• Hillel at Virginia Tech

Reflection on Alternative Break Service Trip to Cuba

Who would of thought the end of our trip would come so soon? Unfortunately everything does eventually have to come to an end. This past week in Cuba has been full of history, service, culture, great food with a little bit of fun on the side. Through our service and reflections; Hearing many ideas, motivational and inspirational quotes and lessons from Niki, Jacqui, Sue, Roger, Alex, Jeff and especially my fellow peers on this trip will no doubt stick with me to help motivate me for the spring semester as well many challenges and obstacles on the long road ahead. Throughout this past week in Cuba, we all saw and experienced many amazing things. Through our service activities such as painting an elderly nursing home, planting on a farm in Trinidad etc... we had the privilege to work alongside locals who were very passionate and excited to share their culture with us. Throughout our experience taking part in the Cuban culture and lifestyle, an significant lesson we have taken in is that citizens of the United States have various skills and luxuries that Cuban citizens do not have and vice versa. While in Cuba, we did not have certain luxuries with us and participated in activities that were not within our safe zone. However, with the help and honor to work alongside citizens of Cuba, we were able to successfully perform these skills which helped us partake in Cuban culture. All of us have learned to respect and embrace Cuba's culture and skills. Cuban citizens have all taken great pride in their culture by sharing it with us. Today, when we get on the plane and return back to the United States, we have the chance to learn from our trip by embracing and taking pride in our culture which consists of many opportunities, skills and luxuries. All of us who have learned so much from this trip will no doubt go back to our academics, jobs, activities, internships, etc... more motivated and excited which helps us embrace our culture. It's been a great and unforgettable week, and it definitely wouldn't have been possible without my fellow peers, leaders, advisors etc... Hopefully we'll have another opportunity in the future to expand our cultural knowledge and perspective on the world we live in.

By: Jared Kossover