Antonio Núñez Jiménez and the Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre Museum and Library

Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre

The front of the Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre museum and library

The front of the Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre museum and library

Two blocks from the constructivist Russian Embassy in Havana’s Miramar district, an unimposing building houses the Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre (Foundation for Nature and Humanity) museum and library.

Books and exhibits at Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre

Books and exhibits at Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre

The museum’s primary exhibition contains artefacts, photos and books from the impressive Antonio Núñez Jiménez.

Antonio Núñez Jiménez

Antonio Núñez Jiménez on one of his expeditions to the polar regions

Antonio Núñez Jiménez on one of his expeditions to the polar regions

Antonio Núñez Jiménez was a Cuban revolutionary, politician, scientist, explorer and prolific author. He explored much of the world including both polar regions and the Andes Mountains. However, his pre-eminent adventure was leading a 1987-1988 canoe expedition from Ecuador to Cuba via the Napo, Amazon, Negro and Orinoco rivers and the Caribbean Sea. The expedition visited 20 countries, meeting many indigenous groups on the way.

Partial map of Antonio Núñez Jiménez's canoe expedition from Ecuador to Cuba

Partial map of Antonio Núñez Jiménez’s canoe expedition from Ecuador to Cuba

The museum includes Hatuey, one of Ecuador-Cuba expedition’s canoes named after the Taíno chief who fought the Spanish colonisers in Cuba in the early 16th century.

Rocío viewing the exhibits on the right and the Hatuey Canoe used by Antonio Núñez Jiménez on the left

Hatuey, one of the canoes used by Antonio Núñez Jiménez between Ecuador and Cuba on the left and Rocío on the right

Núñez’s expedition and associated exhibits impressed Rocío so much she wanted to replicate the epic journey. She also liked the significant pre-Columbian artefacts from her homeland Peru. Núñez was Cuban Ambassador for Peru for 6 years in the 1970s which gave him the opportunity to explore and document the region.

Petroglyphs of Peru Books Authored by Antonio Núñez Jiménez

Antonio Núñez Jiménez authored 4 volumes of books on Petroglyphs of Peru

Núñez was an avid caver, forming the Speleological Society of Cuba at the age of 17. After seeing the museum’s many samples from Gran Caverna de Santo Tomás, Cuba’s largest cave system, Rocío made sure we visited it while in Viñales.

Samples from the Great Cavern of Saint Thomas

Samples from the Gran Caverna de Santo Tomás at Fundación de la Naturaleza y el Hombre

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