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My Cuba Diaries: Meeting Candita Batista

How does one go about planning a trip to Cuba based on meeting a centenarian? Let me tell you – no es fácil, as Cubans like to say. Chances are slim, and as it turned out in my case, nil. Two years after my first trip to Cuba, I was eager to make my way back to the Caribbean island, to witness the incredible winds of change as of late and to rub against the vibe of its people. But my end goal was to ultimately say hello to an old friend whom I’d met in Camagüey.



The Perfect Cuban Sandwich

The legendary “Cuban sandwich,” glazed ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, mustard, and sliced dill pickles lightly grilled atop Cuban bread, isn’t just a tasty treat. It’s a slice of history.

The “Cubano” likely originated with Cuban factory workers in Tampa and Key West at the turn of the century. Given the ease of back-and-forth travel then between Florida and Cuba, the sandwich soon became a lunchtime favorite in both places. A later version, made from sweeter bread, caught on as a “medianoche” (midnight snack) at late-night clubs.



Cuba’s Best-Kept Secrets

Every place has its secrets. Cuba’s include political intrigue, well-priced treats, and villages barely touched by time. We asked insightCuba tour leaders what they considered Cuba’s best-kept secrets. Here is what they said:



Baracoa, to the beat

With rhythmic, steady steps, uninterrupted and in continuous circle, the dance initiating the long-lived traditional Fiesta del Kiribá y Nengón, alive since more than a century,  reveals the primary cells of the Cuban son