In 2004 I traveled to Cuba as part of my study abroad semester in Costa Rica. Over the years following that trip, I longed to return to that beautiful island that had so captured my attention. Almost exactly 10 years later, and on the cusp of historic changes between Cuba and the United States in late 2014, I returned. These are some of the people I encountered on my second trip.
Many things in Cuba had stayed the same during the 10 years between my trips. But there was one stark difference that I noticed: the presence of cell phones. In 2004, smart phones yet hadn't taken over our lives in the U.S., but most Americans had at least a basic cell phone. However, I don't remember seeing any cell phones on that first trip to Cuba. In 2014, while still not as ubiquitous as in the U.S., cell phones were popping up everywhere around Havana. Internet access still remained out of reach for the average Cuban at that time. But that, too, is now changing.
You can't go to Cuba and not catch a game of dominoes. Most of the time, it's a group of older men playing, but I loved seeing this group of teenagers playing a game in the park.
Enjoying cafecito and good company
Naomi Liz is a writer, photographer, and creator of Roaming the Americas, a travel blog that helps people plan travel that engages with culture, supports local communities, and protects the environment. www.roamingtheamericas.com #stellerstories #stellerplaces #travel #cuba #goexplore