I spent one week on the Cuba Fellowship, thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and would recommend it to any one of my friends who are interested in immersing themselves intensively and educationally in the Cuban culture first hand. I was not entirely sure what to expect when coming here, but was pleasantly surprised by the balance between work and “play,” as the mornings were occupied with studies on topics such as US-Cuba relations and Hemingway, with afternoons left for free time to explore Havana. Personally, I appreciated the freedom to explore the city on my own terms with the fellow students on the group, while still feeling as though I learned relevant information to my career, and had insightful conversations with college students from all over the country during class. I would have maybe suggested a bit more information about the Cuban Revolution, which I find to be a particularly fascinating topic, but nonetheless enjoyed the discussions specifically revolving on the history of Cuba’s relationship with the US, punctuated by a trip to the US Embassy here in Havana.
The Cuba Fellowship did an excellent job of finding a great housing option with the most caring and considerate host family I have ever met, and I really appreciated the opportunity to be able to experience Cuba such a personable environment. The group leaders, Joshua and Lauren did a good job of explaining things to expect around the city specifically due to the fact that Lauren has lived here for several years and knows so much about Cuban daily life. Other than being guided by Lauren and Joshua, I felt so free to explore and experience Havana myself, as I learned to navigate the different transportation systems and restaurants around the city. The Cuba Fellowship was great in that I immersed myself in local culture, was able to practice my Spanish, and meet so many fantastic Cuban people through interactions on the street or in taxis. One week was certainly not enough, as I wish I could have stayed for the entire three-week time period, but I am most definitely eager to find any way to return to the city to use my experiences from the Cuba Fellowship to frame future visits to Cuba.