Cuban History in Tampa

Tour curated by: The Tampa Historical Team, especially Alixandra Waitman

Tampa is rich in Cuban background and history, particularly in Ybor City and West Tampa, largely due to the booming cigar industry and the many immigrants who flocked to Tampa to staff its factories.

I would like to recognize the cooperation and contributions of Judge Emilio Jose Salcines and of Patrick Manteiga and Gene Siudut at La Gaceta. I deeply appreciate your help with my research and your expert opinions related to Cuban figures and influence on Tampa and vice versa. Without you, the Cuban History in Tampa tour would not be possible. It was a pleasure working you these gentlemen, and I thank you greatly.

Locations for Tour

“The Apostle of Cuban Independence” José Martí was born in Havana to Spanish immigrants in 1853. From a young age, he dedicated himself to the Cuban struggle for independence. During his life he visited Tampa 20 times, a place with strong ties…

Tampa’s proximity to Cuba gave cigar workers the opportunity to make frequent returns to support their countrymen and the increasing revolt against Spain. On May 7, 1885, The Tampa Board of Trade was created to attract businessmen to the city. It…

A tradition originating in Cuba, lectors would sit on a tribunal and read a variety of materials, such as novels, political publications and local, national and global news, to the cigar workers busy at their stations. Lectors were hired and paid by…