• June 14, 2016

A different side of Cuba

By Julian L. (mis­sionary in the Philippines from 2010-2011)

Going to Cuba was like step­ping back in time; one of the first things you notice walking out of the air­port are the 60 year old vin­tage American cars. There are no glob­al­ized American com­pa­nies such as McDonalds or Starbucks and many of the old build­ings of Havana, which were built by the Spanish, have been well pre­served. Cuba is truly one of the most unique places on earth.

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The best part of my trip was vis­iting the Heart’s Home in Cuba which is located in the cap­ital city of Havana. It is located in a neigh­bor­hood just south of the cen­tral part of Havana that is not found in any tourist travel book. When the taxi dropped me off at the Heart’s Home, the first thing I noticed were chil­dren in front of the house ringing the bell asking to come in. I knew this was the right place since it reminded me of my mis­sion in the Philippines 6 years ago.

Currently the Heart’s Home in Cuba has 4 mis­sion­aries living there: A. (Italy), V. (Mexico), M. (France) and E. (France). It is a rel­a­tively new Heart’s Home as it was recently opened in 2013. I was priv­i­leged to say the rosary with the chil­dren and then go with V. and M. to visit friends at the nursing home. My trip so far had con­sisted of road trip­ping with my friends in a 1953 Oldsmobile and taking pic­tures around the country like tourists. It’s a beau­tiful country, but for me, the most mem­o­rable part of the trip - more pro­found than seeing the vin­tage cars and the old build­ings - was to spend time with the mis­sion­aries and the friends of Heart’s Home in Cuba. This is truly what made my trip mem­o­rable and unique.

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