AN ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY EXAMINING A NEW ERA IN CUBA FOLLOWING THE HISTORIC RESTORATION OF DIPLOMATIC TIES TO THE UNITED STATES
La Cuba De Hoy Airs Sunday, October 2 and 9 at 8PM ET/PT on Nat Geo Mundo
As Cuba enters a new era following its restored diplomatic ties with the United States, Nat Geo Mundo takes viewers on an intimate journey through the Cuba of today (LA CUBA DE HOY), as seen through the eyes of Cuban-American, Mireya Mayor. As an anthropologist and conservationist, passionate about discovering her roots, Mayor provides an in-depth look at the effects of Cuba’s re-established relations with the U.S. on commerce, culture and lifestyle, speaking to native Cubans while providing personal narratives during her travels.
“It’s an honor to share my personal journey with Nat Geo Mundo viewers, exploring my homeland and providing an inside look at the dynamic country Cuba has become, making such marked cultural and economic strides in a short period of time,” said Mayor, Anthropologist and National Geographic Correspondent. “LA CUBA DE HOY paints an honest picture of modern-day Cuba as told by those directly impacted by its restored relations with the U.S., including the Cuban people, thriving industry leaders and those now able to visit a land once frozen in time.”
December 17th, 2014 was a historic day for both the U.S. and Cuba when Raúl Castro and President Obama announced a new vision for the country, restoring diplomatic ties for the first time in more than 50 years. Fast forward two years and change is very readily seen in Cuba, impacting many aspects of daily life on the island, as well as those now able to more freely visit. Industries previously struggling or merely nonexistent, such as Airbnb and cruising, are now flourishing due to the influx of tourists. Mayor examines the evolving nation and the impact on its people through interviews with the locals of Havana, sharing personal accounts of the country’s progression, thoughts on this new beginning and hope for the future.
LA CUBA DE HOY is comprised of two hour-long episodes – “A Puertas Abiertas” premiering on Nat Geo Mundo Sunday, October 2 at 8PM ET/PT and “Un Nuevo Son” set to air Sunday, October 9 at 8PM ET/PT.
“A Puertas Abiertas” (“Embracing Change”) follows Mayor as she steps foot onto Cuban soil for the first time, joined by her husband and children. Like many Cuban-Americans whose ability to visit the island has been inhibited over the years, Mayor visits the historic monuments including Hotel National, an architectural symbol of Havana, and local restaurants, who must now adapt their size and cuisine to accommodate the increase in visitors. With the largest impact placed on commercial progress, Mayor uncovers everything from important financial and technological enhancements, like the expansion of Wi-Fi, still very limited on the island, to credit cards which are still not accepted in many establishments.
“Un Nuevo Son” (“A New Rhythm”) explores the impact of restored U.S. relations as it relates to religion, art and everyday culture, which many are striving to preserve. Personal narratives of the Cuban people demonstrate the influence of recent visits from important members of society, particularly Pope Francis whose arrival helped reinstate a sense of faith which, according to some Cubans, was absent during the revolution. Mayor and her daughter meet famed Cuban ballet dancer, Alicia Alonso, and explore authentic architecture and art on the island, while Cuban artists, such as Willy Chirino, reveal their stories and the impact Cuba has had on their careers, even when migrating to the U.S.
While this era marks a new beginning and bright future for Cuba, conservation is still top of mind for many who are seeing the rapid changes impact their everyday lives. Through LA CUBA DE HOY, Nat Geo Mundo offers a personal, unseen glimpse of the return to one’s homeland following the evolution of a culture, efforts to preserve an essence cherished by many, and age-old traditions that may never change.
LA CUBA DE HOY headlines Hispanic Heritage Month programming set to air on Nat Geo Mundo throughout September and October. The month-long programming line-up will kick off with the return of Poncho Herrera in a new season of CIENCIA DE LO ABSURDO premiering with back-to-back episodes Saturday, September 9th at 8PM and 8:30PM ET/PT. Hispanic Heritage Month continues with a special look at the Yucatan Peninsula’s wildlife and the region’s urgent need to preserve its disappearing mangroves on MANGLARES DEL MUNDO MAYA, airing Sunday, September 25 at 8PM ET/PT; and culminates with the highly-anticipated premiere of LA CUBA DE HOY.