Cuban Reality

🇬🇧 Living in Cuba. The true story.

Today few words for those who emailed me asking how to move to Cuba, and for those who in general are interested in subject.

Cuba is one of these charming places in the planet that seduces us very easily. Usually we come back home seduced by both: Cuba and some Cuban 😉 And especially if we live in some boring or not that colorful place like Caribbeans we may start to think about leaving everything and move to Cuba.

I did it twice in the last two years. And I don’t say I will never do it again but after few months in Cuba I really and desperately crave normal life. So how does is look like if you want to move there?

Volunteering

Few of you asked for this option. Yes, Cuba is full of small businesses now. No, Cubans would never let you work there.

First of all volunteering is not really known in Cuba. Second of all, if you arrive in Cuba on tourist visa you have to stay in Casa Particular or Hotel. That’s just the way it is. You have to be registered and the owner of the place you stay at, has to pay taxes for you.

Also as tourist you can’t really work. And Cubans will not risk loosing their business for your Cuban experience. In communist country everybody can be “chivato” (esp. informer) so Cubans are often afraid to speak louder, not mentioning about illegally hiring a yuma.

Legal work

The only thing I could suggest here is to get a job in the embassy of your country in Havana (rather hard to do) or to start working in tourism. Of course you can’t be hired by any Cuban company but you can try to get a job from outside.

We did it with Fidel and we guided tours for small travel agency. The plus is the money, you get paid in your currency. The bad thing is that if you do it too ofter the authorities start to dig and if your Cuban boyfriend / husband is with you, he can get in trouble.

It’s also possible to work as resident for big travel agency like Tui for example. You will be sent to the resorts like Varadero or Cayo Santa Maria for few months. The bad thing is that if you have someone in Cuba you will spend most of the time separate.

Some of the people start to organize their own tours. I know a lot of people like this, including from Poland, Canada, Czech Republic etc. It’s usually a good idea if you plan to live half time in your country and half time in Cuba. The business has to be based in your country because of taxes etc.

That’s all in case you will not ask for pernament residency. Once you do, you will be treated as Cuban so to guide any tours you will have to have special licence and be contracted by official agencies like Havanatour or Cubatour etc. But you will be paid like Cubans.

You can always opt for guiding people in your location but remember Cubans don’t like if Yumas take their well paid jobs, so you may have problems anytime. It is also illegal.

There are also some foreign companies based in Cuba but they have few positions available for foreigners since Cuban wages are much lower and it’s just easier to hire locals.

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Remote work

Hopefully soon enough it will be possible to just take your laptop and sit somewhere on the beach. But for now the internet is too slow and too expensive to do so. But hey, it’s getting cheaper everytime I go there so there’s hope.

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What else?

I really have to say that the combination of politics, Cuban mentality and lack of everything makes it hard to live in Cuba. And I’m really not the kind of girl who minds to have shower with the bucket. But this mentality of “it can’t be done”, “it’s not possible in Cuba”, ” that’s just how it work, get used to it” makes me crazy.

They all compain of how expensive the food is but almost nobody plant anything. I’m talking Viñales where everybody have small yards.

They all complain how expensive is to paint the house or do any renovation but they prefer to sit and watch other people to do it than to try.

And these things get frustrating after some time. I really know a bunch of girls who moved to Cuba to be with their love ones and they all ended up back in their countries.

It doesing mean you shouldn’t try. You should. Especially with all the changes happening already (Castro is leaving this year!) I really hope Cuba will soon develop and become a great place to live as it is already a great place to be.

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