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.
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.
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.