Cuba is an amazing and exciting place to visit. However, you have to be quite adventurous to see Cuba as it really is. Havana, the capital of Cuba, is the biggest cultural city in Cuba. Old Habana (Downtown Havana) is located in the Centro Habana district. It is the smallest of the 15 municipalities of Havana, but with over 3 million inhabitants, it has the highest population density. Cubans are kept separate from the tourist by its two-currency system. Foreign currency is t accepted and must be converted into tourist dollars for spending in Cuba. Most items above the basic needs are priced in tourist dollars, which is nearly 25 times that of the Cuban Peso. So you won't find Cubans spending in Tourist areas r tourist spending or shopping in real Cuban areas--which are the back streets of Old Havana. Tour buses are expensive and keep most Cubans off. Tour buses go to certain locations and are very confined. To witness the life of everyday Cubans, you must pay a visit to the neighborhoods that are behind the face presented to the tourist-only then can you comprehend the loneliness of everyday life in Cuba.
Joseph L. Gill, LMFT, is a California State licensed mental health professional with a private practice in San Jose, CA. He combines his practice with photography designed for relaxation and a spiritual connection with all things in nature as a proactive means of managing stress in all aspects of day to day living.