The Experiment in Nicaragua and Cuba: Arts and Social Change



We're here in Cuba as part of one of our
comparative programs, where students travel first to Nicaragua
then to Cuba and then back to Nicaragua again to be able to give a comparison of
the effects of arts on social change and the effects of social change on the arts. I think The Experiment is a unique
program because it's multifaceted and it has the homestay element, it has the
thematic focus, and it really focuses on immersion. Living in a community that's so foreign and rural taught me that it's important to always
build connections with people wherever you go, just by differences that you may
have. My host film is awesome. My mom is always trying to help. It's helping my Spanish a lot with the immersion. At this point, they don't know English so if I
don't know what word I've got to figure it out on my own. I can't just ask them. Listening to my mom talk about the
revolution and the war in the neighborhood that we're currently living
in is pretty crazy to me because it's just so unbelievable then if I looked
outside the window maybe 40, 50, 60 years ago there's a war being fought and that makes me realize I take freedom for granted
sometimes. Here in Cuba, they spend their time in
Havana exploring the world of the arts and social organizations. I think this is a very important theme for The Experiment because universal art
has always been a way to facilitate change in many different cultures. They also are able to get to see the sights, taste the food, and really engage with
the culture, listen to the music, really get to know Cuba in perhaps a very
different light than what is commonly understood from a U.S. perspective. You hear the stories from the United States perspective but in Cuba and Nicaragua it's
completely different. Here in Cuba with the cars and the buildings and the colors, it's very vibrant. I think Cuba is kind of similar to where I'm from. There's a lot of people, it's pretty loud. I'd say that this city is more colorful than mine. This type of program is really critical
at this time especially with changing relationships with the U.S. and the way
that there's been a dynamic and changing relationship truly over many decades
with Cuba. I think The Experiment stands out
from other programs because it really brings the students into the culture and
it just makes it so much easier to really learn about something when you're just there doing it. And so what we do is, we get the students
to be involved in these different experiences and after the fact we will
sit down and reflect on what they have learned and what the implications are
for their future. I feel like after Cuba by coming back to Nicaragua I've got more
of an appreciation for their way of living. I can see the differences between
Cuba and Nicaragua. Even though the language, the whole culture is different. This was definitely
really inspiring to me to see that all these kids, like they mentioned that some
of them can't even afford shoes and they're here trying to get an education. If everyone has a common interest,
anything can be done if everyone is together and working in unison. This experience has really changed me as a person. Being on this trip has definitely changed me. Making connections with people wherever I go is super quick to me now. Everything I've seen so far has really
inspired me to be a better person. This is how leadership plays out in a very
experiential and hands-on way in The Experiment, right here in Cuba.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. this looks amazing !!! i would love to go on a trip like this !!! would i be able to join you guys ? how much would it cost ?

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