Isabel Zaragosa, IEP ’20


Isabel walking towards “La Bodeguita del Medio” where her was having lunch that day.

Coming to Havana with an open mind and a desire to understand Cuban culture and life better I opened myself to an emotional roller coaster. This roller coaster took me to really high places full of joy and color as well as really low places that made me question things about my own identity and privilege. In Cuba I was exposed to so much I am not used to in the United States. I was exposed to having no toilet paper in public restrooms, amazing art, power shortages, warm and welcoming humans, slow and unreliable internet, love, crumbling infrastructure, and music, some of the best coffee in the world among many other things. I was exposed to a different perspective on US/Cuba relations. This trip was extremely tailorable to my particular interests. As an IEP student I was able to gain so much applicable knowledge on Cuba food security and agricultural practices. Cuba’s economic restrictions have forced them to adopt more sustainable agricultural practices in order diminish foreign imports to meet the dietary needs of the Cuban population. Cuba has the potential of becoming a sustainability model for the rest of the world. This experience was a really wholesome learning experience. I gained very valuable life knowledge as well as potential career paths. I also brought back to the states very applicable knowledge relevant to my professional endeavors. I would definitely recommend this trip to any MIIS student interested in US/Cuba relations or that would just like to learn more about the country. I would definitely join the MIIS community on this trip as a professional in the future. 

Read Isabel’s reflection about her time in Cuba (in Spanish).

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