Nonprofit

Finca Vigia Foundation

About Us

The Finca Vigía Foundation’s mission is to provide the research and technical assistance necessary to restore and preserve Ernest Hemingway’s home and its contents at Finca Vigía in San Francisco de Paula, Cuba.

Since 2005, with the assistance of The National Trust for Historic Preservation and an extraordinary team of architects and engineers, the Social Science Research Council, Mystic Seaport, and the Northeast Document Conservation Center working closely with our Cuban colleagues, the following has been accomplished:

  • Hemingway’s home, Finca Vigía, underwent a partial renovation in 2005–2007. We offered advice on changes to the roof and windows while saving as many architectural features as possible. We also provided analysis, schematic drawings, and a house chronology to assist the preservation efforts;
  • The Foundation collaborated on the restoration project of Pilar;
  • We taught conservation techniques and offered hands-on workshops resulting in the conservation and digitization of more than 10,000 documents, 4,500 photographs, and the five rare Hemingway scrapbooks. While the original documents remain in Cuba, digital images were archived at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts;
  • Together Cuban and U.S. architects, engineers, and construction specialists designed an on-site archival storage facility with wet and dry conservation laboratories. The building of the Restoration Center began in 2015 and was completed in 2019. Today it functions as a state-of-the-art archival storage vault for the Hemingway collection as well as a conservation laboratory.
  • In December 2019, at the request of the Ministry of Culture, we provided an in-depth study of architectural preservation for Hemingway’s main home, making recommendations for a total restoration. The results were presented to stakeholders in both the United States and in Cuba. Both the Foundation’s Board of Directors and the Cuban Ministry of Culture are in favor of moving forward. The project is estimated to take five years.
  • In March 2020 the global pandemic arrived and Cuba was place on lock down. The Finca Viga Foundation consulted electronically with conservators and others in Cuba, even presenting two papers virtually at the International Hemingway colloquium. 
  • October 2022 marked the first time in two years that both US and Cuban groups were united to repair the malfunctioning air conditioning system in the Restoration Center. The visit was successful and works resumes as before.
  • In September 2023 a careful assessment of the books, letters, map collection, and other items stored in the Archival Vault proved all documents were in very good condition. The HVAC had caused problems in the past year, but the dehumidification system worked well. There was no damage to the irreplaceable collection. 


The Finca Vigía Foundation’s mission is to provide the research and technical assistance necessary to restore and preserve Ernest Hemingway’s home and its contents at Finca Vigía in San Francisco de Paula, Cuba.

Since 2005, with the…

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