Let’s face it: Cuba and the United States have a complicated history. There are many who question whether Americans should even be visiting a country that has repressed its own people and was embargoed by our own for almost six decades. To those who may not see the importance or meaning of visiting Cuba, or any country under a repressive government, I ask that you take a minute and continue reading.
Vantage first started sending groups to Cuba in 2006. Doing so required navigating various licensing and permit processes with our own government — processes that would often change with the political climate in Washington. But that experience has enabled us to get to know the country and the people in a way that very few other travel companies can; and to appreciate how much having American visitors means to ordinary Cuban people, as individuals.
Our expectation with Cuba, as it is with all of our adventures, is to give a unique immersion into the country’s people and culture. For Cuba, this entails learning about daily life as it exists now and seeking out expressions of the culture that have been repressed since the Castro regime took power in 1959 (after overthrowing the tyrannical Batista regime). And, as always, so our travelers can draw their own conclusions by meeting people face-to-face, beyond easy stereotypes or the “official” version. Much as same with any country or region we visit, whether in Africa, Asia, South America, or Europe, we hope that those who travel to Cuba with us come back with a better understanding and a greater appreciation of the people and their hopes and dreams.
When you travel to Cuba with Vantage, you will of course see those classic autos from the 1950s, dance to terrific music, and have the opportunity to buy a box of fine Cubano cigars. But you’ll also meet people — artists, musicians, farmers, shopkeepers, daycare workers — and come to appreciate their lives as they are really lived. In other words, as with all of our adventures, we want our travelers to look beyond the tourist curtain and the easy labels to see people and a country for what they really are. We hope you agree, and that you’ll come to Cuba with us to draw make up your own mind.
Brand Manager, Vantage Adventures