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,


Cuba Yoga Holiday Retreat

Cuba Yoga Holiday Retreat

Why Cuba?  I have been asked this question numerous times since announcing that my first Yoga Retreat destination will be Cuba.  After completing my first Yoga Teacher Training, I came to many realizations about myself, life, and my purpose in this life.

From Dream to Reality


As a Cuban-American, I grew up in a family and city that instilled in me a deep sense of heritage.  Throughout my life, my family and friends who immigrated to the United States from Cuba, vividly shared their memories about the country they loved so deeply.  Growing up in Miami is a constant reminder of Cuba; the men smoking cigars and playing dominoes in tank tops, the food, the coffee, the music, and the dancing are all living ghosts of the Cuban culture’s past.

As a result, early on, I developed an intense desire to experience Cuba firsthand.  In 2010, I booked a trip to the island and I fell head-over-heels in love with it.  Cuba is stunningly beautiful, delicious, and mysterious.  It is no wonder that it has been a desirable destination for so many people.


After my repeated trips to Cuba, people kept asking me: “What is Cuba like?”, “How were you able to go there?”, “Am I allowed to travel to Cuba?”, “What did you have to do in order to go?”

Today, almost everyone can travel to Cuba.

However, there is an intricate authorization process and the in-country coordination can be complex if not handled correctly.  After listening to so many people’s misinformation, confusion, and anxiety about traveling to Cuba, I decided to help others experience this beautiful paradise by creating "YOUR CUBA TRAVEL". 

I have developed and perfected a Cuba travel experience that is different from the others.  We do not offer cookie cutter tours; instead, we offer a true and very personal, cultural and educational experience.  We do not want our guests to simply see Cuba; we want our guests to live and feel Cuba through its people.  The island’s natural beauty, historical architecture, antique cars and welcoming people will possess you.   


YOUR CUBA TRAVEL is now a full service agency that specializes in managing your trip from beginning to end.  Our multi-lingual (English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French) Cuban-American agency meticulously takes charge of every detail of the trip.  YOUR CUBA TRAVEL tackles the legal and logistical challenges of visiting Cuba so that our guests can simply relax and enjoy the experience.

Our goal is to launch our website by the end of March, after our return from one of our trips to Cuba.  The website will offer visitors an “about us” section, “our family and Cuban heritage”, a blog, tour details and prices, and the ability to sign up for updates about any changes in travel requirements.  We will also provide the official forms which are needed for each traveler.

We are also in the process of developing a newsletter which will be used to share pictures and stories about our trips, as well as interesting information about the history of some of the sites that we visit.  The newsletter will also highlight any special group trips that are already in the planning stages, which currently includes an art appreciation and exchange trip, a specialized photography tour, a yoga and wellness educational retreat and a Tampa Bay Rays vs. Cuban national team baseball exhibition.

You will also soon be able to follow YOUR CUBA TRAVEL on:  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn.

We look forward to sharing the realization of our dream and our passion … with you!

For more information contact:
Eli Arroyo-Allen
(305) 912-CUBA