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Cuba: Young Americans on culture, change and the possibility of a burst of technology

01/22/2015 05:00 EST | Updated 03/23/2015 05:59 EDT
A U.S. delegation might be in the midst of the highest-level meetings with Cuban officials in decades but a group of American students is taking this week to experience the lighter parts of Cuba.

CBC's Adrienne Arsenault met up with the group from a digital storytelling class from a school in California to hear their initial reactions to the country.

"I thought that taking video and stuff — that they would be annoyed at us," says Joe Levin, from California. "But they’ve been cool with it."

Levin admits he expected to be treated differently since he's American, but says he was shocked at how well Cubans have received them.

Tour manager Trish Oliviera, who runs Atlanta-based Friendly Planet, expects an increase in the number of excursions in the near future, but she says people are jumping mostly at the chance to visit Cuba before it becomes Americanized like other tourist hotspots in the Caribbean.

Americans face limits on travel to Cuba as tourists, so people-to-people cultural tours like those offered by Friendly Planethave been a popular way for Americans to get around the restrictions.

Follow CBC's Adrienne Arsenault and producer Stephanie Jenzer as they report from Cuba and get a sense of what people living in Havana think of the move to restore relations with the U.S. after decades of diplomatic turmoil. 

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