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Peace Corp. Visit to Cuba

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FC: My Journey through Cuba Peace Corp 2010

1: Peace Corp. Log 1 I've landed in Cuba on the beautiful Playa Giron. The sun is setting and my work has yet to begin. Tomorrow incorporates a day full of struggle, my first task is to gain the trust of the Cuban people. A relatively proud community they still look at me as an | unwanted guest., overtime maybe i will gain their trust.. I've managed to rent out a small apartment outside of Havana, yet due to the depreciation of care for buildings the rooms are almost inhabitable., as a result I've found a family that is more than willing to help me. As we began to talk i discovered the real reason they helped me was to set in motion a series of steps to help rectify their diminished country. Now i must go, it its time for dinner. Tonight i am indulging in Escabeche (pickled fish) and Frituras de Malanga (malanga fritters).

3: Peace Corp. Log 2 A couple weeks have passed since iI've last written and I've come to realize the condition of Cuba is worse than i thought.. Children are forced to ride in old Soviet missiles as a form of entertainment( photo on top). Yet as i toured the tourist populated section of the country things were much different. Luxurious pools, wonderful beaches, yet just outside these resorts children have been forced to live the life of beggars asking tourist for money (bottom left) As i walked down the street it looked as if i was another country entirely. No more were there beautiful resorts . | paved sidewalks, but in their places were dirt roads and what looked like shacks. As i walked further down the street i came across a young girl holding her little brother in her arms (bottom right). I looked into her eyes and all i saw was pain and hunger. She looked at as i walked away, and said Something I never expected from a child her age. "La libertad tiene un precio"; meaning freedom comes at a cost. I'm leaving this entry to help strengthen this once proud country.

4: the effects of communism are still felt throughout Cuba. As more and more citizens perish due to inadequate nutrition and supplies less is being done to help them.

5: Here a little girl sleeps in the hallway of a n under-furnished and decrepit building. More and more children are being forced to succumb to these conditions, as a result more are falling ill and more are dying due to their illnesses.

6: Poverty is felt throughout the country, the only thing that has really changed during my stay is that people have garnered more hope.

11: Peace Corp. Log 3 I'm about two months into my peace corp. operations and seeing the hope that has been instill in the lives of these people is just amazing.. The family I've been staying with has brought me to a community party. As time went on and daylight turned into nighttime the familiar sounds of Salsa music filled my ears. one of the young women walked up to me. Casually grabbing my hand she brought me out to the dance floor. Having being previously exposed to Latin dance i began the usual two step styling of Salsa... The traditions instilled | in the community not only run blood deep they go deeper than that.. What would seem like a family tradition in American society has become so much more in Cuban society, no longer just a standard five member family but these occasions incorporate the whole community. as a whole it is a wonder event and shows much love for the ones around you.. .

17: Peace Corp. Log 4 Its been over a year since i have last written, the days just seemed to blend together. During my stay i was supposed to better the communities of Cuba but in reality they helped me. As a result they have helped me get a better understanding for myself, have showed that there are so many things that we take for granted that they don't have the luxury of acquiring. There is still much work to be done in this wonderful country full of hope, maybe one day it will be the Cuba everyone dreamed of. Aún hay esperanza (there is still hope), Vidal James

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  • By: Vidal J.
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  • Title: Peace Corp. Visit to Cuba
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  • Published: about 9 years ago