Dagoberto’s family in Pinar del Rio, Cuba

Here’s a great story from one of my students who made his travel experience far more meaningful through a random act of kindness.

I visited some friends in Mexico because I missed drinking and eating tacos with them. I was traveling from east to west and when I was in Merida, I met a Cuban guy who worked in the motel I was staying at. His name was Dagoberto and he escaped Cuba by boat. Whenever someone was walking outside the hotel he got nervous and uncomfortable.

What was worse was that he left his family in Cuba. He had a plan to get to the US and then bring his family to America. I wanted to do something nice for him so I came up with an idea. I asked him if he wanted me to take his picture and deliver it to his family along with a message.

“Gracias amgo!”

I had been planning to visit the eastern part of Cuba but I changed my plans because his family was on the west. I was nervous because traveling in Cuba is much harder than traveling in Mexico. Almost no one speaks English (my Spanish is not good) and the public transportation is not good.

I was able to take a bus to Dagoberto’s hometown, Pinar del Rio, which is 3 hours from Havana. His family treated me like family. I showed them the pictures and they cried. I was able to really experience Cuba, Cuban people, and the importance of family.

I haven’t heard any news about them since I left. I still miss them and I hope we can meet each other in the future.


Filed Under: Vacation experiences

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  1. Monika says:

    That’s a great way to meet country and people and it’s the way I like to travel as well. Not just staying in some resort and tourist only attractions. You will have the memory of a lifetime from that experience.

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