Ten of the twin sets in the neighborhood are identical, and the other two are fraternal. None of the mothers have undergone fertility treatments, although most said that multiple births run in their extended families. None of the families in the neighborhood are related.
Additionally, all of the twins, except for one pair, were born into the neighborhood. The newcomers, a pair of Spanish twins, moved in after another set of twins moved from the area.
“Twins leave, twins come,” Fe Fernandez joked.
There are 70 houses in these two short blocks are home to around 224 people. That works out to about one set of twins per 20 people -- well above the average. Historically, the rate is about one per 80 live births.
Scientists claim a variety of factors play into twin births, such as race, the mother’s age and diet. Western Africa, where many Afro-Cubans can trace their ancestry, have a significantly elevated rate of twinning.
While there has been no scholarly study of the twins in Havana, they nonetheless consider themsleves part of something special. Some look to faith and religion for an explanation.
“There are neighbors who are religious. Many say it’s the Siguaraya tree, which people ask for things and is in one of the homes,” Fe Fernandez said, “The people believe in it strongly.
Some, like Mercedes Montero, mother of 21-year-old twins Xavier and Lorena, say it’s just luck.
“It’s a very big coincidence,” Montero said, “one of those strange things in life.”