What is a May day Tour to Cuba like? In short freaking awesome and like a marriage between a North Korean communist rally and a South American carnival – there really is no better way to describe this event.
You can check out YPT independent tours to Cuba here.
Amazingly while I have not only been to Cuba 10+ times, but have also lived there I have yet to write about Cuba for the Street Food Guy – time to right some wrongs.
How has Cuba changed in the last 15 years?
When I first visited Cuba it was 2004 and Cuba was very much still communist, there were few private restaurants and the state run ones frequently ran out of stock – not ideal.
I remember particularly being in a Santiago De Cuba at the best restaurant in the city asking for a rum and coke with lime, AKA A Cuba Libre. They had no coke, no ice, nor lime. Rest assured I still had a big glass of rum. I also got ripped off that day, but that indeed is a story for another time!
To read about when I lived on a dollar a day in Cuba click here
Nowadays and since they opened the economy the gastronomic scene in Cuba is now pretty good and there are some truly amazing restaurants, private enterprise also means there is now a great Cuban street food scene. I will cover Cuban street food in another article, today I will focus on May Day.
What is a May Day Tour to Cuba like?
May 1st is International Workers Day, as in the celebration of workers rights. This was a huge holiday in the old socialist bloc and remains so today in Cuba. Everyone gets the day off and working groups, students, the military and pretty much everyone dances thru way through the streets of Havana to the Plaza De La Revolucion.
Here you will see the arctic portraits of the departed Che Guevara and the little known Camilo Cienfuegos, arguably the “real” Che.
To check out cool revolutionary t-shirts click here
To read about Camilo click here
When’d o the May Day Celebrations in Cuba start and what do you do?
They start early because Cuba is freaking hot to a crazy level, literally the crack of dawn. Ideally it doesn’t rain and you then just dance your way down the street until you get a chance to be waved at by the leaders of the country.
I have been lucky enough to see Raul Castro and the new Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel.
Do foreigners take part in the May Day Tour to Cuba?
Many fraternal socialist organizations from around the world take part and you will see a heavy Venezuelan, Nicaraguan and even North Korean people taking part.
I have actually seen people from almost every country at the May Day parade and have even seen a good old DDR flag there!
Amusingly at the last May Day Cuba Tour I was ta I held up a “Wenger Out” poster, oh life used to be so simple.
May Day Tour to Cuba what next?
Well this is kind of the funny bit it all ends rather quickly and hen yo go about your day. It is though a national holiday, so more often than not you will end the night drinking rum from a carton on the Malecon. Believe me I will write about the Cuban rum from a carton in another article.
Sadly Covid has pretty much put a damper on things in the last few years and Cuba has of course gone through a number of changes that arguably make it less socialist.
To read about the money changes in Cuba click here
Despite these changes though Cuba is still unique and I for one plan to be celebrating May Day in Cuba 2022 style, perhaps wearing communist mask.
And the Cuban street food?
I will honor Cuban street food with its own article at some point, but it is good! There is no Cuban food in Phnom Penh though that I can confirm, the closest I have gotten was a knock-off Taco-Bell.
La Historia Me Absolvera