“I knew I wanted to experience Cuba as a volunteer, ” said Sue Surma – long-time Global Volunteer team member and leader.  “As soon as my best friend Holly signed up for the first team, I told her I’d go with her.”  Sue and Holly try to volunteer together as often as Holly’s work schedule permits.

Sue and Holly met on a Global Volunteers Vietnam program in 1994.  Previously, Sue had volunteered in Guatemala and Costa Rica with Global Volunteers.  The Cuba program was Sue’s 26th Global Volunteers program, including three Cuba trips in 2013 on Global Volunteers’ people-to-people program.

Sue volunteering in Cuba

Sue taught English to teen and adult students.

“I love Cuba, ” Sue proclaimed.  “I love the country, the culture, and most of all, the people.  The Cuban people are wonderful.  I came to love them, and they loved me.  All relationships impact my life.”

“I was amazed by the number of new people we still attracted to the English classes even on the second week. But then again, I am not that surprised. This is how it goes on a “first” Global Volunteers team. If we build it, they will come. What impresses me is their enthusiasm and commitment to these classes. I don’t know how much English is being learned, but I do know how many relationships are being formed!”

“At the evening English class, ” she reflects, “fourty-four students showed up. Then,  Juan Carolos (the Cuban teacher) gathered the team to give a heartfelt tribute to us. He points to the Global Volunteers sign on the wall that reads ‘leave your mark on the world’ and states that we have left a ‘mark on his heart.'”

“Life is truly made up of the moments that take our breath away, not the number of breaths we take.  I love Cuba, ” Sue concluded.

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