Archive | Cuba RSS feed for this section

Che, Castro and the Legacy of Cuba’s Communism

Hugo and Consuela have a framed photo of Che Guevara above their fish tank. This middle-aged couple, my casa hosts in Santa Clara, have just bought three slices of peso pizza from the hole-in-the-wall round the corner. We sit at their small kitchen table, fans whirring overhead: I nibble at a corner of the greasy slice while Hugo sips […]

Continue Reading Comments { 4 }

How to Travel in Cuba on the Cheap

With the upcoming changes in travel restrictions for US citizens to Cuba, a lot more people are now planning their visits to the island. If you’ve got a limited budget but still want to see as much of Cuba as possible, then here’s my guide to travelling around Cuba on the cheap. And if you’ve […]

Continue Reading Comments { 79 }

Sexism and Machismo: the Attitude to Women in Latin America

Travelling as a woman will always open up avenues that are unavailable to men. Despite being foreigners and strangers, women often connect with local children, young mothers, and old ladies with an immediacy borne from an innate trust in our gender. We are invited into Indian wedding ceremonies and Thai family kitchens, and given privileges that a […]

Continue Reading Comments { 243 }

From Farm to Factory: the Truth Behind Cuban Cigars

The first cigar I ever smoked was when I was studying abroad in Florence. My friend Kath had been given one as a present: we lit it up along with a lot of giggling, took turns with a puff each – and suddenly I felt horribly sick. No one had ever told me not to […]

Continue Reading Comments { 13 }
Navigating the Cuban Casa System

Navigating the Cuban Casa System

“Flora, wait!” Esther came trotting down the hallway of the small bungalow in her nightie, waving her hands as I stepped over the threshold into the thick heat of the midday Viñales sun. “What time do you want your dinner tonight? And would you like chicken or fish?” A strange request from a woman I’d only […]

Continue Reading Comments { 29 }

The Great Havana Hustle

What do taxis, cigars, horse drawn carriages and Buena Vista Social Club have in common? Well, they’re firstly all seemingly integral parts of a tourist’s experience of Cuba. And second, they’re yours – for a price. Understanding the great Havana hustle Havana is the first port of call for the vast majority of tourists visiting […]

Continue Reading Comments { 24 }

Impressions from Inside Cuba

“Crickets are good luck in Cuba,” the man tells me, as he expertly winds a palm leaf around itself, folding the plant so it begins to represent an insect. His fingers move as quickly as his mouth does. We are in a car park just outside of Trinidad, at the base of stone steps that […]

Continue Reading Comments { 38 }

Do We Really Need Technology to Travel?

Sometimes it amazes me how much we rely on technology. The amount of travellers I meet who can't escape the clutches of their smartphones or laptops in the common rooms of hostels; the amount of people who don't get lost in new cities anymore because they've already downloaded the right map. In 2007, I went […]

Continue Reading Comments { 30 }

The Spanish Challenge: Being a Journalist in Colombia

Coming to Medellin was always supposed to be the final push on my Spanish skill levels. I would live and work in the Colombian city for four months, emerging with not just a introduction to journalism under my belt, but also with an easy fluency in the Spanish language and a legacy of Colombian friends […]

Continue Reading Comments { 21 }