1. Read about Cuba’s current events/ politics happenings, and have at least a rough idea of Cuban history and US relations! It helps to put a lot of the things you’ll learn about and see in context. 2. Be aware that Cuban-American culture and Cuban culture don’t always line up: I expected a lot of … More 6 Tips for Cuba Travelers
It’s been almost a month since I’ve been home now, but I still look back at many of the memories our group made in Cuba and all the things I learned there. Coming home was definitely a reverse culture shock dominated mostly by the differences in economic systems and social patterns. The day after I arrived … More Reflections after Returning Home
Spring break in Cuba comes later than schools in the US that work on the semester system, partly because the semesters here are longer. Our break was the 15th-23rd, and the program took us to Santiago de Cuba for the first 3 days and we then had the option to fly back with the program … More Spring Break Travels!
Coming into Cuba I didn’t know where I would fall racially. In the US I’m often just read as white, even though my ethnic identity is Latina. In my time visiting family in the Dominican Republic I’m always read as white and don’t pass for Dominican, but my mom had told me that in Cuba … More Race in Cuba
Growing up my dad told me few stories of his experiences involving Cuba. What he did tell me was a mixture of average childhood stories like chasing lizards in the park, but also some stories of experiences that we undoubtedly traumatizing. While I validated the negative stories he told me, I often wondered what the … More Finding my Cuban family
One of the best parts of doing this program has been the excursions & trips we take. This weekend we went to Viñales in the Pinar del Rio municipio, which is known for its stunning landscapes. On our drive there we stopped at a tobacco farm to see how it’s grown and then made into … More Our trip to Viñales
Whether it’s playing out of a neighbors house during the day or when we go out dancing at night, music has been one of the constant cultural experiences here. Just like Cuban culture, the music is informed by lots of different regions of the world that come together to create something new. Salsa is very … More Music in Cuba
Our first days here have been packed with new experiences. Vedado, the neighborhood where our homestays are in, is very nice and seems to be heavily funded by international tourism. There are lots of hotels, other student groups and Embassies nearby, and at the same time Cuban families who’ve lived in the same house or … More ¡Saludos de Cuba!
As the time to head to Havana comes closer, I’m getting both excited and nervous… … More Pre-departure thoughts