A Night Connecting With Cuba

Last night in Minneapolis I co-hosted an evening sharing Cuba with Minnesotans. There was a salsa dance performance, a silent auction & giveaway of Cuba-related prizes, and then I offered a presentation about my recent two weeks traveling this enigmatic nation.

Cuba is a coin with two very different sides: expressive and positive on one side, repressed and impoverished on the other. The meat of my presentation was about this dichotomy and how the fluid world of 2018 is challenging the Cuban government’s grip on its people. I said that through the cracks in the shell Cuba is under, we see opportunity as Americans to connect with her people. In so doing, we can help the cracks widen and enjoy the Cuban people and culture as a result.

I did this myself by traveling to Cuba and donating supplies (provided by fellow Minnesotans) to schoolchildren.

Last night we did so through education and experiencing Cuban culture.

Hanna and China performing a Cuban salsa

Thank you, attendees, and thank you to all involved in making this event possible.

Donors and supporters include:

  • U.S. Cuba Artist Exchange and its director Mariesa Sun-Saenz
  • Hannah Esparza and her Cuba tour service Corazon de es Cuba
  • Dance instructors Hanna Esparza and Chini Domenech for their performance
  • The Black Forest Inn Restaurant
  • Victor’s 1959 Cafe
  • Walker Art Center
  • and AreaVoices for providing this platform (One couple attended last night after having seen this blog on their hometown newspaper’s website:)
Some of the items available at the event

I summed up my talk by saying we don’t need to wait for our governments to connect for us to build connections ourselves.


To learn more about this event, about how I can speak to your group, or to discuss a new travel-research project, contact me at brandon@theperiphery.com. 


What say you?