May 8, 2017 — Twenty-nine students spent spring break traveling to Cuba with four faculty members. It was the first trip to Cuba in the history of Haverford’s Global Studies program, which strives to help students gain awareness, respect, and understanding of international cultures and the global community. Here, students and faculty reflect on their experiences.
Just 30 minutes after their feet first touched Cuban soil, our group of Haverford boys spontaneously jumped into a rumba street dance. I was moved by their willingness to be swept up, body and spirit, by the moment and the music around them: to accept the invitation to dance, and to embrace the first Cubans they met with admiration and warmth. This trip offered the boys a chance to do many things for the first time: ride a horse, go caving, eat freshly roasted pig, dance to live Cuban music, forgo the Internet, practice Spanish with native speakers, and experience a different political system. It also served to nourish and challenge Haverford students and teachers, and to enhance our collective knowledge of the Spanish language, Cuban culture, and international travel.
-Noel Straight, Upper School Spanish