Marcel was born in Spokane, Washington, in 1954, and grew up in Priest Lake, Idaho. He moved to Canada in 1983, and currently spends much of his time in Havana.
In his own words.
From 1991 to 1996, I served as a volunteer press correspondent for the Pastors for Peace Caravan. Its objective was to break the horrible US economic blockade of the island. In 1997, I organized the Canadian contingent of the International Feminist Brigade to Cuba. On my first trip to the island I witnessed an entire people affirming principles of social justice, dignity and equal rights. It was profoundly transformative and I was hooked. I returned home with the conviction to assist others to encounter Cuba. This is how Zunzun Education Services came about.
Alden was born in central Cuba in 1986 and migrated to North America in 2013. Alden lives and works in Seattle as a Cuba travel consultant.
In his own words.
I was born in the city of Camagüey, “la Tierra de los Tinajones [the land of the earthenware pots],” an epithet describing its deep-rooted tradition of clay pottery that dates back to the aboriginal times.
I grew up in a poor neighborhood full of well-educated, hard-working and altruistic people. My birth city has countless traditions and mysticism, but most importantly it has been and still is one of Cuba’s cultural powerhouses and, since 2009, has enjoyed UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
At the age of seven I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do in my life. I wanted to become one of Cuba’s top interpreters and translators. Foreign languages have always been my cup of tea. I pursued that dream and earned my BA in French and German languages at the Foreign Language School of Havana University. After I graduated, I never went back to my hometown nor became a translator. Instead, I stayed in the most vibrant, appealing and charming city I had known: Havana, a place I grew strongly attached to over my years in college.
Feeling so proud of the beauty of Havana, my heritage, culture, history and country, I realized I wanted to repurpose my profession to let the world know about the charms of my homeland. I became a tour leader at the culture and history focused travel agency San Cristóbal, part of the Havana’s Office of the Historian of the City. In three years there I gained extraordinary experience regarding the history, architecture and values of Havana and other founding colonial villages. I worked hand-in-hand with people from all over the world, but predominantly with visitors from the United States.
I moved to America in 2013 and continued my mission to teach about Cuba. While in Cuba, I worked with Zunzun Education Services and knew they conducted amazing trips to the island. When the opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance to assist them from Seattle.
I feel blessed to work with Zunzun because its dedication to help make friendships between Americans and Cubans is as strong as mine.
Sairí was born and raised in Havana in 1981. Today she lives in Miami with her husband and son.
In her own words.
My lifelong passion has been humanities and from my early years I oriented my career towards the social sciences.
I graduated from the University of Havana Law School in 2004 and three years later had the honor to serve as a legal advisor for Cubanacan. It’s the largest Cuban travel agency hosting the highest number of international visitors to the island. My work for Cubanacan was a life-changing experience. While at there I acquired a deep understanding and knowledge of the intricacies of Cuban tourism industry.
In 2013 I started working for the specialty Cuban travel agency San Cristóbal, which focuses on cultural, historical and educational tourism. San Cristóbal is Cuba Explorer’s island partner. I was responsible for establishing Cuba Explorer’s legal and physical presence in Cuba. For three years I served as the agency’s operations manager and staff director at its headquarters located in Old Havana’s Plaza San Francisco de Asís in the historical Lonja del Comercio building.
Afterwards I moved to the United States, to the beautiful city of Miami! Here I continue my work with Cuba Explorer as it chief designer of custom Cuba tours for schools and large private groups.
Today I have the pleasure to collaborate with hundreds of US-based educational institutions and private entities to prepare and plan tailored Cuba trips. This has become my new passion. My work helps thousands of Americans visit the country of my birth of which I remain immensely proud.
Jacqueline was born and raised in Havana in 1982. Today she lives in Montréal Québec with her husband and daughter.
In her own words.
I obtained my degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Havana’s faculty of Technologies José Antonio Echeverría in 2005. Since that time I’ve worked continuously to advance in the fields web and application development.
Afterwards I started to work in Cuba’s tourism sector and I loved it from the beginning. It’s always a professional challenge. It has also taught me about my Cuba. I have learned so many different things that I never knew before – to appreciate the island’s beautiful nature, our culture and our talented people.
Moving to Montréal and becoming part of the IT Team of Cuba Explorer has been like becoming part of a bigger family keeping me close to my beloved Cuba. It has given me the opportunity to help bring Cuba to the world.
Personally I love nature, to read a good book and to spend time with my family.