We returned home with first hand knowledge we would like to share.
Hurricane Irma presented a huge challenge throughout the island. The recovery work is extremely impressive. Electricity has been restored, hotels and restaurants are open and fully functioning and the roads are clear even along the coastline. Cuba’s unique beauty again survives with only a few blemishes as reminders. More than that, the people show remarkable resolve and preserve a sense of optimism about the future.
Travelers on People-to-People programs in Cuba have made such a significant impact on the lives of so many Cubans. Our hosts have always reciprocated with genuine friendship and hospitality. Together we have overcome the challenges of years of misunderstandings and built a pathway towards a better future. Now more than ever we need to work together with a renewed sense of purpose.
Immediately following the publication of the Travel Warning we contacted officials at the State Department with a series of questions. Their answers indicated:
- Some US officials in Cuba have suffered injuries that they attribute to unidentifiable, possible sonic devices.
- There have been no verified reports of injuries of this type to visitors to Cuba other than to US officials.
Based on our years of personal experiences and our extensive network of contacts both in the US and in Cuba, we believe it is safe for US Citizens to travel on People-to -People programs, for Friendship Tournaments and for other exchanges.
During our recent time in Cuba, we had the opportunity to discuss the situation extensively with Cuban friends and colleagues. They unequivocally state that the safety and well being of their American guests is and has always been paramount. We all agreed that we look forward to the day when all the political issues between the US and Cuba come to an end, but in the meantime nothing will interfere with the bonds of friendship we are building.
We always listen and welcome any insights that others may offer. At the same time, we take our responsibilities seriously and would never recommend to anyone that they consider doing anything that we wouldn’t do together with our own families. Just as we are encouraging all of our friends and family to travel to Cuba as soon as possible, we encourage you to do the same.