My trip to Cuba, Varadero was a trip of a lifetime! As I look back at this experience, I am incredibly grateful to Centennial College to have given me this opportunity. Before my departure to Cuba, I was very nervous but excited to be going to a country I’ve never been before. Although my GCELE group had a lot of meetings provided by our leaders to prepare us for this experience, it is completely different from when you are there. Arriving at the Juan Gomez airport in Varadero, I was already in love with Cuba, especially at how hot it was compared to Toronto. We took a school bus to where we were staying; Casa Del Carino, our home for the next ten days, it was beautiful place with an incredible view of the beach in the background.
On the second day, we visited two local farms. The first farm was a developing farm called Rosy farm the owners were a very loving couple and were generous to allow us to explore their land. The second farm was more developed with a lot of different crops and animals. An interesting part of this farm was the farmer had invented a solution without the use of chemicals called EM. This solution could be utilized for many things, but one thing that amazed me about it was he used it in his bunny cages, and there were no bad odours from the rabbit’s cages at all!
The Jardines Bellmar was the farm we worked on for the duration of our trip, and let me tell you it was a lot of hard work! Being in the hot sun, cutting down trees and weeds with machetes was something I’ve never done before. But for Roberto and Cusa the couple who own the farm, I give them a lot of credit to be able to do that every day and without so much help. Working on the farm, it made me reflect and take a look at how much effort and hard work goes into the food that is put on my plate every day.
Being in Cuba was a memorable experience for me. I was able to meet amazing, loving people, from Roberto and Cusa to the fabulous ladies who cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner for all of us every day to the grade eight students who worked with us on the farm. At times the media can portray Cuba in a negative way and before coming here, I had some of those negative images and stereotypes within me. But after ten days of being in Cuba, I honestly believe how the media portrays Cuba to be untrue. Although they may not be the richest people, they are rich with love, family, and culture and that is something that radiates in every single Cuban. Cuba is a beautiful place that I definitely plan on visiting again…. Viva Cuba!