Staff Messages

La Abuela

My Grandmothers “Cuban Princesita”

Growing up in a Cuban home (particularly for girls) there were some very strong and demanding expectations from the patriarch of the family “La Abuela”- grandma in Spanish.  We knew that there was certainly a fine line of respect and admiration that came with being a member of a Cuban family that had a living Abuela.

For me, my Abuela was tough, demanding, overwhelming, overprotective, loving, kind, determined and the best chef in the whole-wide world.  Regardless of what she was making, every single meal was always excellently prepared with much love. 

Recently, I had a very fond memory of my Abuela that brought me to blog today.  My family instilled in me some amazing values, and the love for their beloved Cuba was among their top priorities.  There was no way that I would not be totally fluent in Spanish, spanglish and of course English. But my Abuela was a stately woman, I remember always coming home from school and she was dressed to perfection, her lovely white hair professionally done, baby blue eyes and yes perfect skin - she was beautiful.  Her name was Francisca, many called her Panchita.

As she began her aging process she had to acquire a cane to help her walk better but even then, she was in the kitchen every day preparing something special for her family.  Looking back at what brought to write today, there was always a special smell that came from the kitchen when I would come home at the end of my day and that amazing smell always warmed my heart.  During one of our recent trips to Cuba, I walked into a Paladar (privately owned restaurant, often in one’s own home) in Havana that smelled like Abuelas house.  The tears came faster than I could control and I was transported 40 years back to a time of great importance in my life.

Our lives turn and change, people come and go, some friends remain and some don’t, but in a Cuban family what always persists is La Familia and its memories.  So how blessed am I that I travel for a living to the most beautiful and perfect place on earth, my Familia’s homeland.  

I guess I never told you what that amazing smell was, it was my Grandmother’s guava empanadas.  That delightful sweetness of the guava melting as you fry the empanada is a little piece of heaven in your kitchen.  What a wonderful life and what a terrific memory.

Come join us #yourCubaTravel as we journey and explore, find and create, or help you relive those Cuban memories for you as well!

Con Carino y besitos,