Exploring unique geography and discovering how rural Cubans live

December 11, 2013 4 Comments

The Vinales Valley has unique rock formations called Mogotes in the background of this photo provided by the group’s tour company.

By Jen Roberts

One unavoidable fact of traveling to a country like Cuba is the uncertainty of telecommunications, which is why I haven’t been able to send as frequent or detailed updates.

On Tuesday, the group left for Viñales Valley, an outstanding karst landscape on the island in which traditional methods of agriculture (notably tobacco-growing) have survived unchanged for several centuries.

This UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for its beauty and cultural preservation.

This valley is particularly famous for its large freestanding rock formation called mogotes. The students are actively exploring this unique geography, as well as discovering how rural Cubans live.


The group toured Rancho Curujey, a rural village in Vinales Valley, which is known for being a self-sustaining community. Photo courtesy of the group’s tour company.

Students are also going to visit the Cueva del Indio, which was used by the Guanahatabey Amerindians as a burial site in ancient times and as a refuge from the Spaniards for both Indians and black slaves alike.

The students are staying one more night in Viñales Valley at La Moka, an ecological hotel with trees growing up through the balconies and ceiling.

The group will be back in Havana Thursday, and I will have a more in-depth update of our time spent in rural Cuba. Stay tuned!

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Comments (4)

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  1. Deborah Owen says:

    Hope with the schedule changes that Abbi will still get to meet with author, Nancy Alonzo. So glad to see all the reports. Thank you to everyone making this possible.

  2. Kim Rischar says:

    Looks beautiful.

  3. Mike Bradshaw says:

    Love your blogs! Keep them coming!

  4. Elaine English says:

    I have thoroughly enjoyed your stories of the trip. This is an amazing adventure for these young people and will add insight to their own lives and studies from this point on. Thank you to the professors and support staff for making this trip such a remarkable learning experience.

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