I am proud to be an American. I am proud to have visited Cuba. Legally I might add with Conscious Cuba. I am very curious about what the future holds for Cuban culture.
Cuba is a place so unique unto itself. It is as if someone created a country for a photographer. I swear even the sun shine is a perfect mix of gold and orange with a sky that changes its mood as many times in a day as a Cuban woman struts up and down the street. Unique light falls down architecturally beautiful streets that are full of people who seem to have no choice but to be lively and passionate people.
It is a country full of hopeless romantics who just want to see a smile on everyone’s face. The next laugh or love of your life lays around every corner. Where the adults remember starvation and smile the most beautiful smiles when they watch other people eat.
It seems that Cubans in response to their hardships have become absolutely beautiful people inside. I am sure that it is a very special place to visit and know. A place that will leave the traveler richer for having made their path through the country. A country full of culture and spirit.
I don’t know Castro nor Obama nor do I fully understand what will happen to Cuban/US relations in the coming months and years. But I do know that part of what left me with such a unique experience is a result of how things have been. How the people have reacted to their lives in such a beautiful way.
The other part was a woman named Francis. She is the reason that I was able to visit Cuba legally as a US citizen. She founded Conscious Cuba and leads people to people cultural tours. The whole mentality behind her company is to provide meaningful travel experiences and dive deep into Cuban culture. She does a fantastic job of this.
Within hours of being in Cuba I felt like I had a support group or locals around me that would do everything they could to make sure my experience was authentic. It just felt like travel done right. I’ll have a whole separate blog on the concept of travel in the coming weeks, but this was no doubt a cultural experience above and beyond.
You don’t just go look at art. You go to the artists homes and have drinks with them while getting to know a little of the people behind the art. I loved just standing on the third story balcony with my Cuban family having a coffee and watching the neighborhood move by below. Ah I can remember how the sun twists and bends down the street and so beautifully lights the neighborhood vegetable stand.
No matter what happens in the future. I’m glad I visited Cuba now and wish I had done so sooner. Especially if you are from the US I would strongly consider chatting with Conscious Cuba about what they do for you.