Travel to Cuba

¡Vamos Pa’ Cuba! Puente Cultural Integration is planning its first trip to Cuba.  Government policies keep changing and we have been paying close attention to the latest updates. In the last couple of months, the US has opened bids for domestic airline carriers to provide service to Cuba and has eliminated many restrictions for travel. We, likeContinue reading “Travel to Cuba”

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month

The cultural and linguistic diversity among the 21 official Spanish-speaking countries is great. Each country has their own unique cultures, accents, and expressions. Learning the different meanings of words and “¿Cómo se dice . . .? / How do you say . . .?” in different regions gives insight into the culture. Matador Network is a great resourceContinue reading “Happy Hispanic Heritage Month”

Of course, I will (maybe?)

It has been my experience that Latin Americans are very generous with their time and energy. They have really good intentions and will almost always say “Yes” or “Claro que sí” to most requests. Their follow-through, however, is complex. (See my previous blog: “Love the one you’re with ;-)” ) Previous commitments will not trumpContinue reading “Of course, I will (maybe?)”

Traveling in Latin America

You’ll find dozens of articles and tips about traveling abroad. Some are applicable to our business travel as well as for pleasure. While most tips will focus on Europe, the cultures of Latin America have a deep European influence and can be a source of valuable tips when traveling for work. Here are a fewContinue reading “Traveling in Latin America”

Love the one you’re with . . . ;-)

You will see a common theme when doing business in Latin America: Relationships! To be successful in the Latin American market, you must be present – both physically and emotionally – to maintain your clients’ trust and loyalty. Do not assume previous positive business dealings will ensure a long-term relationship in business. If something newer, flashier,Continue reading “Love the one you’re with . . . ;-)”

Spanish? Hispanic? Latino? Ay, Dios Mío!

When working with people from a Spanish-speaking background it is important to understand that they are a diverse people. It can be offensive to assume someone’s ethnicity. Asking someone if they are “Spanish” or if they speak “Mexican” is more common than you imagine and extremely insensitive. Spanish = nationality referring only to people who are from Spain,Continue reading “Spanish? Hispanic? Latino? Ay, Dios Mío!”

What’s your passion?

Last October, I sat in my principal’s office feeling that there was something bigger waiting for me. “I love teaching Spanish, but I feel like I have met every goal, every milestone. What can I do to keep this up for another 15 years?” I asked. Her powerful response, “What are you passionate about? Find yourContinue reading “What’s your passion?”

I need to help . . .

I feel a calling.  Again. Last month, I spent five days helping to run a camp in the Dominican Republic. I need to do more.  Now I know. I need to go back. These kids, this community, they touched me. When I was in high school, I knew I needed to go to Mexico – to live,Continue reading “I need to help . . .”