People-To-People Travel Is Awesome!
At the time of this writing, United States citizens are permitted to travel to Cuba; however, tourist travel to Cuba is prohibited for Unites States citizens. Therefore, those desiring to visit Cuba must obtain a license from the Unites States Department of the Treasury or certify that their travel falls into one of 12 categories of authorized travel. One such category permitting travel to Cuba is the people-to-people travel, which requires the traveler to participate in activities that are intended to "enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities, and that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba." Unites States Department of the Treasury. I have no issue with certifying that our family’s visit to Cuba is for a genuine people-to-people exchange.
For further information on requirements for traveling to Cuba, visit the United States Department of State website, here. Additional information is also available on the United States Department of the Treasury website, here.
Quite frankly, I think we’ve engaged in people-to-people travel in other countries without classifying it as such. When we travel to other countries, we love speaking with our drivers, tour guides, bartenders, wait staff, store attendants, and others to learn more about the history, the culture, the highlights, and the struggles of the countries we are visiting.
I am astonished at folks who don’t regularly have those conversations throughout their travels.
Throughout time, travel has been seen as a vehicle that breaks down existing barriers and prevents new barriers from being established. That destruction and prevention of barriers tends to occur when there are meaningful exchanges between the visitor and the one being visited. Not a patronizing exchange, but a genuine desire to learn and to build up, to give willingly and to receive graciously, not necessarily material things, but time, knowledge, and love.
Do you seek to learn more about the places you’re visiting while on vacation? If so, how do you go about doing that? Reading guidebooks, watching informational videos, speaking with people who actually live there, or some or all of the above?