The mystique and fascination of Cuba | Gallery Drinkware (Formerly Water Gallery)

Gallery Drinkware (Formerly Water Gallery)

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The mystique and fascination of Cuba...

During our epic two week adventure in Florida, we at Water Gallery didn't only work on developing retail relationships and selling our beautiful glass water bottles and drinkware at festivals...we also did a fair amount of sight-seeing and learning about this fascinating area of the world. You can't go to Florida and the Keys without thinking about an intriguing country that lies only 90 miles south of the southernmost tip of Florida: Cuba.

90 mile marker, Florida's southernmost point

As we looked out over the grand Atlantic Ocean and pictured Cuba sitting just 90 miles south, we thought about all of the things we've long known and imagined about Cuba: the Havana "high life" of the 1920s-40s before Castro's oppressive regime changed everything, the economic and emotional struggles of the Cuban citizens during the Communist era starting in the 1950s, the scores of Cubans who crowded onto rickety boats and embarked upon the dangerous journey of fleeing to America for a better life, the Cuba of today with all of the colorful antique American classic cars on the roads...Cuba has such a rich, troubled, and fascinating history.

Actual boat that carried Cuban immigrants hoping for a better life

One could spend hours staring at a boat like the one pictured above, wondering what each immigrant was hoping for: reunification with a long-lost sister, a better education for their children, the chance at earning enough money to take care of their family...we can only imagine how scary, arduous, and yet hopeful the journey across the ocean was for these people.

These days, Cuba is actually becoming a place that folks want to visit again. We at Water Gallery would love to be able to travel to Cuba and experience its special brand of magic before the throngs of tourists infiltrate the place. At this current time, tourism is only slowly emerging in Cuba. There aren't even really any hotels at which to stay right now, but Air Bnb is slowly starting to set up places for people to visit. There are still many restrictions in Cuba, but someday soon it's going to become a hot spot again and we'd genuinely love to see what its incredible culture and atmosphere are all about.

11 comments

Dec 27, 2016 • Posted by Victoria Binkiewicz

I’d love to go to these places you visit someday!

May 06, 2016 • Posted by Page Merkison

Your blog on Cuba is so awesome…I visualized myself going from Miami, The Keys, and then on to Cuba. I cannot wait to visit Cuba one day in the near future, and I would LOVE to win one of your beautiful bottles.

May 05, 2016 • Posted by Kim Turcotte

One of my favorite destinations in Florida is our precious Florida Keys! I am a Floridian born and raised. In regards to Cuba I remember vividly when Cuban refugees where living in Miami under bridges! I was very young and it was a very sad to see! So many people looking for freedom. Over the years growing up we would hear sad stories of families trying to make the trip to Florida to flee Cuba. I hope and pray for a free Cuba for all.

May 05, 2016 • Posted by Bets Bloom

A trip to Cuba sounds wonderful! There is a lot of culture to see and experience. I find it fascinating that they still have all those American cars from the 50s. When something breaks, they are able to rebuild and fix it instead of buying a new one. They are very frugal and preserve their resources. The people rejoice in the simple pleasures of life. I’d like to spend a little time there to re-set my state of mind as to what is important in life….

May 04, 2016 • Posted by Sarah

I think it would be fascinating to visit before too much changes! It’s bound to happen now that the doors are open to tourists from the US. Maybe Wyland can paint some of the beautiful beach scenery on some of his magnificent water bottles…call it the Cuban Experience??!! :)

May 04, 2016 • Posted by Sam Sorrels

I hope we never forget how fragile life is and know with our struggles there’s always someone with more than we carry! Cuba seems like a colorful country that with nurturing water will bloom to life! Thank you for sharing your trip!!

May 04, 2016 • Posted by Shawn Aguirre

I’ve never visited Florida nor Cuba , although once lived in Hawaii , I can relate to the tropics. No pun intended but now I see where Desi Arnas (aka Ricky Ricardo ) would always talk about his childhood in Cuba and History then & now seems still relevant for anyone interested . Nice

May 03, 2016 • Posted by Donna Castillo

I’m from the east coast & have been all over Florida down to Miami. It’s beautiful oceans & sites but you also see the struggle of life among so many people. It’s an eye opener to the point of tears and a smile of your heart from the glory & beautiful scenery. Cuba needs us to help them!

May 03, 2016 • Posted by Theresa

Looking at the picture of the boat, you have to wonder how many people they tried to put in one to come across to the USA and the courage of the people who traveled by these boats.

May 03, 2016 • Posted by Jessica

I found that the article was interesting, the boat is also an eye opener. When you are going about your life not thinking of what others face in the world today. I have had my own challenges. I pray for a better tomorrow.

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