I was SO excited to receive this first of three cards from Mauroh in Cuba! In the United States, it is illegal to travel as a tourist to Cuba. This is a result of left over resentment from the Cold War, but I suspect with a new Cuban president and our new, sensible president, that Americans will soon be allowed to travel to Cuba. Until then, we have to go to Canada first and fly down there from Canada. :)
Monday, May 11, 2009
This card shows Varadero Beach, which is a popular vacation spot in Cuba, receiving over 500,000 visitors each year. Varadero is located on a narrow peninsula extending northeast towards Florida. "In addition to its most valued resource, the beach, Varadero has natural attractions such as caves and a chain of easily accessed virgin cays. There are also cultural, historical and environmental attractions in the vicinity, such as the cities of Matanzas and Cárdenas, the Zapata Peninsula and the resort of San Miguel de los Baños. Varadero, which is a free port, also possesses facilities for scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, yachting and other water sports." (source: Wikipedia)
I am very interested in the culture of Cuba, which is unique among Caribbean nations. Many of its cultural traditions, including music, cuisine, and sports, are influenced by Spanish, African, and American traditions. The distinctive music of Cuba combines African percussion with Spanish guitar. The most popular sport, by far, is baseball, which is an American import. Fidel Castro often stressed the importance of sports, which explains Cuba's internationally successful baseball players and Olympic athletes. Unlike other Latin American nations, soccer (football) is not a popular sport. Traditional Cuban food makes frequent use of black beans, rice, cassava, eggs, tomatoes, pork, chicken, and beef (some of which is not always widely available). Cuban coffee is known for its high quality. The most commonly practiced religion in Cuba is Roman Catholicism, with a significant minority practicing Santeria, a Caribbean mixture of Catholicism and African Yoruba religions. Santeria is where voodoo comes from. :)
I hope someday soon it will be possible to visit Cuba. I think it seems like such a lovely place, and in this age, it seems so silly to be forbidden to go.