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Cuba Immersion Quests - United Planet

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience


  • Program Administration


  • Living Situation


  • Community Impact


  • Health and Safety


  • Social Life


Incredible Havana

The trip to Havana with United Planet was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We met with many locals who had much to share about Cuban culture, history, and daily life. Among them...teachers who helped us understand the education system; young entrepreneurs who are working to help businesses succeed in the changing economic and business environment; and dancers with a love of life that was truly contagious. Especially on the dance floor.

We also had an opportunity to visit two families in their homes. There we learned firsthand about daily life, the ration system, and how people live their lives. It was a rare opportunity to see behind the doorways and windows of Havana, and learn the details about what makes the city and its people tick.

One afternoon, we helped many of the individuals we worked with practice their English. They don't often get to practice with native speakers, so this was a perfect opportunity. I worked with the team of young entrepreneurs and, as you would expect, we talked a lot about business topics. But then we switched to talk about personal things--our ages, our families, etc. There was a lot of giggling when there were misunderstandings or I would speak to fast for many of them to understand. Especially when they asked me my age. They thought they misunderstood the number I said, but they hadn't! The missteps, the misunderstandings, and the laughter helped us all feel closer to each other.

It is challenging to pick one moment that stands out, because every day we spoke to someone special, visited an extraordinary place, or learned something new and fascinating. One thing that does stand out is the openness and friendliness of all the Cuban people we met on the trip. Even with a language differences, when I said goodbye after the party on the last night I was saying goodbye to many new friends.