Less than 90 miles from the United States lies the largest island in the Caribbean, Cuba. It has the second largest population in the region, and before the US Embargo of 1960, was one of the most advanced and prosperous nations in Latin America. From quality education, high life expectancy, and technological advances like telephones and automobiles, life in Cuba in the 1950’s was good.
Everything changed with the Communist Revolution in 1959. Although the poor were uplifted socially and economically by the revolution, the Communist government exacted a heavy blow to people of faith, making those who worshipped God second class citizens.
The US lead Embargo limited trade and tourism to the nation in 1960 and economic depression followed the Soviet Union’s collapse in the early 1990’s. The combination of these and other factors left Cuba stuck in the 1950’s, its once thriving economy unable to advance. Today Cuba finds itself a nation without modern technology, appliances, or automobiles newer than the 1950’s. Its people, ever optimistic and tenacious, find hope in the ending of US sanctions and the easing of some of the harsh laws that have kept them isolated, poor, and all but forgotten by the outside world.
We invite you to discover a place unlike anywhere you’ve ever traveled, where the culture and people are vibrant, passionate, and where the church is rapidly growing, all under the rule of an anti-religion, communist government. Experience the real Cuba while interacting with the Franciscan Friars and investing in relationships with local people by embracing what Pope Francis has called a “culture of encounter”. On our mission trip to Cuba, you will be transported to another time and place as you experience this beautiful land with its heroic people. You’ll also leave with a new and deeper understanding of your faith and what it means to join in solidarity with the poor.