Cuban book launch draws international crowd to Haywards Heath

A Haywards Heath store was full of Havanan sunshine as author presented and signed new book.

Jordan Lancaster Ortega brightened up the children’s section of Haywards Heath’s Waterstones store, as she signed her illustrated new book for young readers.

Jordan said the event was 'a success' and the book is avavailable to buy online

Jordan said the event was 'a success' and the book is avavailable to buy online

Jordan is a Spanish translator and teacher who is now a permanent resident of Cuba, where she lives with the husband Yosvani.

The children of the Centro Havana neighbourhood of Los Sitios gave Jordan inspiration for her book, which is told through the eyes of nine-year-old, Yadira.

‘I Live in Havana’ is the story of the daily life of Yadira, a bright girl living in the Cuban capital who is excited to share her life with children all over the world.

The book is brightly illustrated and fully bilingual with text in both English and Spanish.

People of all ages gathered to get their copies of the book signed by the author

People of all ages gathered to get their copies of the book signed by the author

Jordan said: “It’s ideal to be read as a bedtime story to small children and can be read independently by key stage 2 students and the Spanish text is perfect for GCSE revision.”

The book is dedicated to all the children of Cuba and it is hoped that it will be enjoyed by children all over the world who are interested in Cuba, or who are of Cuban descent.

Jordan added: “I became intrigued by Cuban culture when I began salsa lessons locally ten years ago with an inspirational teacher, Yersin Rivas from Cienfuegos, Cuba.

“His lessons really sparked my interest in the people and the music and soon I began travelling to Cuba regularly to study Spanish and ended up falling in love and getting married to my husband, Yosvani, in Havana cathedral six years ago.”

The event drew an international crowd with guests from Bangladesh, Canada, Greece and Ireland and Spanish speakers from Barcelona, Ecuador and Cuba as well as young people age six weeks to 16 years old.

Profits from the sale of the book go to the Music Fund for Cuba, to send instruments to the music schools and conservatories on the island.