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Alexander von Humboldt’s Imprint on Cuba

Alexander von Humboldt’s Imprint on Cuba

Alejandro de Humboldt National Park. Poto: TTC

Considered in all justice as the Second Discoverer of Cuba for his numerous and in-depth studies, Alexander Von Humboldt (Berlin, 1769-2859), one of the last universal savants, was the Father of Modern Universal Geography and the first to make science popular.

Humboldt toured Cuba during two stays, between 1800 and 1804; he was the first to make a trustworthy outline of the island and explored its flora, fauna and geographical location. He made a detailed analysis of Cuban society of the first decades of that century, enhanced with multiple political, economic, social and scientific data.

The imprint left by Humboldt on Cuba is remembered in many varied ways. Especially the Alejandro de Humboldt House-Museum in Old Havana, an exhibit of events in the life of the erudite German, his work in sciences and his relationship with Cuba in terms of nature and society.

Moreover, honoring with his name the Alejandro de Humboldt National Park is a noble way of recognizing the savant’s work. The park is Cuba’s most extensive biodiversity destination and the greatest remainder of mountainous ecosystems and the best conserved tropical rainforest in Cuba and the insular Caribbean. Located in the provinces of Holguín and Guantánamo, this park is the core zone of the Cuchillas del Toa Biosphere Reserve and is a World Natural Heritage Site, declared by UNESCO in 1987 and 2001, respectively.