of your bed with the left foot
  • Leaving your purse on the floor


Culture (Locations)

Old Havana

Designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Havana's historic city center retains a time-warped atmospheric allure because of its still standing and maintained historic architecture which was all built sometime when the Spanish had founded it in 1519.


The language spoken in Cuba is Spanish.

Tourist Attractions


Located on a 30-minute drive from Havana. A small neighborhood named Jaimanitas, fully decorated with mosaics, paintings and sculptures ranging across all colors; resulting from a local artist named José Fuster, often referred to as the Picasso of the Caribbean.