While in Cuba, we stayed with host families. We didn’t stay in hotels or anything of that sort, but we lived like the Cubans to get the full experience. Our host was an elderly lady who was a retired lawyer from the communications sector. She had a daughter that lives in Panama and her son still lives in Cuba, but he has traveled to the US many times for work. We had the opportunity to meet and have conversations with her son.

I like to think she treated us as her children. She cooked us three meals a day, washed our laundry twice during the 12 days that we were there, waited for us to get home in the evenings, and freshened up our bedroom and bathroom multiple times while we were there. My housemate spoke pretty good Spanish so we communicated through her because my Spanish is slim to none. Her cooking was absolutely delicious and she would always ask us how it was to make sure that we were satisfied and that we liked it.

I think having a host family made a trip all the more special. I think it helped us claim somewhere as “home.” Personally, it made me feel more comfortable in my city because I knew someone had my back and could direct me somewhere if needed. I believe that the relationship that I made with my host family will be one that I cherish forever. I wish I could pack up Migdalia up in my suitcase and bring her home!