The Community of Camagüey

Camagüey is a city and municipality in central Cuba and is the nation's third largest city with more than 321,000 inhabitants. It is the capital of the Camagüey Province.

The symbol of the city of Camagüey is a clay pot or tinajón, used to capture rainwater and keep it fresh. Clay pots are everywhere, either as monuments or for practical use.
    Clay pot or tinajón

The old city's layout resembles a real maze, with narrow, short streets always turning in one direction or another. This design was created to help prevent attackers from moving about the city.

In 2008 the old town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Carsueños Hand-made Dolls

Dolls, Ceramics
and More

The projects at Carsueños include hand-crafted dolls, ceramics and crochet work.
    Carsueños Hand-made Ceramics

Carsueños Community Project
Carmen Soto Gonzalez

Carmen Soto Gonzalez is the founder of the community project called Carsueños (Carmen’s Dreams), located in Camagüey, Cuba. The Carsueños Project helps to improve the lives of the local people by teaching workshops for the young and disabled, showing them how to make dolls out of recycled rags and other materials. Her dolls have been a part of many exhibits and write-ups, especially when she created the largest doll in the world for the carnival in Santiago. Carsueños Pink Doll

We bring groups of people to see the results of this effort, allowing the community to showcase and sell the exquisite hand-made dolls and other keepsakes, thereby supporting the neighborhood and their path to self-sufficiency.

Generous travelers sometimes bring materials to work with that are not readily available in Cuba. This has facilitated some of the beautiful details that make these dolls so spectacular!

Interview with Carmen Soto Gonzalez (In Spanish)

Carmen has dedicated her life to assisting the children and her community by bringing this creative project to fruition. In this video she shares her vision and hope.

Custom Design and Hand-Made

Led by Carmen Soto Gonzalez, people gather together and learn to create dolls, stuffed animals and other hand-made treasures. Special patterns are designed, and they're made using old sewing machines alongside another, donated modern one. These creative methods of blending the recycled with donated goods have resulted in unique works of art that have become very popular.

It's all about the details, and they utilize the creativity and work of the community to get there. These beautiful creations are hand-made by a team of individuals who specialize in different aspects of the craftwork.

Carsueños Project Doll-making class