Second-grade students at got a taste of Christmas in Cuba Monday, courtesy of Rey Martinez, a councilman and owner of . This is Martinez’s third year of providing a taste of authentic Cuban Christmas cuisine to SES teacher Karen DeLucca’s students during their Christmas Around the World lessons.
“She’s a customer of mine and asked me to do this a few years ago and I’ve been doing it ever since,” Martinez said.
Besides providing black beans, yellow rice and rice pudding, traditional Christmas dishes in Cuba, Martinez also told the students a little about the Cuban Christmas traditions. He told them how as children he and his friends would party in the streets of Cuba on Christmas Eve and go from house to house sharing in the food. He also got the students to share some of their Christmas traditions and pointed out the similarities between the cultures. He told the students how in Cuba it was the men who cooked the pig for the feast and it was the women who stayed in the kitchen and cooked the rest of the food. Martinez told them how eventhough Christmas trees are not indigenous to Cuba, the people still decorated Christmas trees as they did in America.
“We would decorate Christmas trees like they do here, but all the trees would come from right here in America,” Martinez said.
Before leaving the students with candy canes, Martinez was treated to a musical performance of Christmas Around the World by the students.
"It is what they will be performing for their parents to show them the traditions they've learned," DeLucca said. "It's what we do every year."