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Beggars in Havana

Alicante, Comunidad...
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Beggars in Havana

Going to Havana for 5 days in November then on to Varadero for 9. Have been told that the beggars in Havana are very intimidating and that they grab you when begging. Does anyone have any experience of this? We will be two mature women on our own and have really been so looking forward to our visit to Havana so don´t want anything to mar our trip. I am a fluent Spanish speaker so well able to tell them to go away!!

Niagara Falls
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1. Re: Beggars in Havana

The ones we typically ran into were harmless, some of them need to be told a few times, but I wouldn't worry too much just use your street smarts.

It's best to decline everything and don't allow them to put anything in your hands and you should be fine.

Port Colborne...
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2. Re: Beggars in Havana

hi as Fixalated said don't let them put anything in your hand.. you take you pay.. If you take pictures of the nice ladies with cigars and costumes they will want to be paid..

No grasia works really well, use your street smart, hold on to your purses, better yet don't bring them..

Havana is a wonderful city and there is so much to see, enjoy..

Toronto
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3. Re: Beggars in Havana

On our last trip we saw two types, organized gangs of children - the adults could be seen off to the side directing what they were doing and adults in costume who would grab you to take a picture and then want $$ for it...

surrey b.c.
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4. Re: Beggars in Havana

Just be firm but polite with "no gracias" and keep moving.During the last few days we were there, we started asking the street guys if they wanted to buy cigars first.That seemed to throw them off and they got the message.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Beggars in Havana

I have had a camera stolen and had my pocket picked in Havana. Both times it was because of my carelessness. Left my camera unattended for a brief moment and it was gone in a matter of seconds. Pulled out a rather large wad of CUCs when purchasing an item at the old flea market and foolishly just stuffed the cash back in my cargo shorts pocket without securing it. A few minutes later I felt someone bump into me from behind and by the time I checked my pocket and found the money was gone, so were the perps. Obviously I was being watched without realizing it.

I love Havana and hope to return but you need to be on guard. As far as beggars go, I never have a problem. Nothing even close to what one experiences in other countries in the Caribbean or in Latin America.

Edited: 28 October 2012, 16:48
Calgary, Canada
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6. Re: Beggars in Havana

I go for days and days in Havana and I'm never approached by anyone. If I'm in the heart of tourist central then occasionally someone will offer a cigar or whatever, but the exchange is over in a second or two so it's a zero issue, no big deal. I've seen hustlers descend like locusts on the tour buses though, it's like sheep to the slaughter but that's predictable... I don't think anyone on their own who has a little self confidence and isn't walking around with guidebook clutched in one hand and a camera in the other will have any problems whatsoever.

Pick-pocketing and snatch & grabs are unfortunately fairly common in some situations and areas, same as in any comparable destination. Fortunately pick-pocketing is easily 100% preventable and snatch & grab is almost so. Common sense and simple street smarts rule, as always...

Cheers,

Terry

united kingdom
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7. Re: Beggars in Havana

This is not in any way a Racial Question, But are you very tanned....When i first come on Holiday,(first week) no tan what so ever. get mivered by every one who wants to sell me something,2nd week with a Tan not so much, simple no ,is the answer,, the reason i asked the quesion ,is that you travel between two very hot countries...it seems to be the more tanned you are the lesss you get bothered....

united kingdom
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8. Re: Beggars in Havana

Sorry Martian 24.....Getting you mixed up with DD Cuba.......No Not Been

Drinking........

united kingdom
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9. Re: Beggars in Havana

Faith W ,Ive been to Alicantie a few times ,its a lovely City....Forgive me `if im wrong Alicantie speaks a lot of catalonian......I only Know a minimum of spanish..........I have been a lot of times to Benidorm There is crime their...Im Sorry but i have witnessed pick pocketing, the pea and cup, ...asking directions map put over your hands when youve finished camera or purse gone.etc...violant crime. as well........you should not get any violant crime......you will probably get people trying to sell you everything and anything...Im not saying drugs....But if your that way in clined refuse any way it could be a cop.you will have a extended holiday......Their is chance crime. leave your camera purse in view,look away its probably gone you can speak spanish fluently thats a advantage......Kids are some times cheeky asking for money, just tell them to go away..... Youll have a Great Time I would say Havana 100% safer than Benidorm

Barcelona, Spain
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10. Re: Beggars in Havana

?? Some one mentioned me? what's the question?