By: Lola Kay On: March 7, 2017 In: Uncategorized Comments: 0

In August of 2017, I took my little sister to Cuba as a graduation present. Something about Cuba made me want to learn more about their culture, not to mention that they have a big population of Yoruba speaking people. It was a delightful experience. The culture is so rich and the people are welcoming and kind. As a New York native, I found it interesting that many of the people I met were either from New York or used to live in New York.

While there, toured with a group that taught us about the Santeria religion, which is a common religion in Cuba. Santeria is an Afro-American religion that developed in Cuba between the 16th and 19th centuries. It arose through a process of syncretism between the traditional Yoruba religion of West Africa and the Roman Catholic form of Christianity. We were able to identify people that were a part of this religion because they wear all white. We also learned about the different Orishas and how they have qualities that are similar to the saints in the Catholic church. You can usually tell the difference by the color of their clothing.

For more of the history of Cuba, we took a ferry to Old Havana when many of the residents are older people who never left. The resources on Old Havana were very limited and they recently were allowed to use the internet within the last few years. Use of the internet throughout Cuba is controlled by the government and only allowed in public parks, hotels, and some restaurants. I did most of my phone calls home and social media posting from the park down the street where we stayed. The use of the internet in the home is not allowed.

What do young people do for fun? In addition to the host of clubs and bars, you can catch all the youngsters out at night by the Malecon.

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