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A Step Back in Time: Greenwood Great House

Great houses provide a wonderful opportunity to step back in time to see how life was lived in a particular period.

Greenwood Great House, which is located on the border of Trelawny and St. James in the

Ring the bell to enter

town of Greenwood is a time capsule that has carefully preserved the legacy of its previous owners.

Part of an 84,000 acre plantation, Greenwood has an impressive pedigree. Built in 1790 by Richard Barrett, a custos of St James, Speaker of the Assembly and cousin of the British poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, it has been in continuous occupation since.

Chair with Barrett family crest

Greenwood boasts the original Barrett family library complete with leather-bound books dating to 1697, china and original furniture, some with the Barrett family crest.

What impressed me most about this house is that is has never been abandoned. It still has original furnishings and artifacts, a lot of which I had never seen before.

Bob and Anne Betton, its proud current owners and operators, opened Greenwood as a museum in 1976.

Main bedroom

Greenwood Great House, 876-953-1077 is open every day from 9-6. Tours cost $14 for adults, $7 for children under 12.

View of the Caribbean Sea from Greenwood

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Havana: Africa Meets Cuba in Callejon de Hamel

When Africans were brought as slaves to the New World, one of the traditions they brought was their religion.

In Cuba, this religious tradition is known as Santeria and it exists side by side with Catholicism. Each Sunday afternoon, Callejon de Hamel, a block-long shrine to Santeria located between Aramburu and Hospital Streets in Havana comes alive with rumba music and dancing.

Callejon de Hamel Mural

Artist, Salvador Gonzalez, whose studio is located in the middle of the Callejon has been creating these artworks, sculptures and murals since the 1990s. Now the entire block is awash in vibrant colors.

Statue from Callejon de Hamel

Callejon de Hamel underscores the significance of Santeria to Cubans.

Statue in Callejon de Hamel
Mural in Callejon de Hamel
Another statue
Callejon doll

This doll was embedded in the ground near the entrance to Callejon de Hamel.

with artist Salvador Gonzalez

A friend who had met Salvador in Havana more than 10 years ago, gushed that I had to meet him. She didn’t know if he’s still be there 10 years later and I didn’t know that Callejon de Hamel was where his studio is located or that he was the artist behind the sculptures I was looking at. But something about the work made me think of him, so I asked and was shown his studio. He wasn’t there. But my friend, Lett and I, hung around admiring his paintings. Luckily, just as we were getting ready to leave, he showed up and graciously agreed to take this photo. Of course, I had to tell him about my friend who had spoken so glowingly about him.

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