One of the first things I noticed about Cuba was how relatively clean it is. With the exception of La Habana Vieja, and a few other neighborhoods in Havana, Cuba really is clean of trash. On my flight to Havana I sat next to a beautiful young Cuban woman who sometimes sang as she listened to music on her Discman and gazed out the window at remote cays somewhere south of Cuba. She told me a lot about Cuba on this short flight but what I will never forget is when she looked at me with a genuine smile and said, "I am very proud of my country." From Havana to Júcaro to the guides and staff aboard the Avalon II where I was a guest for 6 nights, the people of Cuba seemed genuine despite their impoverished conditions and what surprised me the most, their universal sense of pride.
Above is a slideshow of Havana and a few images of central Cuba and the south coast town of Júcaro.