You don't know you are poor until...
My first photograph
My mom and dad divorced when I was just 2 years old, and I remember living with my grandparents in a one bedroom house where I slept in a hammock. One day, my uncle decided to throw a huge birthday party for my cousins. Of course, they had prepared the most lavish party in the neighborhood with a photographer, piñata, and lots of food. That's when I realized we were poor, well, compare with what everyone else and my uncle had at the time. I don't remember why I was mad that day but I think it was related to the fact that I never had a birthday party. I still remember it like if it was today. My mom came to the bedroom with the photographer, and sad me on the dresser with my sad face, and got my first photo taken.
Nevertheless, I always cherish that moment in my life because if it wasn't for my cousin's birthday party, who knows when I may have taken my first photograph. My grandma kept this photo with her until the day she passed away back in 2010. I didn't want to lose it, so I asked my brother Danni to go by grandma's house and pick it up for me. There are so many memories of my childhood in my old town of Mayarí that I'd have to write a couple of books to tell you about all of them.
My old town hasn't changed that much. It's still the same old dirt road with one public school, horseback-riding, bicycles, horse and buggy as transportation and the banana plantation across the road from my grandma's home. I have not been there since 2014, and I couldn't walk in into my grandma's house. It still hurts too much to go there and see that she is gone. But, the house that I grew up is still there surrounded by my three uncle's homes. Maybe soon, I'll be able to go back and visit.
Let's Talk Travel
When planning a trip, there are so many questions and concerns but most people assume travel agents do little more than charge you for booking trips, something most people do online. However, they can do a lot more beyond planning your vacations. A whole-trip concierge. Advisers can book accommodations and arrange airport transfers, and they can manage activities, like picking guides who match your interests, restaurant reservations, theater tickets and skip-the-line tickets to museums.
Traveling to Cuba, can be stressful but it doesn't have to be. That's why I am here for you. From the moment you book your trip to Cuba to the moment you return to the United States, everything will be taken care off. You just need to pack and relax while I do all the work. I recommend you reading this article here about the work of a travel agent before booking your next adventure. Travel agents can do more than handle trip booking and planning.
In other news
More Cubans will be able to browse the internet on the go. Something that has been way overdue for the Cuban people. Right now, for them to connect to the internet, they have to buy an internet card, then go to a hotspot and get online. To connect to the internet can become very expensive for them since the cost is very high for the amount of time to connect vs their salaries. One internet card cost $1 CUC for an hour. Which is equivalent to $25 Cuban pesos. Most people make between $118 - $600 pesos a month, with the highest payment for a doctor.
How is the Cuban government going to price the mobile internet service? We don't know yet but hopefully, it will help move the country forward to be connected with the outside world.
“This rollout will expand slowly at first and then more quickly, if the government is increasingly confident that it can control any political fallout,” Baruch College Cuba expert Ted Henken told Reuters. While many Cubans are hopeful of a more connected nation, the process has been slow. The island is installing 3G technology and just 11,000 homes last year were connected to the internet. More about this story here: Cuba Opening Up Mobile Internet Connectivity
The Weight is Over
I have been teasing you all for a while about a bird watching tour to Cuba. Well, it's finally here and ready for you to book it on our website. We have an incredible, knowledgeable Ornithologist, and Conservationist of Cuban Biodiversity guide to lead you on this Nature and Bird Watching Tour to Cuba.
Maikel Cañizares Morera, MSc. studied Biology at the Universidad de Oriente, and began to work as wildlife specialist in the Ecological Reserve Alturas de Banao, Sancti Spiritus, (Central Cuba) where he developed many projects on fauna endemic conservation targets of the protected area such as the Hutía Conga (Capromys pilorides) and Cuban psittacines. In 2000 moved to Havana City to start the master degree program and began to work at the Ecology and Systematic Institute (IES) until present. He received more than 35 postgraduate courses. He has been leading projects on birds conservation since 2005, the most important are: the Management and Conservation of Cuban psittacids (Amazona leucocephala and Psittacara euops) in Central Cuba (Loro Parque Fundacion 2005-present); he also participated in Conservation of the Yellow-naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata) in the isthmus region, Nicaragua (2014); The reproductive biology and morphological development of the Hispaniolan Trogon (Priotelus roseigaster) at the “Ébano Verde” ecological reserve (2013-2016), Dominican Republic.
Also has experience teaching students of the Biology Faculty (mentorship of 5 bachelor thesis) at the Havana University, building capacity to national park rangers and for local community people on conservation, and giving expert advices for wildlife policy to the National Direction of Forestry, Flora and wild Fauna, Ministry of Agriculture (2012-present), promoting the knowledge of Cuban wildlife and the non consumptive and sustainable use of fauna. He published more than 16 papers on the topics, and is chapter author of six books and attended 45 national and international congresses. He has organized events in his own country as the XVII Congress of the MSBC in Havana in 2013 and the XXI Conference of BirdsCaribbean, Topes de Collantes, 2017. Is member of the Cuban Botany Society, member of BirdsCaribbean Society, was the President of the Cuban Chapter of the Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation (MSBC; 2007-2017) and is currently President of the Cuban Zoology Society (SCZ, 2014-present), He has great skills as field worker, birdwatcher, management logistic arrangements and preparing field and survival expeditions. Is a Spanish native speaker and speaks fluent English.
As you can see, you will be in great hand with Maikel as your Nature and Bird Watching tour. So, don't wait and book yours TODAY!
We Continue to Grow
In my last newsletter, I introduced you to Maricely Valdes. Today, I would like you to meet Aysel Labaut. She is a charismatic, and versatile Cubana who was born and raised in the beautiful island of Cuba. She resides in Miami, Fl. She is a mother to a future golf pro son and has an extensive background in Accounting. Her passions include spending time with her family and friends, photography, traveling, dancing, life and sunsets. Follow Aysel on Instagram @_moon_beam
Don't Forget to Book your Tour
This year have gone by really fast. Well, at least that seams like to me because I'm always on the go ;-) Anyway, I'm trying to keep you up to date on our tours so you sign up before they are all booked up. We have the last three tours for the year coming up: A Woman's Journey in Cuba, Multi-City Tour, and the Tri-City Tour. Get your friends, your family or your neighbor to join you in one of this in a lifetime tour to the jewel of the Caribbean. Want to plan a trip for 2019? Check out our different types of tours and get ahead of the game by booking early. December through May are the best months to visit the island but keep in mind that it's high season and the Casas get booked fast. So, don't delay and book yours TODAY! Cuba Tours
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