Mini Guide to Cuba

Old Havana: City in Movement

Organized by the respected Retazos Dance Company, the City in Movement festival is a celebration of dance. It takes place in Old Havana every April, with performances in the squares, parks, and museums in the area.

Artists show off traditional and contemporary dance choreographies, but there are also conferences, exhibitions, and workshops. Companies from more than 12 countries attend the festival as well as Cuban artists from 11 provinces who collaborate for the improvement of dance.

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Carnival of Santiago de Cuba

Taking place at the end of July, the Carnival of Santiago de Cuba is the biggest and most famous in Cuba. It’s an explosion of colors, happiness, and street floats blasting body-shaking songs to the dancing crowds.

One of the main features of the carnival is the comparsas, which are street performances of musical groups and costumed dancers. Traditionally there were two categories: the rich and lavish playing orchestras called paseos, and the poor citizens playing percussions instruments called conga. Nowadays, it’s mainly the congas that fill the streets and party the day and night away.

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People and Culture

Since the new Ministry of Tourism was created in 1994, the government has been investing heavily to attract visitors, with 4.5 million tourists in 2017. However, Cuba is still considered a “pure” country that hasn’t been “tarnished” by uncontrolled tourism.

Most of the population is super welcoming and will go out of their way to help travelers and make them feel at home. Visitors should try to stay in casas particulares (private houses with government licenses to operate) if they’d like to see the “real” Cuba.

Like other Caribbean countries, music plays a big part in people’s lives, and taking the time to watch and dance the rumba or salsa, might help you dig deeper into the culture.

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The World in Chili

Chili is one of those comforting fall dishes that just hits the spot on a cool, crisp day. A good bowl of chili is warm, spiced just right, and features enough protein to keep you full for ages. We can all agree on the merits of a bowl of chili, but for a lot of people, that’s where most agreements stop. There are so many different kinds of chili that are popular around the world — most centered in the United States, which has definitely become the world’s capital of chili.

The Best Comforting Drinks for Fall from Around the World

As the weather starts getting colder, we start looking for comforting drinks that will help keep us warm.  Some of the most popular options in America are also the easiest to find — there are more than 13,000 Starbucks locations in the United States alone, and they have a huge percentage of the market cornered already — people love their pumpkin spice lattes! However, there are a lot of downsides to visiting a café every day, especially if your go-to order is a sweetened latte or Frappuccino. It’s easy to make delicious warm drinks at home, which allows you to flavor them to your taste, saving both money and calories

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