Moving to Cuba with your family

Hello everybody,

When settling abroad with your spouse and children, the expatriation process requires an extensive preparation.

What are the considerations to take into account when moving to Cuba with your family? What challenges have you faced? How did your children adapt to their new environment?

What is your recipe for a successful family expatriation in Cuba?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience,


Hello Bhavna,

I am a single mother who have moved to Havana with my 7 year old son in 2009.   As with any place in the world, there are pros and cons.  There are a few international schools in Havana which are international accredited.  You can get decent health care at a tourist hospital, I will not recommend going to a state hospital hygiene is a problem there.  Forget about shopping, the shops are all own by the state and are imported and are expensive. Also, the selection is very poor, they usually replenish their stock as and when they can.  You will end rather frustrated looking at the same things at the shops.  Foreigners are not allow to buy or own a house or car which is a huge draw back of living here. There are ways around if you have trusted friends or relatives there and can buy on your behalf. 

Life in Havana is not cheap especially it you have children and there are very few parks and places for kids.  Cooking can be a major problem especially if you are accustom to a certain standard or taste.  The quality of meat is poor and supply is inconsistent. I remember not having chicken for 2 months, most Cubans eat pork as it is much cheaper.  On the plus side, organic vegetable and fruit markets are everywhere, they have the best pineapple, papaya and mango.  Daily necessities are sometimes scarce, I remember doing without toilet paper or detergent for nearly 2 months.  I shipped nearly everything over during the first 2 years, please bare in mind that receiving your parcel is not straight forward in Cuba.  There are weight restrictions, and many forbidden items.  I have had many things confiscated by the custom here in Havana.

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