After a bit of a delay leaving Atlanta, we finally made it to Havana, and we were met with palm trees, old 50’s cars, and 87 degree weather, so the kids were VERY happy campers!
Spanish Immersion Program Highlights
Today was simply extraordinary. If I were reading only glowing updates about a trip, I might be skeptical too, but you have to trust me when I tell you that Cuba with all of its complicated layers makes you so curious and happy and perplexed and moved all at the same time, and I think it really comes down to the extraordinary people on this island. Their spirit and openness are so contagious. So I’d like to paint a picture of today using the structure of people we met today:
This email is going to cover last night after I sent our day’s update as well as cover today. I wasn’t planning on including last night since we were just going to dinner and walking the Malecon, but an eye-opening moment happened for us all, myself included.
It was our first full day in the interior, and the landscape is just gorgeous. I’d like to begin tonight’s update with a few quotes from “Guantanamera,” the iconic Cuban song that unites its people no matter if they are on the island or have left it. The song is inspired by the poetry of Jose Marti, who is considered the liberator of Cuba from the Spaniards in the late nineteenth century.
Today, we left the interior to make our way back to Havana. Our resort was just outside of the city of Cienfuegos, so our first stop in the morning was to spend about 45 minutes walking around the city and getting a feel for its rhythms of daily life. Cienfuegos has the longest prado in the country, a 1km pedestrian path in the middle of the road where everyone from toddlers to seniors gather to sit, eat, and people watch. Students had some time to wander and buy gifts from a local craft market before heading back on the bus to go to the Bay of Pigs.
Our trip has come to a close, and today we ended with a bang by saving some of our most memorable activities for last: a tour of the University of Havana, a visit to an agromarket and ration store, a community art project called Fusterlandia, and an after school program called Casa de Los Niños y Niñas.
With gratitude in our hearts, each student shares a moment or aspect of the trip that has moved them.