For any Cuban, July and August are synonymous with hot weather, beach, going out, beer, children jubilantly playing outside, games of dominoes…. For parents, those months also mean racking their brains to find ways to keep kids entertained enough so that they will finish the day exhausted and ready for sleep as early as possible.
Among Cuban families, it is very common for children to spend at least one of their two months of summer vacation with their grandparents. I was not an exception. To my good fortune, my grandparents lived in the countryside, and for the first ten years of my life, I anxiously awaited July, the month of freedom. Walking barefoot, getting wet in the rain, helping grandpa in his work outdoors, riding on horseback and enjoying my grandma’s food and her many ways of spoiling me: that spelled happiness.
As I grew older, I began to spend more time with my friends, “roughing it” as we camped out all over the island. All we needed for “the best of times” were our tents, hammocks, big pots for making stew, two or three flashlights, a guitar, strong legs and energy for walking, curiosity and an adventurous spirit. These were the times that produced the best anecdotes, the biggest dangers, the most memorable laughs, our first loves and our best friends.
After entering the world of work and beginning to raise a family, summer vacation has taken on a new meaning, but it is still the most special time of the year. Now it’s when we can enjoy that precious time with our children, relatives and friends without the pressures of the workday.
Without question, July is a month of magic, and you have to know how to experience it… and cool it off. We have dedicated this issue to that special warmth of July, the summer heat, and also its human warmth. Nature, music, fine arts, economy, tips for summer and even a haunted house are some of the topics we bring to you in this issue. We are also introducing two new sections: Lifestyle and Architecture are now part of our magazine.
I invite all of you to be part of the OnCuba family. We keep you up to date on happenings in Cuba through our website, www.oncubanews.com, and you can share your passion for the island with friends through the OnCuba Facebook page.