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I always bring along a Spanish/English pocket-size dictionary when I go to Cuba and leave it with one of the staff - the one who showed the most interest in sharing knowledge with me. When I go back to the same resort, they always tell me what a blessing it has been to them. I think it’s a great investment in communications because they simply cannot get this type of learning material. Next time, I’ll bring a French/Spanish dictionary along as well - as requested!


In addition to dictionaries of Spanish - ANYTHING, I also take along the local Spanish language weekly free newspaper. And my daughter’s old ‘Seventeen’ magazines are a big hit!


Sometimes I have found Spanish magazines at Value Village, or if I am in Mexico I go to their dollarstore (Walmart has a dollar – or peso – area) and pick up colouring books in Spanish, as well as picking up some magazines.

When I give a magazine in Cuba, at first they are ooh thanks, and when they see it is in Spanish, they are really surprised and pleased. I once gave a Ken Follett novel to a gardener - he looked at it like, I don’t read English, but then when he saw it was La Clave de Rebecca en Espagnol, he was happy. (The Key to Rebecca. Who doesn’t like a Ken Follett novel?)


I usually pick up a Spanish-language People or Hola! magazine at the airport and give it to the girls at the reception for those longgggggggg overnight shifts. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know how many people read it before it falls apart?


I took some spanish-language “soap opera gossip” magazines last year for a friend who was in the hospital awaiting the birth of her first child. They were a HUGE hit with her and all the other ladies!

Another topic that is really popular is horoscope magazines.


Florita, do you mean the airport in Cuba?


No, the airport in Toronto has a couple of Spanish magazines, usually. Or I pick them up at an international newsstand if I come across one and hang onto them for future reference.


Believe it or not, the Royal Family is also of interest to Cubans. Go figure! I guess with Will and Kate, they love good romance dish lol

One of my cuban friends (a lawyer working for Gaviota) worked at an Iberostar hotel a few years back and I gave her a small pocket dictionary (this would be around 2009). This year we met up again and she showed me her “precious” (her words) dictionary which was so worn, there were even pages missing, THAT’S how useful they are.

So I highly recommend the pocket dictionaries for the hotel staff or really anyone working with the public. Even the French/Spanish ones are welcome.


I’m guessing a bunch of Spanish Mags and dictionaries will be arriving thanks to this thread.
What other books and reading material are popular?
Are we ready for eBooks yet?