Transformational Journeys 2016

El Puente—A Bridge to CUBA

The St. Paul’s Foundation calls this adventure—El Puente—a bridge, hoping it to be the first of many crossings for our organization between Cubans and Americans as it becomes easier to engage deeply with one another. Cuba and the US are so geographically close, but the journey across, as you will discover, still has many obstacles to overcome.

One day a round-trip flight to Cuba will be as simple as travel to any other Caribbean country, but, for the foreseeable future, travelling easily to or working in Cuba on cross-cultural, religious, or business enterprises unfortunately remains a distant hope. The “embargo” or “blockade” remains in place, limiting US citizens to travel under visa restrictions within 12 clearly defined categories. El Puente used the “People to People Cultural Exchange” category, needing months of negotiation and official approval before we knew what we would be doing. Hotel rooms are difficult to find. Tourism from the US is still challenging, given the lack of internet and telephonic communication with hotels or potential sites of interest, and will probably continue to be even when it becomes fully legalized. Add to this the fact of zero banking for US citizens, (except for Stonegate Bank in Florida) but still no ATM withdrawals there.

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Source – Erasing 76 Crimes