Bio: Venessa Vera Cruz Naceno

Rincon, Cuba, 1996. © Sean Hughes

Rincon, Cuba, 1996. © Sean Hughes

The importance of global studies

I think global studies is important, more so today than before, because of how we in today’s world interact with people from different cultures and easily communicate with people across the globe on a daily basis.

The value of global studies and cultural competence is underrated. It is easy to be ignorant about unfamiliar things, like cultures other than our own and people, but we can do our part to be less ignorant and be more understanding. I think a lot of people that have never stepped out of  “their world” have a difficult time seeing it “through the eyes of others” and they easily use the word “weird” to comment on something that is different than their own ways, habits or customs.

Global studies open your eyes to a different world than what you would discover solely on your own or as a tourist traveling the world. Global studies and learning as a group teaches you not only about another culture and another part of the world, but about the different ways it impacts and is experienced differently by each individual. Global studies gives an opportunity to share experiences and through that you’ll get a better understanding of how other people “see it”, not just the local people, but also those that you travel with.

Personal Interests and passions

Cultures fascinate me. I have been interested in health and lifestyle the past five years or so. It gradually became an interest through different courses in college (I think). I like looking at the links between culture and health and how different cultures can dictate peoples  actions and behaviors and ultimately their lifestyle despite any education one might have.

I like trying new activities and sports that challenges me physically. I have a love for basketball, playing and watching. I find a lot of sports interesting.

Why Cuba ?

Why not Cuba?! Unlike other places that I know people have travelled to, Cuba might be the only one that people didn’t have mixed feelings about. People who I have talked to that have been there, talk about their experience in a “dreamy” way. I don’t have any other way to explain it. They will go through the pictures they took from Cuba and they too can’t explain their experience, other than ” it is truly wonderful, all that it is”, and they have this distant look in their eyes, as if they disappear from time and place for a moment.

The fact that Cuba is a communist country, is unique, and something I want to see. It is one thing to read and learn about how their lives are, but it is another thing to get a glimpse of it through your own observations there.

I’ve been to the Dominican Republic and to Puerto Rico and have ever since been fascinated about the countries in the Caribbean, especially their culture. Although they are so close, they seem very different.

I took Spanish in high school and although it is a while ago, this trip would be an opportunity to practice it again.

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