Travel for an US Citizen in Cuba is a very challenging endeavor. Our countries have not played along well for the last 60+ years due to the Embargo. The strict requirements from the US Dept. of State that specifies what we are allowed to do if we travel to Cuba neccesiates travel arrangements that are not easy and sometimes costly. At this time, US based airlines fly as far east as Holguin, which is a long 4 hour drive on bumpy unimproved roads to Guantánamo. We must stay at rent houses, use private drivers, private restaurants... all because we are not allowed to patronize any Government owned establishments... which means, almost everything.
On the flip side, we are very happy to sacrifice comfort to provide business directly to the Cuban people who are trying to eke out a living. The average monthly salary for most Cuban people is approximately $25-$30/mo. And that does not cover all their needs. If you think about it, you are not just helping support a ministry, you are also helping provide needed income to the Cuban people. Our interactions with the Cuban people in goodwill and friendship helps foster better perceptions of who we really are..
Travel & lodging is the most expensive and necessary segment of any missionary's journey. It allows us to serve as God called us to. As we discussed the frequency of my visits with our Cuban ministry partners, it was determined that travel 4 times per year would be most beneficial for them. This translates into approximately $1800 per trip. (Since we have no control over fluctuating prices of Airline and Travel Services, we need to be flexible with this number)