Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Quest

Lucy Blumberg, Public Health in Cuba 2014 The smell of Cuban cheese is the worst part. Like an all-consuming Yarborough that’s been left in the back of the fridge for too long, it follows you around until you sweat off the scent under the hot sun. At first I was suspicious and stubborn; how could… Read more »

Tips for taking máquinas

Sunny Song, Public Health in Cuba 2014 There are state taxis that are the classic yellow and black, private taxis for both Cubans and foreigners, and lastly máquinas: communal taxis on fixed routes that are often old American cars from the 50’s and 60’s turned into cabs. It’s best to stand with at least one… Read more »


Sunny Song, Public Health in Cuba 2014 Our tour guide, Geraldo, introduced us to his half-Chinese friend as “Chino.” He explained that, in Cuba, calling someone gordo (fat), flaco (skinny), negro (black) or chino (Chinese) is common and is not offensive. In fact, it’s a term of endearment. Someone else mentioned how that is a… Read more »

Habana’s Reality is Brooklyn Chic

Lucy Blumberg, Public Health in Cuba 2014 “The city is falling apart and nobody cares!” cries Diego in Cuba’s breakthrough film Fresa y Chocolate. Though that film came out in 1993 at the height of the Special Period in Cuba, the same could be said about Havana today. Walking through the streets of Central Havana,… Read more »


Sunny Song, Public Health in Cuba 2014 During our first cab ride from the Aeropuerto Internacional José-Martí to our casa in Havana, I couldn’t take my eyes off the different world passing by my window. Part of this completely new scenery was an infinite number of giant, eye-catching billboards and colorful graffiti art. All of… Read more »

Publicly Healthy

Lucy Blumberg, Public Health in Cuba 2014 I’ve been delaying writing a post about health care in Cuba. I feel that putting words down on paper about what I’ve seen would prove, to myself and others, that I was wrong from the very beginning. In my first post I stated that I had no expectations… Read more »