Tuesday’s report from Cuba

Here are the first pictures and reports from the Havana, Cuba trip:

Monday, we arrived in Cuba. We were met by Manuel Vázquez Seijido, the assistant Director of Cenesex at the Havana Airport.

 

Also waiting for us at the airport, before she flew back to Brazil, was Alexya Salvador, transgender pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of São Paulo, Brazil. It was such a blessed joy to meet her for the first time. Alexus had just completed preaching to our MCC group in Matanzas, Cuba.

Manuel escorted us from the airport to Cenesex headquarters where we were greeted by Mariela Castro Espín. Mariela introduced us to a visiting Utah State Senator, Jim Dabakis, and his husband, Stephen Justeson. Jim is the sole gay democratic State Senator in his state, and he and his husband had been touring Cuba to build business relationships.
We were driven to our temporary residence during our stay in Cuba, the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, where Mariela Castro Espín introduced us to the Director General of the hotel, Antonio Martínez Rodríguez.

Tuesday night, Rev. Elder Hector Gutierrez, Phillip, and I, were invited to the home of Mariela Castro Espín for dinner. We meet her husband, Paolo Titolo, a renowned photographer, as well as two of their college age children. Paolo, who is a native citizen of Italy, cooked us an incredible gourmet dinner. Mariela and Paolo graciously welcomed us to Cuba.

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