Our Passion

Other Cuban Journeys was founded with the purpose of fostering meaningful cross-cultural interaction between US and Cuban citizens. Our groups explore Cuba with the help of seasoned Cuban tour guides that are open to dialogue and discussing the real Cuba.
We have been facilitating groups for many years and our experience, contacts, and name opens doors for our groups. Cuba has witnessed amazing changes in the last couple of years. The Cuban people are enjoying new freedoms and opportunities which were not previously available. This is a time when a free exchange of ideas can be meaningful. People feel freer and are more open. All the changes are extraordinary and wonderful to observe first hand.

Our Journeys

We can ensure an exciting and seamless journey to Cuba that will profoundly impact the traveler. OCJ travelers return with an in-depth perspective, not a superficial tourist experience. Our guests return holding unforgettable experiences in their hearts and memories. Cultivating true friendships with people on the island is what we do best. Our friends are from all walks of life: doctors, engineers, drivers, laborers, musicians, educators, religious leaders, artists, and more.   We continue to build these relationships based on our history of trust with the people of Cuba. This adds to your access to a truly immersive journey.

Our Team

Miriam and Marla, our founders, began their Cuban experience as curious participants and found a deep passion for the people and the country of Cuba.  In the year 2000, helping the emerging Jewish Cuban community became their life's work. Their dedication to working with the people on the island led to friendships both inside and outside of the Jewish community. With every trip, they realized how starved people on both sides of that "90 mile gap" were for meaningful interactions. Their passion has always been to deliver to each group member real and unique personal memories of Cuba. 

 

Marla WHITESMAN, Co-Founder

Without expectation, my first Cuban Journey in December 2000 was a life changing experience. The trip was prompted by my husband and I went very begrudgingly and unwillingly- little did I realize the profound effect that it would have on me. From the very first hour, I was smitten; the tour guide, the sites, the people, the cars, the stories, the history and more. Cuba was a new major part of my life from that very first day, it was in my heart and it would come to shape my future.
My original connection to the island started with the Cuban Jewish community and taking Jewish groups (synagogues, University groups, Jewish Federations, etc.) to meet and connect with their brethren. Wanting to expand what I did and marry my love of helping the people along with exposing Cuba to travelers, I ventured out and tour managed other People-to-People trips. It was through working for other companies that I gained the initial experience I now share with travelers daily. And now those experiences are myriad. They are very meaningful and thus part of the impetus to expand into the other cultural communities and deliver for those seeking other experiences. Thus, Other Cuban Journeys. Recently, having spent many months out of each of the past several years on the ground in Cuba, I have gained substantial knowledge and expertise that is unique- and that I bring to our work at OCJ.   
Cuba has brought many wonderful people and experiences into my life.  Cuba gives everyone who has set foot on the island an attitude of gratitude.  Cuba is everything you expect and nothing you expect- and so much more!
I feel like Cuba is home. When I am walking down the Malecon in Havana or a street in Vinales and hear my name being yelled from a car, or when I get a phone call from a Cuban friend while boarding the plane to fly back to the US and they say, “come home soon”, I know that I am so lucky to have Cuba in my life. And I have my husband to thank for that!

 

Miriam Saul, Co-Founder

I am a Cuban/American Jew who returned to Cuba after an absence of 40 plus years; I rediscovered my Jewish-Cuban roots. I found a Jewish Community ready for a Renaissance, a reawakening of their Jewish traditions and culture. As a Cuban immigrant, wife, mother, and Jewish Day School Educator, I felt a duty to help this emerging community. For over sixteen years I have organized and lead more than 100 Adult and Teen Missions to the Jewish Communities of Cuba. These Missions bring physical as well as spiritual aid to the island.
From 2002 to 2006, I served as founder and volunteer chairperson of the MJCCA International
Community Builders- Project Cuba. In 2005, I was presented a special award by B'nai Brith International for the work that My Teen Missions accomplished interacting with the young people of Cuba. In 2007, on the 10th year anniversary celebration of the Cuban Jewish Community I was honored with a special recognition for the significant contributions that were made by my Missions. In 2006, Friends of Jewish Cuba was established as an LLC dedicated to helping the Jewish Communities in Cuba; I now serve as co- Director and co-founder of Other Cuban Journeys which continues to provide Jewish as well as custom and boutique Cuba travel.
My first Cuban journey began giving me back memories of a life past; it was truly a life changing a personal healing experience.  I am so proud and honored to continue my quest and see it through "your" eyes.   I look forward to being able to share my knowledge of Cuba with all of you and show you why the island inspires such a wide range of emotions and deep nostalgia for those who get to know its complexities firsthand.

MEET OUR DEDICATED TEAM

 


Marla Whitesman and Miriam Saul,
Founders of Other Cuban Journeys

 

TO BOOK YOUR TRIP OR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS SEND US A MESSAGE:

info@othercubanjourneys.com - Click Here to Contacts Us

 

 

Other Cuban Journeys, LLC is licensed by the US Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (CT-2014-306910-1) to organize and conduct educational exchanges in Cuba that will result in meaningful full-time interactions between the US travelers and individuals in Cuba.