USAC Alum, Rebecca Whistler, recently returned from her adventures in Cuba, and after some time to gain her bearings, stateside–she gladly agreed to do an informal presentation for the Central Office on Havana, Cuba, to share her thoughts, stories, and ultimately, revisit her study abroad experience!
Ms. Whistler was part of the very first class of students to go on our Cuba program. And she had plenty of fun and interesting things to say during her presentation. Here are some of her most memorable quotes:
“As an American, Cuba is one of those places that’s forbidden…and magical.”
“I’ve had a lot of people ask, ‘How do you get into Cuba?'”
“Like most of Havana, nothing has been updated in a long time.”
“It’s the largest, most well-preserved center in Colonial America.”
“Cuba wears its history on its sleeve.”
“The Cuban government tries to contain tourism in Old Havana.”
“There is a huge mix between African and Latin American cultures.”
“They took us Salsa dancing, to Jose Marti’s house, the beach and we learned how to cook a Cuban meal. They did a great job at showing us Cuban culture.”
“The last week we were there, the students had the chance to travel on their own. Some students found that it was too hard, but some traveled as far as Santiago, which was 15 hours away.”
“If you want to travel like a Cuban, nothing is really certain. But that was one of my favorite adventures…traveling in a camion.”
“Che is the symbol of anti-capitalism, but they have used his face to make a profit…on hats, bags, aprons.”
“Cubans are incredibly resourceful…they use everything until its last breath.”
“You can’t use debit cards there…you have to budget yourself. If you run out of money, you run out of money.”
“The food is fresh, lots of meat, pork, rice, and beans. They don’t import a lot of food, so what you eat comes from the island.”
We’re more than excited to offer Cuba as a choice for students, and look forward to building and cultivating a relationship with new local staff, friends, and the people of Havana, Cuba!
Have questions? Leave us a comment below or shoot us an email usac[at]unr[dot]edu!