Cuba The Land of History, Struggle and Serenity
Cuba is a Country plagued by beauty, history and generations of Political struggle. We applied for permission as Journalists to visit the Country in 2015 when it was still illegal for Americans to travel to Cuba. We were awarded permission, however faced multiple struggles in executing the trip. After various attempts we decided to finally make this vision a reality and Gypset to Havana Cuba this February.
Historical research was necessary to truly be able to connect with the culture and identify with the lifestyle during our visit. From Slavery maintained by the French long after the Abolishment, to the years of political abuse by almost every powerful nation in the world, to the strict Communist government that has shaped Cuban lifestyle. Cuba has been victimized for decades and despite the fact that Americans can now travel the Cuban community longs for some of the basic opportunities that we have living in a democratic society.
Traveling always allows us to compare and contrast lifestyles and understand the cultural differences. As we arrive on this island as cultural enthusiasts not tourists we still have the luxury and freedom to get on a plane and go wherever we want in the world. Cubans cannot leave Cuba for better opportunities let alone exploratory journeys. In a Communist government major industries are not owned by individuals or companies but instead are publicly owned and regulated by the government.
The government controls the earnings of members of the Cuban community and dictates the type of lifestyle they are allowed to have. Some Cubans earning no more than $15 per week. Every month the government rations out 10lbs of rice and a loaf of bread to every household as an aide to support Cuban families.
The Politics and economics play a major role in what our Gypsy experience would be. Despite the history our experience was quite incredible. We found the people to be authentic, gracious, happy and quite ambitious and very happy to expose us to their lifestyle.
Our experiences ranged from; Rumba and Salsa dancing in the streets, quaint birthday celebrations in a typical Cuban home, tourist strolls and seafood stops in Old Havana, and Miramar nightlife known only to the locals. We were floored by the art in the streets, sculptures and impressed by the young emerging artists communities of the F.A.C.
There is an intense energy that Cubans possess that is positive, provocative and full of life. Cuban lifestyle is not one of complaints they are truly a society of the people. They literally have a commendable bond and common respect for each other. They all look out for one another because in their society everyone is equal there is no presence of one person being better than the other. There is a peace and serenity that exists there that resonates in the heart of every Cuban.