April 15, 2015, Cienfuegos

We hop on the bus for our 3 hour drive from Havana to Cienfuegos, a beach town in southern central south Cuba. Our guides used this time to talk about their own experiences. Alicia shared with us her background with parents who are medical doctors and the hardship of the Soviet collapse. Born in 1973 and university trained, she is a qualified teacher who entered the people-to-people tours to enlighten others and because it is a significant income increase. Of note is the fact that professionals: doctors, teachers, engineers, architects, etc. receive wages that are substantially less than say the cigar workers.

Chris brought us up to date regarding the Cuban 5, Heraldo Hernandez, the Helms -Burton bill codifying the embargo and Lincoln Biez Balat v Castro. During same time Elina Gonzolez immigration was at issue.

When we arrived at Cinfuegos, our lunch was at the beautiful beach Club Cienfuegos, an old yacht club. These days the only yachts moored there are international or charter lines. We visit the Benny More Art School where gifted children of the province take classes in music, dance and the visual arts. We check into the Hotel Jagua just down the street from the beach club. The accommodations are modest with a beautful view of the bay. We rested out by the pool before dinner – the neigborhood dogs kept us company.

Following Chris’ overview of his motorcycle ride in Cubas, we have a pig roast outside at Los Laureles, the Moorish, Gothic building adjoining the hotel.

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