Ernie Braganza and Karen Moore: Back from Cuba with Love

by Billy Chandler

For Ernie and Karen, a recent trip to Cuba with an E&H group was honestly the trip of a lifetime – because it followed a lifetime of curiosity.

Karen had been particularly fascinated about Cuba since her grade school days when she had a Spanish teacher from Cuba. “She told us her story – about being put on a plane with her sister, without parents, and sent to the U.S. for what the family felt would be a better life.”

This is a copy of Ernie's certificate to prove that he had completed his safety drill during the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is a copy of Ernie’s certificate to prove that he had completed his safety drill during the Cuban Missile Crisis.Ernie says his earliest introduction to Cuba was in the early 1960s: he remembers doing a safety drill with his mother during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Both alums grew up hearing all the rhetoric and fear attached to this tiny country that is situated only 90 miles from the United States – and yet it often seems a world away. When they had the opportunity to visit and see the place for themselves they both jumped at the chance. In the end, Ernie says if he had to pick one word to reflect his impression after actually visiting the country, it would be… “’Welcome.’ I wasn’t sure if the Cuban people would be pleased to see us after so much history between our countries; but everyone I met was gracious and welcoming and spoke warmly of the United States.”

There were 25 on this 2023 trip to Cuba - including alumni, students, faculty, staff, Emory community members, and a few grads ... There were 25 on this 2023 trip to Cuba – including alumni, students, faculty, staff, Emory community members, and a few grads so recent they graduated on Saturday and flew to Cuba on Sunday!The trip was a first for E&H. It was not a first trip to Cuba: Dr. Mark Finney in the E&H Communications department has been taking students to Cuba for several years. But this was the first time a trip abroad has included alumni and students together. The communications department partnered with the E&H alumni office, and the result was a magical trip where students, alumni, and community members shared a travel experience that will long be remembered.

Karen and Ernie both fell in love with the Cuban people, music, food, even the wildlife (they had the rare opportunity on a hike to experience the national bird of Cuba, the Tocororo), and when asked if they’d ever like to go back there was no hesitation as they said in unison, “YES!”

You can hear a discussion about the trip with Karen and Ernie on the Duck Pond Wall podcast. And check out other travel opportunities on the E&H Alumni webpage.

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2255-emaly-allison-is-a-heritage-interpreterand-tiktok"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,843,958/10962_emaly_allison.rev.1647539235.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,843,958/10962_emaly_allison.rev.1647539235.webp 2x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,843,958/10962_emaly_allison.rev.1647539235.jpg 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,843,958/10962_emaly_allison.rev.1647539235.jpg 2x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,843,958/10962_emaly_allison.rev.1647539235.jpg" alt="Emaly Allison E&H Class of 2019 Heritage Interpreter" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,843,958/10962_emaly_allison.rev.1647539235.jpg 2x" data-max-w="843" data-max-h="958" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2255-emaly-allison-is-a-heritage-interpreterand-tiktok">Emaly Allison is a Heritage Interpreter...and TikTok Star</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Emaly Allison is right where she wants to be: standing on a frozen lake. <a href="/live/news/2255-emaly-allison-is-a-heritage-interpreterand-tiktok" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1590-eamph-invited-back-to-coa-topics-range-from-bats"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/120,0,480,360/9216_bird.rev.1609964960.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/120,0,480,360/9216_bird.rev.1609964960.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/120,0,480,360/9216_bird.rev.1609964960.jpg" alt="Dr. Steven Hopp will talk about birds and birding. (This is a Common Yellowthroat.)" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="360" data-max-h="360" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1590-eamph-invited-back-to-coa-topics-range-from-bats">E&H Invited Back to COA: Topics Range from Bats to Barbershop!</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> The Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center’s College for Online Adults has invited Emory & Henry to participate in their winter class. All classes are offered free of charge and online. E&H will offer six sessions! <a href="/live/news/1590-eamph-invited-back-to-coa-topics-range-from-bats" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>