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Havana, Cuba

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Cuba at a Crossroads

Abigail Giarrosso
Abigail Giarrosso, a chemistry major, spent the first two weeks of 2016 in Cuba as part of a faculty-led honors seminar.


New ideas about communism, capitalism and culture swirled in Abigail Giarrosso’s mind. 

As she composed the final blog entry for her January 2016 immersion trip to Cuba, her thoughts tangled with memories: the taste of cigar smoke and mojitos, salsa dancing, Hemingway’s ghost, and the glorious rooftop garden of her host, Carlos. She had seen so much. 

“Returning to the resedencias for the final time, I began to feel nostalgic for the moment,” she wrote. “The unique and fleeting moment of being in Cuba at time of thawing relations, impending American tourism, and 80-degree weather in January. 

“When will I ever again feel the midnight breeze of the Malecón? What if I never see Old Habana again? I strained my head around the bus’s windows trying to get one last glimpse of Cuba before heading back to America.

“I realized that just as José Martí sparked a revolution in Cuba from abroad, and how Hemingway was never the same after he left his Cuban home, it seems very hard to lose passion for Cuba once you have been a part of the culture.”