It has been a jam packed week full of all things Bayamo. Bayamo is one of the most historic cities in Cuba, allowing us to better understands this beautiful nation’s history. On our first day in Bayamo we began the day by riding horse coaches throughout the city. We quickly learned that about 40% of the city relies on horses as a means for transportation. The city felt almost farm like combining cars and motorcycles with oxen, horses and free roaming chickens. We later saw various statues of influential leaders scattered around the city and mistook a few as public seating. In the following days we visited a national botanical garden, the place where José Marti became a martyr, a sugar cane plantation and a gorgeous river. Unlike Holguin and Santiago, Bayamo has been much quieter and has fewer tourist attractions within the city. However, through walking around in the city, living with our new families and experiencing Cubania (a festival that occurs every Saturday) we saw the strength of the community here. It is such a welcoming place where friends and family greet one another in passing through quick kisses. We even got to experience this through getting to know some locals who you run into everywhere you go, making us begin to feel at home here. Today (March 12) we begin our journey to Santo Domingo a small town in the mountains. Although we are very excited to venture to this even fresher and quieter place to begin our trek, we will miss the welcoming air of Bayamo very much.
Heather Vaught, Carpe Diem Education
March 14, 2017