By the Cuba Journal staff
Hemingway’s history in Cuba is enormous; in many ways, no one understood the soul of Cuba better than Papa.
And now a new project is looking to capture and treasure Cuba’s Hemingway connection, with help from U.S. heavy equipment giant Caterpillar.
The company’s foundation has announced a $500,000 donation to the Finca Vigia Foundation, which is working to preserve Ernest Hemingway’s home in Cuba.
The donation will support the construction of an onsite conservation laboratory with archival storage facilities at the Hemingway Museum in Havana called the Taller.
The Taller building is the first construction project in Cuba to use modern US building materials since the enactment of the embargo.
“Caterpillar is proud to be a part of this significant project, and we’re committed to being a business and cultural partner with Cuba,” said Doug Oberhelman, Caterpillar Chairman and CEO. “Because of our own deep history and rich heritage, we recognize the importance of preserving the rich Hemingway heritage that unites the American and Cuban people.”
Hemingway’s home and small plantation outside of Havana has increasingly become a major tourist destination, particularly for new US travelers to the island.
“Caterpillar’s support of our work is tremendous,” said Jenny Phillips, co-chair of the board of directors of The Finca Vigía Foundation. “Hemingway lived in Cuba for the last 22 years of his life. It is where he collected his life’s work: correspondence, galley proofs, manuscripts, thousands of photographs…the collection is astounding. Caterpillar’s vision to contribute to the construction of conservation laboratories and provide archival storage will allow Hemingway’s legacy to be preserved for generations to come.”