Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Jackson and his host family + housemates, at the Galería Haydée Santamaría, in La Habana

Student Spotlight: Jackson Sales '20

Hometown: Monteverde, Costa Rica

Concentration: Latin American and Caribbean Studies

What inspired your decision to go to Cuba? How did you ultimately realize that this was where you wanted to go? 

I have lived and travelled all over the world, so initially I did not suspect I would study abroad while in college. However, once I learned about the CASA CUBA program, it became clear to me that it is an incredible and unique opportunity. There is no other time in my life when I would be able to live in Cuba for such an extended period of time, with access to the University of Havana and Cuban experts on a wide range of topics.

What was the hardest part about being in Cuba? Did you feel prepared for what you experienced, or did you feel surprised by what you encountered?

The hardest part about being in Cuba was leaving Cuba. The warmth of the weather and the people I encountered reminded me so much of home, yet brought such an interesting new facet to my life.

Did studying in Havana change any of your career/postgrad goals? 

Yes, I am thinking about pursuing an MFA at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana at some point down the line and continue my engagement with the Taller Experimental de Grafica, Latin America's oldest printmaking workshop.

What was your favorite memory or the most memorable part of being in Cuba?

Spending Thursdays at the Taller Experimental de Grafica making prints with some of Cuba's best printmakers, rock climbing in Viñales with friends and enjoying slow mornings with my host mom on the back patio.