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Nicaragua and Cuba: Arts and Social Change

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Social Life

    8

Cuba's got it figured out

On my trip to Nicaragua and Cuba this summer I was able to observe many different, critical issues that are affecting many people there. Many of these problems are faced in other places in the world as well, lack of resources, lack of food and water, et cetera. These are all critical global issues that are well known, however, in Cuba I came across one substantial, social issue that we are facing everyday in the United States, the fight for equal rights for all.
In many ways the United States of America are ahead of a lot of the world, economically, religiously and with work ethic. On my trip, however, my ideas of America being ahead in all ways were slightly shattered. While in Cuba and Nicaragua I discovered that in the realm of equal rights, the USA is lacking. We are still fighting everyday for gender equality, racial equality and sexual orientation equality; women are still fighting for equal pay, and we just recently gained the right to legal same-sex marriage in the USA.
While I was in Cuba, my group and I had the amazing opportunity to talk with a woman named Norma Guillard Limonta. Norma is an elderly woman living in Havana, she has worked her whole life as an activist for women’s rights and LGBTQ+ rights. She has written countless papers and articles on these rights as well as participating in Cuba’s first Gay Pride Day Parade and taking part in the LGBTQ+ equality documentary called Censex 2009. While listening to her stories I was astonished to learn how much more Cuba has accomplished with these social issues than we have achieved in the USA.
I realized the impressiveness of this small country when Norma began telling us more of the history of these rights in Cuba. She told us that not only is health care free in Cuba but that since the early 1940’s abortion has been included in that free health care, a procedure that is not only expensive in the USA but also illegal in many places. And that hospitals have been performing trans-gender surgeries for people that need it to be physically, mentally and emotionally healthy for free since 1986. In Cuba the women and men are paid equally at their jobs and that everyone has equal opportunities.
After hearing these facts and comparing them to the USA I was impressed and saddened and inspired. I realized that we should not still be fighting the battle on whether women should be allowed to receive the health care they need or arguing about equal pay. I realized that it is not new ideas and multi-generational misunderstandings that make us incapable of making these changes to our laws and our society, but it is because we as a nation are not as accepting as we should be and as some countries are. These realizations lead me to thinking about things that I could do to help make a change, I can educate others, I can put more effort into my branch of the UN organization GirlUp club, and do my part to make the world a better place.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Social Life

    8

Cuba and Nicaragua: an unbelievable month with unforgettable people

The Cuba and Nicaragua: Arts and Social Change program was hands down one of the best months of my life. Through this program, I got to embrace many cultures very different than my own, improve my Spanish skill drastically, and learn a lot about myself as a person and as a global citizen. It was incredible to meet new people, hear new stories, and get different perspectives. It was eye opening to see how others lived, and everyone was so kind and welcoming. I would recommend this program to anyone looking to explore, meet new people, and to go outside their comfort zone in order to learn more than they ever could have imagined.