Cayo Largo, Cuba

Dec 21, 2017 - Harmony V

Happy Solstice everyone. This morning we anchored on the southwest end of Cayo Largo, the “long island,” which is the easternmost part of the Cannareos archipelago. This part of the world is known for its white sandy beaches, its tiny islands with long white sand beaches, and its beautiful underwater world. It provides a vast ecosystem for reef fishes, lots of turtle grass beds for sea turtles, and a nursery for a myriad of species hiding among the interstices of the mangroves.

We went ashore to speak with local physicians at a tourist clinic to learn about the complex Cuban healthcare system. It is not the most sophisticated, hi-tech system in the world, but it works for its people. In most cities, a family physician lives nearby and makes housecalls for part of the day. He also has a small home office where others visit. When more services are needed, people visit the clinic, and for more sophisticated cases like surgeries, they go to the hospital. The family doctor works as the first line of defense, and of course services are free.

Next we visited a sea turtle breeding center to hear about their egg collecting and rearing center. Most of the turtles are released within a short time after birth. Afterwards, we split into 2 groups. The first group visited one of Cuba’s most famous beaches, Playa Sirena. The second group went snorkeling on a nearby reef. We saw many beautiful fishes, a stingray, and a nurse shark. Everyone enjoyed the day and we look forward to our exciting day in Cienfuegos tomorrow.

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About the Author

Jeff Litton

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Jeff is an environmental filmmaker and adventure cinematographer. His passion for adventure has led him through rural Kenyan villages, atop erupting Guatemalan volcanoes and to the enchanted Galápagos Islands to film Hammerhead Sharks. Being an expedition filmmaker enables Jeff to combine his love for capturing beauty with his drive to protect the environment. In the words of Jacques Cousteau, “people protect what they love.” Inspired, Jeff created, the United Global Environmental News Agency, an online resource to inspire people to care about the environment.

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