1. Yellow Submarine
`` Not too far from the hotel we stayed at is one of the most pleasant surprises that Cuba has to offer. Not only are Americans huge Beatles fans but you can almost argue Cubans are above us on love for the Beatles. Next to John Lennon park is a Bar/club in which is decorated full of Beatles memorabilia. Pictures, records, lyrics on the wall, Submarine inspired glass windows and one of the best Beatles cover band Cuba has to offer. The entire experience was a trip of sorts, something you can’t compare to anything America has to offer. If you ever find yourself in Cuba be sure to stop and take a trip to Beatle heaven, where everyone has Beatle fever.
2. Old Havana
Being in Havana has many benefits, one of which is that once entering old Havana you feel as if you have gone to the past. The streets are narrow and some are made of cobbled stone. It is such a pleasure to be able to walk through those streets.
3. Visiting Artist’s studios
We had the privilege of going to the studios of Cuban artists, something that UNO’s program gave us the special privilege of being able to do. Our group was able to visit the home/studios of three artists. The first of which was named Salvador Gonzalez Escalona who has transformed an entire block into a work of art. All the walls and the sides of buildings are decorated with his Santeria inspired work. The second artist we were able to meet is Eduin Fraga who works in the more contemporary vein of Cuban art. His work is mostly political and mostly works in the mixed media realm with just a few of his pieces being acrylic paintings. The third and final artist who we had the privilege of going to his house is the artist Jose Fuster who works with both ceramics and also paints. Now he really blew me out of the water. He has transformed his entire neighborhood into a work of art but has taken it to the extend that the only way to believe it is to walk through his house and the streets he has transformed. Cuba to say the least is every artists dream.
4. The organic Agricultural urban cooperative of Alamar
Its not everyday you get to visit an organic farm or any farm in that case. This program offered us a chance to see how organic farms work. Cuba has had to provide itself with materials and food; so organic farming was the most sustainable future it had. Here everything was fertile and so green. There is a component of the farm that caught my attention. In this particular farm they hire the elderly, this to my surprise has worked well for the farm and has even improved the quality of life for the elderly. After the lovely tour of the farm we were treated to a fabulous lunch that was made up of products of the farm. This food was the best I have ever had. I hope that one day in the U.S. we too can grow most of our crops from organic farms and adopt a healthy lifestyle that most Cubans have now become accustomed to.
5. Healthcare System
In the U.S. people seem to boast that we have the best healthcare system the world has to offer. With that said I would like for people to take a look at what Cuba has done to prepare and educate doctors and how they treat patients. In the light of all the babbling of Healthcare reform and options we have, we should look at how Cuba has presented people with free healthcare and prepared some of the best Doctors. There for every eighty people there is one doctor. Their doctors take preventative care and apply it to all their patients so to avoid the problem all together. In Cuba there is this obligation to provide this basic necessity. Healthcare is for everyone regardless of race and socio economic standing.