Last December, I spent a week in Havana exploring the city and the architecture. I left the US seeking colorful Cuba, yet, quickly upon arrival, I found it is so much more than that. Havana is vibrant. Entering the city--surrounded by the streets, the buildings, the cars--feel like going back in time, at least 50 years. My home base for the trip, sponsored by Airbnb, was a 1925 family-owned mansion. Modern day conveniences like safe tap water, one-stop-shop markets or convenience stores, and an easily accessible internet are not available.
It's also a city of paradox. Culturally rich, but often structurally in ruins, it's a place where an up-and-coming artist supports his doctor parents because they make only $60 a month each. The country is well educated, because of subsidies, and everyone has a roof over their head. Overall, it ranks high in human development, but the average salary in the state sector is $20 a month.Read More