Between 1901 and 1926, three botanic gardens sponsored by U.S. initiatives were established in Cuba, Honduras, and Panama. During the first third of the 20th century, botanist David Fairchild led an extensive worldwide plant exploration program under the auspices of the United States Department of Agriculture(USDA). Fairchild and his associates collected plant material in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas during numerous expeditions abroad the research yacht, Utowana.
This presentation will examine how the living collections of the Cienfuegos, Cuba Botanic Garden were established. It will illustrate close collaboration among U.S. govt institutions, private sponsors, and private botanic gardens of the Caribbean. This study provides an opportunity for further interdisciplinary examination related to questions of U.S. influence in the region, international cooperation, and neo-colonial approaches to engagement and policy.