DOS MUNDOS

Miami is a uniquely American city where race, culture, class and language merge together in a place with one foot in North America and one foot in Latin America. Miami is bilingual and bicultural and according to the United Nations has the highest percentage of foreign born residents of any city in the world. It is an enigma to many visitors.

Since 1959 hundreds of thousands of Cuban exiles fleeing Castro’s Cuba have made Miami their home. The left everything behind except for one thing, their “Cubanidad,” a powerful cultural identity, sense of family, Catholic faith, and way of life that sustained them in exile. In Little Havana, monuments venerate fallen heroes. The aroma of cigars and strong coffee fills the air. Men play dominoes while discussing the politics of the day. Spanish is the language on the street. Take a minute. Sip a cafecito at a walk up window, try on a guayabera, watch a master roll a cigar, eat at a local restaurant, buy a Benny Moret CD, and try to imagine the desperation of exiles who risk everything crossing the Florida Straits in makeshift rafts to be free. The tour will introduce you to the historical facts, significant places and important events that shaped Miami’s transformation and perhaps along the way you might begin to understand how a group of exiles became the mayors, college presidents, developers and bankers who helped shape Miami into a vibrant, 21st century American city and Gateway to the Americas.