For those who like to dive deep into culture, there is no better way than to see it through the eyes of a local. Our Cuba travel programs are enriched by the amazing locals who are our hosts and guides, allowing us to connect to the rich culture through the personal stories of those who live there.
Some of our wonderful local friends/guides would like to introduce themselves to you (in their own words) . . .
“My name is Mauricio Alonso Miranda. I am 60 years old. I am graduated from the University as Nuclear Engineer. I live with my wife Sara Artiles and my younger brother Aurelio. I have a daughter (her name is Sara) who lives in Paris, France.
I love Cuba and what I love the most is this unique society we have created, where there is no high levels of criminality, no big problems with drugs, no kidnapping, where health care and education are for free, its unique history in the Americas and love the beauty of the country, the beautiful beaches and landscapes.
I got involved in renting my house for tourists after the construction of the Nuclear Power Plant near Cienfuegos city was halted. It was a necessity to try to overcome the effects of the deep economic crisis my country and every Cuban was suffering in the 90´s after the Soviet Union collapse. At the beginning, I was thinking it would a temporal activity but no other options came out so, I have been renting rooms for more than 20 years. Since the beginning, many tourists were very curious about the Cuban life and history and I had to read and learn many things to be able to explain my country and Cuban history and reality. And in this process I fell in love with the activity.
What I like of hosting foreign visitors is the opportunity to meet people from, practically, all over the world, and have the opportunity to exchange ideas with them, to learn from each other. It is like traveling without travel. And, of course, I have the opportunity to have a better life, to make some money and support my family.
I think Cuba is a unique tourist destination because the security, the beauty of the country, how friendly are the Cuban people, the unique history, totally different to the rest of the Caribbean and the Americas. And I see that tourism will continue to grow, despite some uncertainty from the US. We are now totally different to the Cuba of the 90´s. Our ideas about tourism development are more clear, we know we are a power of tourism in the Caribbean and will go ahead.”
Maria ~ Our host in Playa Larga and Bay of Pigs
“My name is Maria Belmaida Lopez Alonso. My family (daughter and partner) all work in I work in cultural tourism and we have been hosting guests in our home since 2012
What I like more of Cuba is the generosity, the charisma of the Cubans, the nature, its beaches, the citizen, the tranquility and our health and education system.
I became involved in tourism as a way to have cultural exchanges with other people and also to help support my family. I hope tourism will continue to grown in Cuba to help grow our economy, and thus improves the life of the Cubans.”
Reymi ~ Our driver
“My name is Reymi Martinez Ramos. I am 37 years old and I have a wife and 2 children. I work in tourism as a taxi driver. I have been doing this for 14 years and I love it because it allows me to meet many people, to have many different cultural exchanges and to support my family.
What I love most about Cuba is the landscapes, its people, the Pier of Havana, the climate, and the beaches. I hope that the tourism will continue to develop in Cuba. It is the only truly safe country with amazing history, culture and the beauty of its landscapes.”
Odalys y Carlos ~ Our hosts and guides in Cienfuegos
“We are a Cuban family, we love to talk about soccer and the history and traditions of our country.
We like the Cuban weather, the nature, the Cuban culture but mainly the people.
We got involved in hosting tourists because we love to receive friends and know about other places. We love this kind of exchange. The think we love most is the many friends we have made around the world. We look forward to future growth in tourism and hosting more people.”
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