Afro-Cuban Dancers and Crazy French Women

 

I met a new Cuban friend named Enzo who told me about an Afo-Cuban place that had free live music on Sundays, Callejón de Hamel. It’s located on San Lazero right by the Centro Habana hospital. I went during the middle of the day in the hot blazing sun to check it out.

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Exchanging Money and Sweaty Ladies Twerking

 

Saturday was insane in La Habana. I woke up early to exchange money at the bank, early being 9am. Inside the air conditioned bank there were about 20 people sitting down waiting for their turn. You call out,”la última” meaning the last and whoever is last inline let’s you know. Then you don’t actually wait behind that person, you just sit down and remember who you were after.

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Salsa Cover Bands and Prostitues

 

I met up with my new best friend in Cuba, Leduane. We went to an outdoor cafe in Vedado. Vedado is a great neighborhood in Havana full of restaurants, bars and clubs. It’s much more “tranquilo” than Centro Habana and cheaper than Habana Vieja. However on the weekend the streets are filled with more people than I have ever seen and the party usually doesn’t stop until pretty early in the morning. I ate some ice cream that was basically soup and he had a beer.

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Cuba – Hurry Up and Wait

 

Welcome to Cuba. Home of famous cigars, the best rum in the world, and the land of old cars. Welcome to the place that isn’t in a hurry to do anything – meeting times are more of a suggestion and nothing is done in a logical way. But for some reason – I love this place.

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Where It All Began

 

I fell in love with travel at the age of 22. I impulsively purchased a ticket to Guatemala and signed up to volunteer at an orphanage. I went knowing nothing about the culture, what to expect, or who was picking me up from the airport. I left it all up to chance and the trip ended up being one the best months of my life. I realized two things about myself while in Guatemala – I love travel and I love Latin American culture.

When I returned home, I made a vow to myself that one day I would backpack from Belize to Brazil. Fast forward six countries over seven years, and my love for travel and Latin culture has not changed. However, I still have not accomplished the goal I set for myself those many years ago. The “right companion” or the “right time” always made for suitable excuses. Read More