Living with Karst in Cuba 2014 tour:
Photos and Testimonials
All photos by Jim Patera
Entrance to Cueva Majaguas-Cantera, Sierra de los Organos, Pinar del Rio
Cueva Santa Catalina, Matanzas
Cueva de los Indios, Rio San Vicente, Viñales, Pinar del Rio
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In December, 2014 we were privileged to be part of a cultural and scientific exchange group that spent 10 days in Cuba. Our tour was entitled “Living with Karst in Cuba” and was led by Dwight and Mary Deal and designed in coordination with EcoCuba Network. In addition to enjoying Havana, we had an exceptional experience in the Viñales region of western Cuba and Matanzas on the north-central coast.
Our trip was oriented toward cave and karst research, and the group from the U.S. was comprised mostly of earth scientists and karst experts. Our hosts in Cuba were also cave and karst experts, and they took us to several of the most famous and beautiful caves and karst areas on the island.
The trip, however, exposed us to far more than caves. We also visited cultural sites, historical areas and art centers. We experienced typical Cuban cuisine on a daily basis. The itinerary allowed us to interact with Cuban people ranging from college students to physicians, technical professionals, educators, local farmers, artisans and even a Member of Parliament. We learned about Cuban history, from initial colonization by the Spanish to the present day. We heard stories from the Cuban Revolution of the 1950s from people who experienced it. We were exposed to regional history from the Cuban perspective, and we learned how Cuban people view the political and economic relationship between Cuba and the United States.
The trip to Cuba was exceptionally well-planned and provided an eclectic experience for the participants. Participants were well-matched and compatible, and they shared their reas of expertise with the group. we thoroughly enjoyed our experiences in Cuba and look forward to traveling with Dwight, Mary and Eco Cuba Network in the future.
Harvey Du Chene, Retired Geologist and Kathy Du Chene, Retired Spanish Teacher, Lake City, CO
Americans and Cubans at the Escuela Espeleológico de Cuba
Mary Deal, Alejandro Romero Emperador (President ECN), Dwight Deal
Dwight Deal, Angel Graña Gonzalez
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More Reviews From 2014 Living with Karst in Cuba Participants
What a wonderful trip! Cuba is an amazing and friendly place. I hope we're able to go back sometime — maybe it will be easier now that U.S.- Cuba relations seem to be relaxing a bit (we heard the surprising news in Cancun). And it was great to see old friends again and meet some new ones. Thanks Dwight and Mary!
JHT, Boulder Colorado
No problems; we walked through customs without a question. Dwight and Mary, your control over things has a long reach. We might have left a day too soon. Wednesday might have been Hug-an-American day in Havana. (Dec 17 when Obama made his announcement)
WBW, State College, PA
A really great trip! Kudos to Dwight and Mary for putting together such a fun and diverse trip. My only regret is that they didn't announce the USA-Cuba policy change a few days earlier so we could have got in on the party in Havana!!!
JSM, Franktown, CO
Here comes another ditto from Washoe Valley and more special thanks for Mary and Dwight for pulling off another great trip. I remember when Dwight and Mary sent out an email asking what we wanted to see on our trip. My resonse was the same as when he asked that question before the Laos-Vietnam trip. I wrote 'I wanted to see the country through the eyes of a caver.' Just like the Vietnam trip they met that difficult request. But in addition, having so many knowledgeable and fun cavers along to share the trip made it so much more. Thank you all for helping make this for me a trip of a lifetime. I do hope to see you all again for yet anothr adventure to explore karst in another foreign land.
JCP, Washoe Valley, NV
Wow, what a wonderful trip it was — one of those magial-type trips and not all are. Please sign me up for the next Cuba trip, and my daughter, too.
BS, Dallas, TX
Yes, yes, it was a wonderful trip. Many thanks to Mary, Dwight and the whole gang for making it special. Great fun traveling with friends, old and new. It would have been fun to be in Havana when the news broke.
BS, Kamuela, HI
I join the other voices. — another Great Trip — as we've com to anticipate.
EGT, Boulder, CO
Eco Cuba Network is a project of the Green Cities Fund