General Information about Cuba
Cuba is a long, narrow island. To go from the Cape of San Antonio, in the West, to the Tip of Maisí, in the East, one should travel 1,200 km. The island has 191 km in its widest part and only 31 km in its narrowest portion. Nature whimsically created it along an East-West line, which prevents the existence of long and wide rivers; it’s major rivers are Cauto, Toa, Sagua la Grande, Zaza and Caonao.
Some ranges of relatively high mountains run across the island in different areas. Among them outstand the Guaniguanico range (West), the Guamuhaya range (center), and the Sagua-Baracoa and the Sierra Maestra ranges (East) including the Pico Real del Turquino, a peak that stands 1,974 m above sea level and is the highest in the country.
The landscape ranges from semi-desertic lands to tropical rainforests. Biodiversity is high and its various ecosystems are well preserved. It has a moderate subtropical climate with a predominance of warm temperatures. There are two main seasons: rainy, from May to October, and dry, from November to April. The main air temperature is 25.5°C and the annual relative humidity is 78%.
The official language is Spanish.
Cuba has one of the most heterogeneous populations in the world, with a perfect symbiosis amon whites, blacks, mulatoes and Chinese. It has more than 11,217,000 inhabitants, 75% of which live in urban areas.
Of the total population, 5,587,970 are male, and 5, 592,129 are female. The population density is 1003 people per km2, the most populated cities being the City of Havana (2,198,000), Santiago de Cuba (1,023,000) and Holguín (1,021,000).
A new political-administrative division was implemented in Cuba in 1977 dividing the country in 14 provinces, 169 municipalities and the Special Municipality of the Isle of Youth.
In Cuba, there is a wide freedom of religion expressed in the existence of a vast and diverse religious universe.
The distinctive feature of the religious belief in Cuba is the mixing of multiple creeds and religious manifestations. This mixing, described as a cross-cultural process by the great Cuban ethnologist Don Fernando Ortiz (1881/1969), and generally known as the religious syncretism, was mainly formed based on the juxtaposition of elements of the Catholic religion that was introduced in the country by conquerors and colonizers, and elements of the African religions brought by the slaves who were brutally taken away from the African continent. Elements of spiritism subsequently became part of this mixing.