Why You Should Join an All-Women’s Cultural Trip to Cuba
Cuba has a fascinating history around women, involving political and economic upheavals and a government-launched NGO. The landscape of women in leadership is still shifting as the country moves towards greater equality.
Strong women in a complicated country
Prior to the Cuban Revolution, women were primarily homemakers and had little option to pursue other educational or vocational opportunities. During the upheaval of the Revolution, women were recognized as valuable resources. Mobilized to fill vacated positions, they quickly gained new rights and opportunities. The revolutionary government established the Federación de Mujeres Cubanas (FMC) in 1960, which focused on literacy and bringing women out of the home and into the workforce, further supporting a shift towards equality.
During the economic crisis of the 1990s, women again stepped up to take positions traditionally held by men, managing social and economic issues and assuming more responsibility and authority.
Changing roles of women in Cuba
In researching and planning our women-only Cuba itinerary, we had conversations with women living in Cuba about what they were excited to share with women visiting their country. Joslin Fritz, our colleague on the ground in Cuba explains, “Cuba has a very strong female culture, with many women in powerful governmental and private sector positions. We want to highlight some of these women that are paving the way for new generations of Cuban women and that are working hard to shape their industry, whether it be in the art, culinary, or music world. We are able to introduce travelers to these powerful women and provide a really special experience to help female visitors interact with entrepreneurs and private businesswomen.”
When asked how women’s roles are changing, she continued, “Thankfully Cuba has a long history of women playing a strong role in society. Nowadays though we are seeing more and more successful female artists and business owners, which benefits everyone.”
Meet the women of Cuba
Of course, the best way to learn about the female experience in Cuba is to go there yourself, led by a resident expert who will share her own impressions along with interesting facts and history while you explore the sights, flavors, and sounds of Havana and the Viñales Valley.
Here are some of the impressive women you’ll meet along the way:
Mabel is one of Cuba’s most exciting young artists. Her performances and photography are based on her own experiences—who she is as a Latina growing up in Castro’s Cuba, where she came from, and her relationship to the Cuban culture overall. The work is intensely personal but never sentimental. We are invited dinner guests in her home.
Niuris Higueras Martínez
Niuris is the owner of the very successful paladar, Atelier. Opened in 2011, Niuris has worked hard to transform her restaurant into one of the most successful paladares in Havana. She is a force in the restaurant and private enterprise field, and we will enjoy talking with her about some of the challenges in starting a business and running a restaurant in Havana as we taste some of her work.
Lauren Fajardo, Ilse Antón, and Raquel Janero
The three Cuban designers opened iconic Dador Fashion in 2018. In a restored storefront in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Havana, Dador has become a symbol of the creativity and incredible design coming out of Havana in recent years. They have worked hard creating designs that are handcrafted with natural fabrics, and have a small but formidable following. We will chat with them regarding their goals and efforts to operate their small business in Cuba (and perhaps do a little shopping).
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