Google officials visited in March to discuss connectivity, and Airbnb recently opened its business to the country’s existing network of casas particulares (private homes functioning like bed and breakfasts).
Inevitably, that success has sparked a wave of imitators and successors, from established dating websites dipping their toes in the app waters, to start-ups with a bright idea and a novel gimmick hoping to make an impression.
Primer’s editor and founder Andrew field tested a lot of the options out there and has included his own experiences.
Within hours of getting off the plane, we were drinking rum together at a hotel bar.
There I met a local university student, a compsci major who helped run a casa particular.
Apparently, after 638 failed assassination attempts, it was my holiday that jinxed it. And is being able to access the internet so easily a good or a bad thing?
Living online is something that has become so second nature back home that despite the things that worry me about the internet I take it for granted and I'm not sure I could live without it.
He considered it more lucrative than an a career in computer science.
While my new American friends drank in a hotel bar he couldn’t afford (and until recently, wasn’t even allowed to enter), we geeked out over the latest Android devices, local Wi-Fi options, and where to download the best warez.
Arguably it’s factors such as internet access – and not in fact the death of Fidel – that will have the most impact on the speed of change in Cuba.
‘People are not used to this in Cuba – being interviewed – they will find it strange’, my guide Alexis* warns me when I ask him to help me approach random women in the park to talk about the internet.
Cuba is one of the least connected countries in the world, with have the internet in their own homes with access significantly restricted.