I am truly afraid of what Cuba will become with Americanization. Despite its flaws, the country is absolutely beautiful and rich in its culture. There is something about walking down the streets of Havana that feels different than anywhere else I have ever been. I am certain that, unless Cuba puts protocol in place to stop it, the US will completely eradicate the Cuba we saw. Cuba will go from paladares and small shop owners, to fast food chains and big name businesses.

 

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(Juliana’s photo)

Over Winter break, Senior Juliana Boucher traveled to Cuba with Skidmore’s travel seminar, Cuba: History Through Travel. As a second generation Cuban American, her experience was particularly unique and posed a complex set of challenges to her. For her culminating project at the end of the seminar, she created a blog that vividly catalogues her experiences in Havana and in the western valley of Viñales through photos and reflections. Her explorations into a dynamic culture and a heritage that she has long felt connected to are well-articulated and craft a moving, informative story of one young woman’s relationship to a country that is presently re-shaping its modern identity, and how she began to do the same amid the chaos.

(Juliana's photo)

(Juliana’s photo)

 

I have definitely changed as a result of this trip. I think more about inequalities, about racial and ethnic differences primarily when it comes to mental health, and about what it means to be Cuban. I am more comfortable speaking Spanish in front of my peers. I listen to Spanish music more. I am happier being me, and I want to thank the island for all it gave me.

 

Check it out here!