Support for the Cuban People is not just a legal way to travel to Cuba from the United States, at the same time it is an experience that helps create connections between people, make friends and get a more real vision of Cuba and everything that the country can offer.
In order to travel to Cuba from the United States you must choose one of the 11 authorized travel categories. In Espíritu Travel we have studied all of them and choosing Support for Cuban People category is the best choice that Americans can use to travel to Cuba.
Planning a trip to Cuba that meets these characteristics can be confusing, but in Espíritu Travel we help you organize your customize trip by designing all kind of activities that fits inside the category of Support for Cuban People.
Continue reading this article if you want to find out what are the different activities that fit in the Support for Cuban People category.
Stay at Casas Particulares
Casas particulares are Cuba’s equivalent of a bed and breakfast and in Espíritu Travel we work almost exclusive with casas particulares. We believe that staying at a casa particular makes the trip to Cuba unique. The fact that you can sit down at a Cuban table and ask your questions directly to a Cuban while you enjoy a meal prepare by them makes these experience magical and unique.
Eat at local restaurants: Paladares
If you are visiting Cuba and someone says “let’s eat on a Paladar” they are inviting you to visit one of the many private restaurants that exist in Cuba located in the homes of Cuban families. These private restaurants are usually family houses that have been converted into inviting places to eat. You will find every type of ambiance, from vintage to sophisticated to homier.
The origin of the name comes from a very popular Brazilian soap opera from the 90s, where the protagonist owned a restaurant chain called “Paladar”.
Click here to find our recommendation of Paladares in Havana.
Meeting with local entrepreneurs and artists
Can you think of a better way to discover the culture of Cubans than to actually visit local business? Support and engage with local businesses and independent entrepreneurs like artists, musicians, food venders, filmmakers, etc. Whatever your interests, you can find a way to Support the Cuban people.
Lose yourself down to Obispo Street in Havana and visit one of the many art galleries of local artists. Learn about the history of the Cuban people portrayed in his paintings. If you feel like a haircut, you must go to Papito’s unique barber shop in Old Havana.
If you are visiting Havana you can’t leave without seeing the unique artist project of Fusterlandia, an open-air Cuban marvel. As you travel around Cuba you will discover small Cuban art galleries such as Martha Jimenez Workshop in Camagüey, Santiago Herme’s Gallery in Cienfuegos or the Oriente Gallery in Santiago among others.
Visiting Cuba accompanied by local guides is also a good way to meet local entrepreneurs and promote Cuban economy. Espiritu Travel has a magnificent team of local guides that will make your trip to Cuba an unforgettable experience.
Explore independent museums
Museums keep the treasures of a country and help us understand its current historical situation. Colonial houses, historical figures, intrepid legends… you will find the secrets of Cuba inside its museums. Visit Palacio de los Capitanes Generales in Havana, today Museum of the City, one of the most beautiful buildings of Havana or Museo Nacional de la Ruta del Esclavo in Matanzas promoted by the UNESCO. If you are found of the history surrounding pirates, you must visit the Piracy Museum in Santiago de Cuba.
Find out our top 10 must-visit museums in Cuba.
You probably won’t find your favorite brands or high-end stores in Cuba, and that’s exactly why you should go shopping here. Swap out plastic toys for handmade trinkets and commercial malls for open-air markets, and instead have a one-of-a-kind, cultural experience.
If you are a book lover you have to visit Plaza de Armas Secondhand Book Market, this market runs every day but Sunday, and is one of the most popular in Havana. Walk around Galerías de Paseo, a market that caters to foreigners and Cuba’s upper-class. This market features Cuba’s high-end clothes and stores, as well as Cuba’s famous Jazz Café (it is a perfect option on a rainy day since is an indoor market). For people wanting to leave Cuba with a one-of-a-kind souvenir, Almacenes San José is definitely worth a visit.
Dance classes (popular and folkloric dances)
You might think, why taking dance classes is part of the Support for Cuban People recommended activities? The answer is simple, music runs in Cubans veins and is a very important aspect of their lives.
Cuban influence in the music industry is very remarkable and as you stroll through the streets of Cuba you can hear Afro-Cuban Jazz, Salsa, and Mambo. Cuba is a country with an intense rhythm of music, you cannot leave Cuba without attending a dance class and feeling the music in your soul.
Learning to dance with a Cuban is a souvenir you will always have from your trip to Cuba. It is a truly fun experience and when you return home you can teach all your dance moves to your family and friends!
Meeting and engaging with musicians at a show
Do not miss the opportunity to talk to street musicians! It is the best way to connect with Cuban music and understand its importance in the country’s culture. With the heat comes a different sonority, feet want to move, the eyes look for new ways to understand the world thought music. Engage with Cuban music and culture while meeting the musicians.
Check out the best dance and jazz festivals in Cuba.
Whether if you are an art lover or not, you must visit at least one of the many art places in Cuba full of art. Colorful expressions, forms that combine the city daily life with mystical illusions, all represented in walls and canvas everywhere in the island. One of the most famous art galleries in Cuba is the Fabrica de Arte in Havana, this creative venue offers the more representative examples of the island’s contemporary arts with a social focus.
Check out our selection of must visit art galleries in Cuba.
Discuss Cuban society with locals
This is the best way to learn about a country, by asking locals about their lives in Cuba and how different events in history affected them. Get to know working people, housewives, children, elderly people, cab drivers, fishermen, musicians, students, bartenders, and of course your host family in the casas particulares you are staying in.
The best way to achieve a cultural exchange is by interacting with the local population and contrasting different opinions and points of view.
Remember that It is important that you keep records, such as receipts and itineraries, and have them on hand for at least five years. You must avoid any type of transaction with a business owned by GAESA (military property).
Our team of experts will make sure that your trip plan fits perfectly under the category of Support for Cuban People by discovering Cuba with local guides, taking a ride in a private classical car, eating at paladares or staying at casas particulares, among others.
By traveling to Cuba with Espíritu Travel you will Support Cuban People and promote independent activities aimed at strengthening civil society in Cuba. In Espíritu Travel we believe that this is the perfect opportunity for the traveler to really understand the Cuban day-to-day life.