When it comes to Cuban culture Ybor is anything but lacking. Since the 1800s when Don Vicente Martínez-Ybor decided to move his Cigar factories here, Ybor was made known as the “Cigar Capitol of the World”. These factories employed many Cubans, and were a staple to the community. Now the factories still stand, being occupied with different shops and businesses, but also standing with them is the history of what once was.
Cuban culture has been growing and spreading, not only with the preservation of these buildings, but with events like the Cuban Sandwich Festival. The Cuban sandwich started with the managers of these cigar factories’ wanting something better for their employees, something that reminded them of home. Now these sandwiches have spread all over, and once a year Ybor takes the opportunity to find the best one, and celebrate it with the community through the Cuban Sandwich Festival. At the festival, sandwich makers come from all over to present their best sandwiches, and attendees get to eat all their hearts desire.
Ybor is a great place to go and get a feel of Cuban culture. If you find yourself here in March, don’t miss the opportunity to stop by the Cuban Sandwich Festival, or one of these other great historical sites mentioned here.