Hi Coast to Costa familia!
Just a few days ago, I was with an amazing group of people for one of our trips in Peru. We were high up in the mountains doing a hike with a shaman friend of ours when I got a text from Natalie about the new travel restrictions to Cuba. Continuing on the hike, I thought about all of the implications of what this ban could mean for us while Natalie researched from home. Luckily, our trips are still 100% legal, safe and also support the amazing locals who make our trips possible! It turned out the focus on working with local small businesses is what makes our trips legal!
So what became illegal as of June 5, 2019? The ban that Trump imposed basically is making people to people/educational travel to Cuba illegal. This is one of the 13 (now 12 legal reasons to travel to Cuba). This also means no more cruise ships, private boats, or private planes. This will affect tourism to Cuba and will greatly hurt the small businesses that began to flourish as tourism regulations were loosened under Obama. This is not kind nor fair for the people of Cuba. Right after the news broke we checked in with one of our trip hosts, Thalia, who was so disappointed to hear the news. After lots of mad and sad face emojis, she texted this “ it affects me because I live, eat, dress, and breath thanks to tour guiding. Cuban families were getting more income thus making their families happier! I have a 4 year old to support, but how am I supposed to do this if there are no clients?!”. Her sentiments were echoed throughout the other people we work with in Cuba.
We at Coast to Costa pride ourselves on ONLY working with private, small businesses and individuals. It's something that we've always just preferred doing. We prefer the one on one attention of a small business. We love our guides and want to know them and their families personally. We think a lot of big businesses suck and treat their workers poorly, so we like to work directly with the workers. We ARE small business!! Since we only work with locals and NEVER with the Cuban government, our trips are safe from this new ban. They are 100% legal, super fun and the money goes directly to families and individuals that we work with. Only. Always. Our trips to Cuba will continue to go on as before. We will keep working with the hard working entrepreneurs that we’ve always worked with and this administration will not stop that nor limit us from visiting parts of the world!
Thank you all for your continued support. If you have any questions about travel to Cuba, please let us know. Seriously, you can even call or text! We can help steer you in the right direction and make sure you are traveling to Cuba correctly and legally. You guys are the bomb. For even more info you can visit the US Treasury website here. As this affects our business and the livelihood of our team in Cuba, we will always keep everyone up to date with any new changes (good or bad)! Don't let a bully dissuade you from seeing the world and interacting with some truly amazing people!
Bridges. Not walls.