Isle of Youth, Cuba

Jan 10, 2018 - Harmony V


Our day began with a short trip from the Harmony V to the marina at Siguanea Bay where we boarded a bus that took our guests to our first destination, Modelo Prison. Our guests were greeted by the museum director and had a walking tour of the prison and learned its history.  This prison was host to Fidel Castro and other important members of the revolution who were caught in a first attempt to overthrow the Batista dictatorship. Fidel spent 18 months at Modelo and was finally let go, however, he was forced to leave Cuba only to return shortly after and triumph against Batista’s forces in January 1959. After the museum we were lead to the actual buildings that housed thousands of prisoners. The massive round buildings with a panoptic design still stand, although crumbling, as a testament to the history of the prison.

After our visit to the prison we boarded the bus again for a short ride to Nueva Gerona and visited a special clinic that looks after pregnant woman who are at risk. Our guests met with doctors and nurses and discussed the health system in Cuba. We then stopped for lunch at a local favorite, La Isla, and ate and relaxed for an hour or so. After our meal we visited the Nueva Gerona Art School, where we were met by the director who provided an introduction to the school system, and then we visited various workshops for dance, piano, choir, and other specialties. After visiting the school we had the fantastic opportunity to stroll through Nueva Gerona’s main boulevard, busy with shops and people, and we provided our guests with free time to sit at the park, try the local ice cream, and engage in great conversation with locals from the Isle of Youth.  Soon after we departed and headed back to Harmony V.

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About the Author

Fabian Bucheli

Naturalist

Fabian Bucheli studied at the German School in Quito, graduated from the University of California with a bachelor of science in administration, and earned a master’s degree in international management from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona. He has studied in Germany, France, Belgium, and Austria and is fluent in German, French, English, and Spanish. He has always been in love with nature and conservation. Explaining abstract concepts became second nature as a teaching assistant in biodiversity and evolution (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) while working towards a PhD in environmental risk management.

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