Many of our clients inquire about Cuba — a fascinating country that is quickly becoming a top destination for US travelers. Our agents at Willamette Intl Travel have sent clients to the island for years and would love to share our expertise with you. Give us a call or email us for more info: 503-224-0180 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did You Know… ?
- Cuba’s unofficial nickname is “El Cocodrilo” or “El Caimá,” meaning crocodile and alligator respectively. These names are in reference to the shape the island resembles from an aerial perspective.
- Cuba was once inhabited by the Taíno, Guanajatabey and Ciboney populations, who lived as farmers, fishers and hunter-gatherers. Within 40 years after the arrival of Columbus, most of the locals had died of diseases like smallpox and measles.
- Columbus dubbed the island Isla Juana after Price Juan of Asturia but this never quite caught on. The name Cuba comes from the indigenous Taíno language, and can be translated as “fertile land” or “great place.”
- Cuba was a Spanish colony from the arrival of Columbus in 1492 until the Spanish-American War of 1898. After the war, the country was under US jurisdiction until 1902, when Cuba declared formal independence.
- In 1848 the U.S. offered Spain $100 million dollars for Cuba, but this offer was rejected.
- Cuba also has a French heritage. The slave uprising of 1791 in Haiti caused more than 300,000 French settlers to flee the island and many arrived on Cuba.
- The most popular sport in Cuba is baseball, followed closely by boxing. One of the most popular games is dominoes.
- In 2000, Fidel Castro erected a statue of John Lennon in a Havana park in remembrance of a revolutionary hero.
- Cuba has a 99.8% literacy rate, one of the highest in the world.
- Government vehicles are legally obligated to pick up hitchhikers if they have space.
- Christmas was not an official holiday in Cuba until 1997, when the government adopted the holiday as preparation for the Pope’s visit the following year.