Pinar del Río, Cuba, Aug 17.- A group of US visitors are scheduled to wind up on Wednesday a tour of Pinar del Rio, in western Cuba, where they have witnessed progress made in socio-cultural projects and visited communities and world heritage sites.
"I am very excited with this visit that allow us to know the Cuban people directly," said Valentina Sbarrow, a marketing specialist of the Insight Cuba agency.
A program designed to teach people with Down Syndrome how to engrave was known by the US visitors, who came to Cuba as part of a trip approved by the US Government, despite a travel ban to visit the Island remains in force.
Founded over a decade ago, the program revealed the hidden talent of children and youngsters with Down Syndrome, who have been granted recognition in international contests.
"We are in favour of eliminating Cuba travel restrictions," said Sbarrow during a meeting with residents of the historical center of Vinales, declared by UNESCO as a World Landscape Heritage.
In Vinales, the visitors showed interest in knowing details about how the children and the elderly are taken care of by educational and health institutions, as well as in benefits of the health system for residents in the area, 99 miles west of Havana.
"This is an opportunity to get closer to Cubans, their culture, and to come not only as tourists but as friends," said Steve Azer, another visitor who arrived a few days ago in an inaugural trip approved by the US Government.
The US friends also took boat rides inside Cueva del Indio, a stalactite cave with an underground river.
The tour also included a stop at Los Jazmines viewpoint, with a superb view of the Vinales Valley, characterized by its Jurassic large limestone, dome-like rounded mogotes and its plowed land ready for tobacco plantations.
This tour of western Cuba will also include Las Terrazas community, in the neighboring Artemisa province, where they will know the results of a one-of-a- kind rural sustainable development project based on tourism.
Another group of the 30-member US delegation have visited other Cuban provinces after their arrival to Havana, where they met with promoters and beneficiaries of a program aimed at providing rehabilitation services to blind people. (Prensa Latina).