Artimus Keiffer recently visited Cuba for his 11th visit with the humanitarian group St. Augustine/Baracoa Friendship Association. The group has assisted its sister city, the first colonial settlement in the Americas, for about five years. It also completed oral histories and donated wheel chairs, crutches and PET (personal energy transport) vehicles to amputees in the city. Keiffer visited Baracoa for the first time, the place where Columbus made contact with the Taino in 1492. He also went to Santiago, where he has several friends in the medical school. He passed Gitmo (U.S. Naval Base) on the way and was intrigued with the security lighting around the perimeter. "It lit up the whole night sky...it was annoying," he said.
He has also worked with a local archeologist who recently discovered the lost city of the Taino. "Cuba is an authentic living museum. I have never seen so many people do so much with so little," he commented.
Keiffer has published significant research on the country regarding tourism, economics, historic preservation, land use and architecture. Given the current government policy regarding Cuba he said, "I may not make it back for another four years!"
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