My last blog written after arriving in Cuba ended rather abruptly with a promise to write more later that evening. Sleep got the better of me and now I am catching up – albeit a little late.
Everyone will be aware of the challenges Cubans have had to face over many years and will know something about their history. What is striking is the determination of the many Cubans we met to engage with the international community and to make an event, such as the IPWSO conference, a great success.
There is building work being undertaken at the Cojimar Centre to improve facilities, there is space for the different parts of our conference and also space nearby for activities for people with PWS, and there are Cuban professionals and families ready to welcome us. This conference is not without its challenges but these are being overcome. We will provide more information in due course but it is important to note that there will be things that are different and not so easy. Credit cards are not uniformly used, the internet is available but can be a bit problematic, and the two Cuban currencies (one for non-Cubans) that exist is an unusual situation!
Once registration opens we advise that you also book your hotel through Havantur. There are several that will be mentioned. Do check out the hotels through Trip Advisor etc – there are good hotels in central Havana and also the Hotel Nacional, which overlooks the sea and the famous Havana esplanade, just a short distance from these other hotels. There are no good hotels within walking distance of the Cojimar Conference Centre (please note the Cojimar Conference Centre is not the main Havana Conference centre) and when you book your hotel through Havantur this will include travel to and from the hotel and to and from the conference.
For Americans, visiting just for tourism is not allowed but attending this conference is allowed and therefore you will have the opportunity to visit this lovely island that sits just 60 miles off the Florida coast and, like the rest of us, the conference will provide this unique opportunity to visit Cuba and to meet people from across the world all united around the need to improve the lives of people with PWS.
Watch the website for more information!
Professor Tony Holland