Brandy was part of a University of Central Missouri summer student volunteer group in Cuba. After two weeks of teaching conversational English to Cuban children and people and supporting the community in other ways, she wanted to share a message with anyone considering serving in Cuba. Brandy hopes you will pick up where she left off with her work – as do we!
Given the opportunity, I would go back to Cuba as often as possible. The people, the culture, the beauty of the Island, the food, all tied together to create a wonderful experience that I will never forget. Since I returned from serving in Cuba, the only thing I can talk about is the time I had there and how I want to go back someday.
Although the free time, the old cars, and the group were great, I think it was the volunteering I enjoyed most. Almost every time I volunteered I decided to practice English with the kids. Through this I learned that kids would get up early and walk to the church on their own just to work on their English during their summer vacation. This showed me that the kids truly wanted to be there and pulled the future teacher inside of me out. I wanted to be there for those kids.
Brandy (left) with her energetic Cuban student English language group.
My favorite memory was the day we were able to assist with the water project. We helped the church fill containers with water. Then, the local people and the volunteers carried the water containers either back to their houses or to their makeshift carts waiting outside. What made this memory my absolute favorite were two different people. One, a man that said he was truly thankful for our help. He said that the work we were doing was God’s work and that they were blessed to have us that day. The second person was a lady who had originally planned to carry her containers full of water back to her house alone – along with some of her bags. Brooke (another volunteer) and I wanted to help her. As we carried her bags, she saw some friends and yelled “look at all the help I have!” several times. We could tell she was overfilled with joy.
Cubans are nothing like what I expected. They are prideful, happy, innovative, and caring people. If you are stuck between choosing which trip to go on, go to Cuba. You will not be disappointed.
Photos from Brandy’s experience serving in Cuba:
Get started today!
Experience Cuba now before things change – through the unique perspective of a volunteer. Visit our Volunteer in Cuba page or chat online with a Global Volunteers Cuba Specialist to learn more and get started.