Amistur, a people to people bridge

Amistur, a people to people bridge


By Mercedes Ramos / Photos: Tito Meriño

Crated more than a decade ago to bring people to the island who are interested in knowing the Cuban reality, Amistur is in great demand by those who want trips that go beyond simple leisure and rest.

In an interview with Eduardo Mederos, director of Amistur, he explained the important role played by this agency within Cuban tourism. With very affordable programs, Amistur provides a vision of the social transformations that have taken place in Cuba since 1959 that no other agency or tour operator can offer.

The agency prepares a program with options from enjoying Cuban beaches and nature to visits to social and historic places or whatever the client requests. Travelers can also design their own program and Amistur makes it happen. Some recent examples included people interested in learning more about the Cuban education system, others who wanted to know about the health system and still others who were curious about how people live in the countryside.

Since its foundation in 1994, Amistur has also provided for the expression of solidarity with the island, including an international camp and the Julio Antonio Mella and Casa de la Amistad houses that provide venues for meetings of different groups like the international brigades that come to the island each year to help in the development of the country.

Amistur, a people to people bridgeBrigades such as the international Primero de Mayo (May First), the Nordic Countries, then European Jose Marti, the Venceremos (US and Puerto Rico) and the Canadian Che Guevara visit the island every year to work voluntarily in different economy related activities and later tour social-historical and tourist sites.

Mederos pointed out that Amistur's offer is quite inexpensive since the main goal is to attract the interest of those who feel love and friendship for Cuba and the work and life of Cubans. Amistur's strength, said Mederos, is in its relation with the Cuban Institute of Friendship with Peoples (lCAP) and the solidarity movements all over the world. The agency satisfies the interests of Cuba's friends to get to know the island's reality and enjoy the natural beauties of the Caribbean nation.