Category: Student Blogs

“Saints & Santería” – Dillon O’Hare

Religion is a very important part of every society. Every society has multiple cultures, which translates into many more religions. Some religions work well together, and are capable of existing, even flourishing, in each other’s presence. Other religions clash, making it near impossible live in the same area as the other. In some cases however, two or more religions exist in the same area and there is no issue, no effect on the other. I am a catholic, which is a rather large religion that is popular among other countries.

“Credit in a Communist Country” – Brad Erthal

For my project, I will investigate the credit system of Cuba, which is currently in transition. I want to learn by what means Cubans can obtain loans, how much they can borrow, and under what conditions they are allowed to borrow money. I want to know what institutions exist to loan money, where these institutions get their funding, who decides whether to give a loan and how that decision is made, , whether there are profits or losses, and how large they are. In the case that lending institutions are not robust enough to cover both the supply and the demand for borrowing money in Cuba, there will be both a black market and an informal credit system, both of which I would like to investigate.

“The Rhythm of Havana: The Importance of Salsa and Ballet in Cuban Culture” – Shelby Calambokidis

For my project, I plan to research how the different types of dance in Cuba exemplify different elements of Cuban culture. Specifically, I am going to study Salsa dance at a personal level, in the streets and its role in Cuban nightlife and cultural expression, as well as the Cuban National Ballet. The Salsa is the most popular dance in Cuba and is a vital part of the music and energy that defines Cuba.

“How Government Affects Catholic Faith in Cuba” – Pavia Gooch

On arriving in Cuba, the one thing that you are struck with before you even exit the airport is how tight the government controls everything.  This was an expected aspect of Cuban culture for this American citizen.  However, coming from a religious background, I was intrigued to see how much government played a role in the life of modern day Catholics. On further exploration, there might be an opportunity to view other Protestant denominations and their interaction with the government as well.

“Garden in the City” – Lizzie Beale

My love for planting, growing, and – most importantly – eating food has followed me here, to a country that, despite its lush countryside and availability of land, imports about 70% of its food. I spent last summer traveling the northeast, working on organic farms and learning about American food security from a small farmers’ point of view. I now want to delve into this situation in Cuba. My goal for this project is to trace the distance a plate of food travels, from farm to table.

“Theater in a Cuba” – Boyd Taylor

For my presentation, I will be addressing the prevalence of theatre in Cuban society as well as the process through which a company must go in order to stage a production in a socialist country. In the United States we are free to say what we want and produce what we want; however, in Cuba it is different. Not only can one not produce anything too persuasively anti-socialist, the government must also make sure that whatever they produce grosses a large profit.

Arrival – Lizzie Beale

Lizzie Beale

I’m a sophomore from Montgomery, Alabama. I’m double majoring in Environmental Science (through New College) and Spanish, with a minor in Blount Undergraduate Initiative.