Even though I mainly focus on food, restaurants, and travel on my blog, today’s post is going to be a bit different. Obviously I will be talking about my travels to Cuba, but not necessarily on the food or monuments aspect. Cuba is truly a place like no other. I mention in my first post on Cuba, that it truly feels like you are living in a movie or being transported to a different time with the: 56′ Chevys, 58″ Pontiac Convertibles, Cuban cigars, endless mojitos on rooftop bars, Cuban music, and most importantly the people!
I have never learned so much about the history of a country and really became enlightened with the difference from the way Americans live to the way Cubans live. I wanted to share some of my findings with you all, because it is very interesting. All facts that I received were from locals.
First off, the video above is so cool and let me tell you, I’ve never experienced a better cafe before! Of course, probably because of the rum that was in it 😉 This was a little place down a beaten path outside of downtown Havana. So, not many people know about it! Like I said in my previous post, my parents and I used HavanTur as our tour guides, and they were absolutely fabulous. They taught us so much about the history and showed us so many amazing places! For more info regarding the private tours, feel free to comment below or email.
We had two tour guides, Raphael and William. Both were excellent so if you do book through HavanaTur, I suggest you request them. So here’s some of the history that we learned:
Even though Cuba isn’t quote on quote communist anymore, it still holds communist values. Cuba is a very poor country, much poorer than I expected, but it does not detour you from taking in the amazing culture. On average, a Cuban citizen will make 20-30 CUCs a month! That’s like a dollar a day! And it does not matter how much education you have, because our taxi driver, Damion, is a doctor and had to become a taxi driver on the side even though he went to medical school and did his residency.
Another thing that I learned was that many Cubans really liked Fidel Castro. Of course not the Cuban exile nationalists who fled Cuba during the Castro regime, but over 1 million people attended Fidel’s funeral, and our tour guide told us that he and his family waited 6 hours just to pay their respects. That was definitely surprising to me.
Cuban citizens are also not allowed to have any weapons, so it is extremely safe! And honestly, the people are so incredibly nice. I remember every single tour guides’ name, our Airbnb hosts name, our taxi driver’s name, etc because the people are truly so genuine and kind. Now don’t get me wrong, there will definitely be people on the street hustling you for money, but the majority of the people are so kind.
And my last piece of advice is to go with the flow and have fun! You will be in Cuba, truly an experience of a life time, enjoy the craziness, learn as much as possible, and be open to as much as possible! When coming home from a night out, I recall my parents and I trying to get a taxi and couldn’t find one so a random person took us home for 10 CUCs. Now, I don’t know if I necessarily recommend that(proceed with caution), but hey, we got home safely!
This wraps up my journey to Cuba! If you have anymore questions, please feel free to email me!