On March 5th, 2010 twenty students from the High School for Global Citizenship (HSGC) in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn visited the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU for a presentation entitled “Cuba Today: A Snapshot of Cuba after the Special Period.” The visit was organized as part of a collaboration between an HSGC economics course and CLACS’ K-12 Outreach Program.
In a comprehensive discussion of Cuba’s contemporary economy and society, with a particular focus on Cuba’s youth, students listened to Cuban hip hop and analyzed lyrics, considered questions of housing and migration, and discussed how Cuban society compares to New York and other parts of the Caribbean.
After the presentation and discussion, students ate lunch with CLACS faculty and students. Finally, as part of a college-readiness curriculum, HSGC students toured NYU’s campus.
“The NYU presentation on Cuba was outstanding and very educational. 20 females from HSGC went and they were all very interested and engaged in the presentation. I learned that the official money in Cuba is known as pesos and that crowded houses were known as babaracos. Due to effects that started with the Cold War and the US trade embargo on Cuba, Cuba’s economy fell. Cuba has a mixed economy, which means they have more than one technique of marketing.”
Delisea Webster’s (Ninth Grade)
“On Friday, March 5, we went to NYU to learn about Cuba and see the NYU campus. The facilitators were teaching about the economy of Cuba and some of them had visited Cuba and saw the lifestyle of the people. Through pictures and stories, I learned that in Cuba there are people who are treated unfairly by the government. They don’t really have good houses and food. Also, I learned that they have a very rich culture. They use music as a way to oppose the government. We got to listen to some of this music and we all really enjoyed this part of the day.”
Antoinette Stone (Ninth Grade)