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What to bring for the locals...

kitchener
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147 posts
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What to bring for the locals...

I would like to buy something for the locals that is fairly priced so that I can buy a bunch of small things to take with us that they can use...something useful...I have heard about bringing shoe polish because they can use that and make money polishing peoples shoes? Is this true? Any other suggestions?

Cuba
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61. Re: What to bring for the locals...

Hola DT

Canadians being literally half of the tourists that go to Cuba (around a million each years) then 5 or 10% does make a a huge number of "marks"

Candians are not know for going off resort much either so when they do ...

Mardi

62. Re: What to bring for the locals...

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London, United...
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63. Re: What to bring for the locals...

if you really wanted to help give the amount you spend on gifts to charity to get to the people that really need it i wonder do tourist give the gifts to satisfy the person receiving or themselves?

64. Re: What to bring for the locals...

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65. Re: What to bring for the locals...

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66. Re: What to bring for the locals...

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United Kingdom
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for Holguin, Guardalavaca
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67. Re: What to bring for the locals...

Just to reply to the ops question; ~ "I have heard about bringing shoe polish because they can use that and make money polishing peoples shoes"?...

Nobody is allowed to earn money on the side (but of course they do, thats survival), any private enterprise has to be approved and licensed by the Government, so all things considered somebody isnt really going to make a living out of a tin of shoe polish. Give them the cash equivalent and they could save to perhaps buy a piglet and feed it up to sell on at a profit and look after their entire family for a while on the proceeds.. or they could go and buy a treat for dinner instead of having shiny shoes..... see where we are coming from?

Consett, United...
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68. Re: What to bring for the locals...

As I said in post 17 , a FTE ,

Burlington, Canada
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69. Re: What to bring for the locals...

"i wonder do tourist give the gifts to satisfy the person receiving or themselves?"

salsastar, this has always been the burning question for me too. Now I know that many of the more seasoned Cuba travellers have made lasting friendships with Cubans and will regularly bring them certain things as gifts...that's different. It's the people who travel to Cuba (or anywhere else for that matter) and hand out gifts willy-nilly to complete strangers, simply because they feel there is a need to do so, that I find so strange.

These people will claim they're doing it to help the less fortunate. I don't buy that at all. Gifting the hotel workers is definitely NOT helping the less fortunate ~ the hotel workers are the MOST fortunate people in all of Cuba. I think it has a lot more to do with pleasing themselves really...and giving beads and trinkets to the natives makes them all feel like big shots.

The thing is, the hotel workers and locals around the resort aren't turned on to dollar store crap anymore. They've all been spoiled on our so called "generosity". It'll now cost everyone far more to keep living the big shot fantasy. I hear gifting lap-tops is all the rage now in Cuba. ;-)

Terry

Stockport, United...
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70. Re: What to bring for the locals...

Seeing as we're all confessing, here goes......

Hello, my name is Nickie, and I used to be a gifter!

Seriously, the first twice we went to Cuba, we took a few gifts...the usual pencils, colouring books, new condition childrens clothes. Of course they were very well received by staff (as well as,not instead of tips).

I have learned so much on TA about this subject, and since that 2nd time, we now only tip after good service. I must say that my 1 cuc does feel a but measly when some are handing over 5 cuc notes with every round of drinks, but I cannot afford that sort of money, nor do I think it's necessary.

We do bring gifts for one resort worker who has become a friend....and if she's putting on her fondness for us after 5 visits, then she's doing a damned good job of it and deserves the gifts for her 'hard work'!

Nickie