I love catching up with Cindy Wilson to learn about her amazing Profundo Journey Workshops, which take place here in the United States and in the most incredible corners of the world. In fact, Cindy greeted me with a more traditional Vietnam handshake with perfect bow. Why, because Cindy is heading out next week for an exciting Profundo Journey to Vietnam and Cambodia. After meeting her husband, John and her fluffy dog, Hank, we sat down to chat about another very intriguing area of the world, Cuba.
Before I could turn my notebook open, Cindy started out by saying “this was a great trip this year. I felt the group and I, personally, got so much more insight into the people” of Cuba. Cindy’s Profundo Journey took place January 9th through the 19th, an 11 day workshop with 12 people accompanying Cindy to Cuba. I asked Cindy what she meant by her opening remarks. “The Cubans have a deep sense of country and a deep love of the Cuban culture.” Cindy went on to mention that the group was less attracted at times to the country’s scenery and architecture and more attracted to the Cuban people and their daily activities. “We found the (Cuban) people to be genuine and warm and inviting.” Cindy said “I’ll add eager to that list. They was an eagerness to connect and communicate, they wanted to share pictures and see our photos as well.”
Similar to the Azores Profundo Journey, the group toured the country with the expert assistance of a reliable local guide. His name was Eliseo and Cindy absolutely raved about his knowledge of Cuba, his personality, and his kindness to the group. Eliseo would bring the Profundo group through the main cities like Havana as well as out to the smaller, less traditional areas of Cuba. In other words, areas that have not been affected by the influx of technology. Some of these included areas devastated by recent hurricanes and tropical storms. Places which had not been exposed to the thoughts of capitalism and the American influence, which is sure to be palpable on the island before long. “No trip to Cuba would be complete without a tour of Havana of course,” mentioned Cindy, “however Eliseo helps to navigate us to those more remote areas which our photography group just craved.” As far as Havana, Cindy spoke highly of the city. “Havana is a must see. Its plazas and outdoor cafes are just spectacular.” Cindy paused for a moment, “but the remote places where no progress has been recognized, this is where the group and I really got to know Cuba.”
So I was interested in the island of Cuba, its food, the weather, the size of the island and more. “So, everything is organic. They do not import fertilizers, so the vegetables and fruit are super fresh and delicious. They love seafood, pork, fresh vegetables, and of course delicious rice and beans.” Cindy recalled a certain dish that the group really enjoyed. “Ropa Vieja with rice and beans, that was a crowd favorite.” I asked Cindy how large the island was. “Well, the bus ride to the southeast coast from Havana would take about 18 hours.” If you look on a map of the United States, Cuba from end to end would roughly be the equivalent of driving from Colorado to Tennessee. The weather, according to Cindy, “was fine. A bit breezy down by the water. Picture the weather in South Florida and that was pretty much what we experienced there in terms of weather.” Cindy mentioned one concern, from Eliseo. “Climate change is real there. Of course, the summers are going to be hot and a steady dose of rain. The change he spoke of was in winter. It rains a lot more there in the winter months. This is a change from years past.” And how about the wildlife, fish? “The coral reefs are pristine. Where the land meets the sea, there is a large surface area that has not been affected by industry.” Cindy went on to speak about the biospheres of Cuba. “Birds, fish, insects, they are familiar to Cuba and not too many other places in the entire world. Very cool.”
I am thrilled to help tell the stories of these Profundo Journeys. Stay tuned for upcoming articles about Cindy Wilson’s recent trip to Cuba, including more of her insight on the people, culture, and atmosphere in Cuba. I want to thank Cindy for her time, as she was getting ready to leave for her latest Profundo Journey to Vietnam and Cambodia. And to learn more about Cindy’s Profundo Journey in September to Washington State, Olympia Peninsula, click here to learn more.