The Caribe Games: University Challenge

The Caribe Games are a highlight of the University of Havana’s academic year. This is the main annual sporting event and includes a lot of history and tradition. Held in the first two weeks of February, think of it as the ultimate school sports day.

The Caribe Games is a sports competition held annually at the University of Havana. It includes the participation of students from every faculty.

In the early days of the university, only football was played at the current location. Then, in 1904, baseball, basketball, and track and field were added. In 1916, the government gave the university 51,000 square meters of sea around the Morro area for the practice of water sports. In 1922 when the Athletic Commission was founded, the construction of the University’s stadium began. The work ended in 1939 with the first interschool games called the Chichijos. In 1962, physical education became a compulsory part of the curriculum, and the subsequent creation of the Sports Department gave way to the first interfaculty Caribe Games in 1967, which included 12 different sports.

The name and logo of the Games, “Caribe,” refers to the Carib, a Native American people of northern South America and the Antilles, who were known as brave warriors. They were one of several indigenous peoples that Christopher Columbus found when he landed in Cuba in 1492.

The Games have been traditionally held during the last two weeks of February at the university stadium, just off the main campus. Although it goes without saying that the competitions are the main attraction, spectators also look forward to the opening and closing ceremonies in which hundreds of university students–including future doctors, lawyers, economists, engineers–show off their artistic skills in first-rate shows.

The sporting spirit fills the hearts and minds not only of the participating athletes, but also of the hundreds of spectators who fill the stands for two whole weeks. Although the competitors, like genuine Carib warriors, fight for their individual achievement, each athlete supports the other members of the faculty team looking to obtain the most points to win the coveted Caribe Cup.

  • 2014 Serie Nacional de Béisbol Play-offs

    2014 Serie Nacional de Béisbol Play-offs  LH 5

    Simplicity is the key word for baseball in Cuba, with no luxury boxes, huge electronic scoreboards or celebrity baseball players. As in many things in Cuba, there is no shortage of passion and this se …

    Cubadisco: Cuba’s premier music awards show

    Cubadisco: Cuba’s premier music awards show  LH 5

    Nothing to do with discotheques, the International Cubadisco Fair begun in 1997 as a way to bring to national and international attention what the Cuban recording industry has been up to. It includes …

    Marabana—The 2012 Havana Marathon

    Marabana—The 2012 Havana Marathon  LH 5

    Marabana is Havana’s annual marathon. Typically an exercise for me in making resolutions to get fit and participate in the race the next year, or a reminder that last’s year’s resolution is now forfei …

    64th Ernest Hemingway International Billfish Tournament

    64th Ernest Hemingway International Billfish Tournament  LH 5

    Like all the best fishing stories, mine began in a bar. One evening in Havana, I was introduced to a man called Stewart, an affable commercial manager in a London building firm. It turned out he was p …

    1st Havana World Music Festival

    1st Havana World Music Festival  LH 5

    Organized by a nonprofit group led by young Cuban singer and composer Eme Alfonso, the 1st Havana World Music Festival (February 7-8, 2014) sought to open a window from Cuba onto the world and from th …

    Cine Pobre: Cuba’s alternative film festival

    Cine Pobre: Cuba’s alternative film festival  LH 5

    Cine Pobre is authentic, charming and off-the-beaten track even in Cuba. Traditionally held in Gibrara, a small fishing village which sleeps the rest of the year away, for a week in April, this become …

    The Marabana – Run Charlie run

    The Marabana – Run Charlie run  LH 5

    Race experience (Nov 2010) It is dark outside, 5.30am. Wishful thinking that I could simply sleep in and let the Havana marathon wait another year. I have, after all, been signed in various times over …

    Harley Davidson Varadero Rally, 2012

    Harley Davidson Varadero Rally, 2012  LH 5

    Part of Cuba’s attraction undeniably is its pre-1960s vintage from the classic American cars through Tropicana and Buena Vista Social Club to simply the feel and look of the place. That it also harbor …

    The Rotilla Festival in Jibacoa

    The Rotilla Festival in Jibacoa  LH 5

    Founded in 1998, the Rotilla Festival started as a rave between friends and grew over the years to become Cuba’s largest annual concert (attracting over 20,000 people in 2010). While it started out li …

    The Lucas Music Video Awards

    The Lucas Music Video Awards  LH 5

    Lucas, the Cuban TV show dedicated entirely to national music videos, will have been on the air for 16 years in 2013. Passionately championed by some and flatly rejected by others, almost no one remai …

    1 of 8 pages »