When people come to Cuba and learn about our way of living, our economic situation and the hardships we Cubans face on daily basis, they can’t help but wonder how it is possible that despite everything, we always look so happy and we are always smiling. As opposed to focusing on our problems, we mostly laugh at them. Using humor is a great way to lighten up the burden and try to embrace life as it comes because after all, it is what it is.  

Cubans Are Loud

Not all Cubans yell, but there is no doubt we are seen as loud people. The truth is the more passionate the conversation is, the louder we speak. Our way of speaking has lots to do with the way we were brought up. During our childhood, we would go out to run outside with our friends or like we say in Cuba “mataperrear” (to be outside in the streets all day long). At dinner time, our parents would come out and yell our names at the top of their lungs to let us know it was time to go back home for a shower or dinner. Also, when you wanted a friend to come out and play, you would stand outside their house and yell their names. 

There is no better example of Cubans being loud than when talking about a baseball game or while playing domino´s, but rest assure that the heated discussion, all the yelling and the cursing is part of the game.  

 

Cuban Time

Everybody talks about Cuban time and here is the following joke for you to get the concept:
There is a British, a German, a Spanish and a Cuban talking about time in their countries. The British says: “In my country, when we agree on a time, we are always there on the dot.” The German says: “In my country, we always show up 15 minutes in advance.” The Spanish says: “In my country, we always say Mañana (tomorrow).” The Cuban tells the Spanish: “You know? I totally get it! I just don´t understand the urgency in Mañana.”

Although, there is a more capitalist concept of time is money in our society now, it is still a fact that things in Cuba take place at a much slower pace. Everything is more laid back. So patience is the key word here. 

 

Cubans Recycle

Everything gets recycled in Cuba: Cracker containers used to store rice, sugar, beans, salt. In a Cuban home, an old towel becomes a dusting or a kitchen cloth. A soda bottle gets refilled with water. A plastic bag is used for garbage or to store the meat in the freezer. Ice cream containers become Tupperware. We litter a lot, but when it comes to recycling, we are number one protecting the environment. 

 

Cubans are Generous and Kind

There is so much to say about Cubans, but to sum up, a Cuban calls his/her friends´ parents their own. A Cuban doesn´t just offer you a sofa to sleep in. A Cuban gives you his/her bed and doesn´t let you sleep talking all night long. A Cuban doesn´t wait to be offered a coffee. A Cuban asks you to make some coffee, he/she gets in the kitchen, sets up the coffee maker and even asks your neighbor for some sugar if you ran out of it. A Cuban doesn´t knock on a friend´s door. A Cuban opens the door, enters and then announces he/she is there. In a nutshell, Cubans are friendly. Come to experience it firsthand and learn more about us.  

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When people come to Cuba and learn about our way of living, our economic situation and the hardships we Cubans face on daily basis, they can’t help but wonder how it is possible that despite everything, we always look so happy and we are always smiling. As opposed to focusing on our problems, we mostly laugh at them.

9 Surprising First Impressions of Cuba

Stevie Gawryluk, an Adventure Consultant for ROW and Adventure Unbound recently made her first trip to Cuba. Below she recounts some of her most surprising first impressions; take a peek to share in her journey!