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11 Ways To Get A Cuban To Love You Forever

Ok, let’s say you’re trying to woo a Cuban. First off: Congratulations. You have excellent taste. Second, while we’re not all the same, there are definitely a few things that unite all Cubans, especially when it comes to winning our hearts. We’re here to help you figure that out so, let’s get to it:

Pastelitos de guayaba.

Credit:  Instagram / @miamando

There are few things in this world more beautiful than a pastelito de guayaba. And when it comes to romance, a really good pastelito — perfectly flaky on the outside, gooey on the inside — will beat out a box of chocolates every time.

A Cuban sandwich, properly made.

Credit: Flickr Creative Commons / jeffreyw

The “properly made” part is key here. For some reason, people love to remix Cuban sandwiches in truly absurd and sometimes downright horrifying ways. (Just today I saw an image of a Cuban sandwich that contained lettuce and, reader, I nearly fainted.) Why mess with a classic? Leave off the chipotle mayo. Throw the braised, pork-kissed kale compote or whatever right into the trash. Just give us a perfectly-pressed combination of pork, ham, mustard, pickles, and swiss cheese on Cuban bread. That’s what love tastes like.

Chisme.

Credit: MakeAGif

True, lots of different people love chisme, but for Cubans, it’s a WAY OF LIFE. Bring us the gift of good chisme and we are yours forever.

Really, really good coffee.

Credit: Flickr Creative Commons / vxla

We’re not talking about the lukewarm, bean-kissed tears most people call coffee. We mean good, strong Cuban coffee. Caliente, amargo, espeso y fuerte. The kind you only need a teeny tiny little cup for, or else you’ll literally die.

Keeping the Scarface jokes to a minimum.

Credit: Universal Pictures / NeoGAF

Look, we’re never going to stop people from quoting this movie. Tony Montana is probably the most famous fictional-Cuban-played-by-a-New-York-Italian-dude of all time. So let’s just space the quotes far apart. Maybe we can all agree not to shout “say hello to my little friend” during hookups? Is everyone cool with that?

The scent of violetas.

Credit: Instagram / @sierrasuggs

Every (ok, most) Cuban children grew up smelling like they rolled around in a field of violets. For to many of us, that scent is one of nostalgia, harkening back to a simpler, better-smelling time before things like nervous sweat attacks and Axe body spray.

Not asking us when we’re going “back to” Cuba.

Credit: NBC / Tumblr

Not only are there those among us who have never set foot in Cuba, but this is a fraught and sometimes pretty personal question in general. I mean, it’s not the end of the world, but now things are awkward between us. Nothing more pastelitos can’t take care of, but still.

Understanding what we mean when we talk with our hands.

Credit: PBS / USAHavana on YouTube

Shaking hands up and down can mean “ya se formó” or “I’m so excited” or “my little brother is gonna get in trouble for something I did! Yaaas.” It is important to use context clues to know which one applies. Communication is key!

…And our chins.

Credit: PBS / USAHavana on YouTube

What can I say. We’re an expressive people, man.

A cookie tin that actually contains cookies.

Credit: Instagram / @tenderblenderfd

Life is all about little surprises, those tiny moments that brighten our days and keep us going. You know, like opening a tin of cookies (the blue one, always) and finding that it ACTUALLY has cookies inside instead of sewing supplies. If you present us with cookies, you have a fan for life.

Croquetas.

Credit: YouTube / Víctor Muñoz

OK, YES, A LOT OF THESE ARE FOOD-RELATED. But it’s true that the way to someone’s heart is through the stomach, especially after standing at a little ventanita to order freshly-made croquetas from a woman who calls you “mija/o” and “mi amor.” ?

Hope these tips help. Good luck out there, kiddos!

Credit: NBC / Giphy

WATCH: Have You Heard Fred Armisen and Horatio Sanz Do Cuban Accents? Here’s Your Chance

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In Cuba, Where Food Is Unreliable, Savvy Cooks Have Turned to Facebook to Share Recipes

Culture

In Cuba, Where Food Is Unreliable, Savvy Cooks Have Turned to Facebook to Share Recipes

Photo via Getty Images

COVID-19 hasn’t been easy for Cubans. Not only have Cubans been physically affected by the virus like the rest of the world, but the drop in the island’s gross domestic product has stymied local economic productivity. The island can no longer look to tourism to add to their GDP.

Because of this drop in GDP, food shortages on the island have become more severe than in recent memory. And Cuban cooks are feeling the effects.

Cubans must stand in line for hours at markets with no guarantees that the ingredients that they want will be available.

This way of living is especially hard for Cuban cooks, like 39-year-old Yuliet Colón. For Colón, cooking is both a creative expression and a stress reliever. “The kitchen is my happy place, where I am calmer and I feel better,” she recently revealed to the Associated Press.

Yuliet Colón is one of the creators of a Facebook page called Recetas del Corazón that has changed the cooking game for thousands of Cubans.

Now, thanks to Colón and other curious and generous Cuban cooks like her, Recipes from the Heart is now 12,000 members strong.

The goal of the page is to help struggling Cuban cooks cope with food shortages. Members of the page share creative recipes, tips, and food substitutions. Launched in June of 2020, the page was an instant success. Its success proves that Cubans have been desperate to find ways to adapt their cooking to the post-COVID-era.

To AP News, Yuliet Colón laments about the lack of rice, beans, cheese, fruit, and, most of all, eggs. “What I like the most is making desserts, but now it’s hard to get eggs, milk or flour,” she revealed.

The brightside is, however, that Cuban cooks are finally able to share food-related tips and tricks with each other on a much larger scale than they were before the internet became more widespread in the country.

Now that many Cubans have access to communication apps like Facebook and WhatsApp, they can now connect with one another and make the most of what they have–however little that may be.

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They Survived 33 Days On A Deserted Island Thanks To Coconuts And Rats Before Being Rescued By The Coast Guard

Things That Matter

They Survived 33 Days On A Deserted Island Thanks To Coconuts And Rats Before Being Rescued By The Coast Guard

Fleeing your home country and leaving everything you hold dear behind you is one of the biggest sacrifices that many migrants and refugees make in their journey to a better life.

However, for a trio of Cubans fleeing their homes on the island, things took an even darker turn when their boat capsized in the middle of the Caribbean and they were forced to swim to a deserted island. It would be weeks before they would be rescued and they were forced to find a way to survive off of what little the island provided in terms of food and shelter. Their story is one of incredible survival.

U.S. Coast Guard rescued three Cuban migrants from a deserted island.

While doing routine patrols earlier in the week, an aircrew of the U.S. Coast Guard spotted two men and a woman waving makeshift flags on a deserted island between the Lower Florida Keys and Cuba. The Coast Guard dropped down a radio, food, and water to the trio on Monday and rescued them off the island on Tuesday.

“It was incredible. I don’t know how they did it. I was amazed they were in as good as shape as they were,” Lt. Justin Dougherty told CNN affiliate WPLG.

According to the rescued migrants, their boat had capsized in rough waters about five weeks ago and they were forced to swim to the island.

The trio did all they could to survive on the deserted island for 33 days.

According to the Florida Sun Sentinel, the group lived off coconuts, conches and rats while on the island. The group had also built themselves a temporary shelter, a coast guard official said.

“Being out in those harsh elements for a long period of time, they were very happy to see us,” helicopter pilot Mike Allert told ABC’s Good Morning America. “I cannot recall a time that we saved people who were stranded for over a month on an island. That is a new one for me.”

They were taken to the Lower Keys medical center, where none appeared to have serious injuries. And by Wednesday, they were in federal custody after being moved to an immigration facility in Pompano Beach, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.

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