Cuba 2013 & 2015 - Havana, Trinidad & Cienfuegos
Twenty-first century Cuba is culturally rich, economically poor and yet has an energy that is infectiously uplifting. It was 18 years ago when I first travelled to Cuba, and therefore surprised to find that on my second visit in 2013, visibly, not a great deal had changed. There is no McDonalds or garish neon advertising, and the old Chevrolet cars are still everywhere in 2013/2015 Cuba. Stepping on to the streets of Centro Habana for the first time feels as though you're stepping on to a movie set.
Cuba is a country that has suffered from an American trade embargo for the past fifty years. And whilst they have paid a high price financially the Cuban people have their pride and dignity. Despite the food shortages and the country's economic hardships, the resilience and pride among the Cubans is amazing. Although with foreign investment being encouraged there are signs the country is opening up, albeit slowly. (In 2013 there was no internet or wifi - public slow speed wi-fi was sparingly introduced in 2015).