Meet an Expert: Havana

Havana Travel
by Carlo Alcos May 4, 2009

Photo: Julie Schwietert Collazo

More than Matador editor and good looks, our own Julie Schwietert Collazo is also resident know-it-all for Havana, Cuba.

With president Obama easing up on travel restrictions to Cuba, she might be needed more than ever to offer tips and suggestions for those visiting the capital of the Caribbean’s largest island.

I’m fired up on: I’m fired up on life and all its complexities. I’m fired up on good grammar and excellent writing and mostly true stories only slightly exaggerated. I’m fired up on travel, of course. I’m fired up on new spices and new combinations, on new colors, on new sounds.

I’m fired up on finding a suitcase or backpack that is actually practical and simultaneously durable (if you know of one, please let me know). I’m fired up on making a difference in the world on the most intimate local level since larger efforts seem to confound me. I’m super fired up on marriage…mine, specifically.

Tunes I rock out to: Ana Belen, Ani Difranco, Bebo Valdes, Johnny Hartman, Sam Cooke, Ella Fitzgerald, Bamboleo, Laura Pausini, Carlos Varela, Mario Frangoulis, Angelique Kidjo, Cesaria Evora, Joao Gilberto, Polo Montanez, Francisco Cespedes…

I want to make a difference by: Telling stories and being the medium through which others can find a voice.

Always interested in a story, Julie works as a freelance writer, editor, researcher, and translator (English to Spanish and vice versa). She is also the managing editor of Matador, so if you’d like to pitch a story, Julie says, “I’m your woman.”

To learn more about her, or to contact her for some killer tips on Havana, visit her Matador profile.

Julie would also love for you to check out her other work at her blog Collazo Projects.


In this article, Julie explains how to travel to Cuba and why you should do it now. She also gives the low down on the 10 hottest nightlife spots in Havana.

For information on how to become a destination expert yourself, click here.

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