On this day…in history (haha just kidding), but in Cuba, we had three main events: Psychiatric Hospital visit, free time near the University of La Habana, and the Crafts Mart.
Cuban Psychiatric Hospital
We visited the top psychiatric facility in the country that still implements an old organization of the facility not used in modern day. The place is divided up into the kinds of patients and the genders and their statistical numbers regarding patient treatment and diminishing of hospital size is quite impressing. The people at the facility live pretty nicely as they participate in many activities. We got to be part of and see some of these activities such as the musical performance below where we got called up to participate in the dancing.
University of La Habana
During our lunch free time here, we got to walk up the same steps as many Cuban college students and even the same steps that Fidel once walked on and even addressed the people at. The campus is really nice and has the Harvard/USC?East Coast feel to it but with the beautiful Southern California weather.
Here you have to be careful with people who come up and befriend you and give you a nice little tour of places and then even end up offering a drink called a “Negron” which they say is a very Cuban drink (alcoholic). At the end, they ask for money and such. So just try and stay away from them and DO NOT drink the drink as no one is really sure of what is in it.
For lunch we ate at a nice little mom and pop place where the bus dropped us off and we had burgers. The entire meal, with a drink (which was AMAZING) was less than a dollar.
This is place is the go to place to bring your money too. Any souvenir that you would want or even imagine is available here. They have shirts, paintings, hats, toys, cigar cases, gizmos and gadgets, you name it you got it. If you do not bring all your money to this place you will regret it because you won’t find a lot of things here elsewhere or even for the same prices. I got 3 handmade/painted magnets for $2. You could get nice little paintings 5 for $10. This place is also all private ownership. These are real Cuban people with their real businesses so it is nice to contribute to them and give them a little income.