In just one month, I'm leading my first tour to Cuba, and I'm thrilled to go back to this little tropical island and experience the warm optimism of its people. Everywhere I went, Cubans were kind-hearted and friendly and full of energy, even the most elderly. That energy inspired the theme for the tour: "Out with the old energies and in with the new." Despite poverty and difficulties in their day-to-day lives, no one complained -- it's just how it is, and it isn't worth being unhappy about. These photos capture a little of the heart of the Cuban people I met and observed:
At the historic Hotel National, a Cuban man poses with a statue of Nat King Cole, a frequent visitor to the island. The hotel bar is filled with photos and memorabilia of decades of prominent American visitors, even in the last half of the 20th Century.
This T-shirt was a little heartbreaking and a lot inspiring for me. We are so very lucky here, and yet we take so much for granted. The warmth of these women was so powerful and I was very grateful to get to meet them. They embodied the spirit of all those I encountered, ensuring that my first visit would not be my last.
All photos ©Halle Eavelyn, Spirit Quest Tours