Oregon students going to Cuba 'to see a country that's lost in time'

EUGENE, Ore. -- Three Oregon universities are sending 15 of their students to study abroad in Cuba, a destination that few Americans get the chance to visit.

Tawny Garcia is one of the 15 students who was been given permission from the U.S. Government to visit the embargoed country.

"I'm half Cuban-American. My father was born in Cuba, Garcia told KVAL News. "He came over with his mother when he was a child, so it would be nice to see my roots."

Also on board for the unique experience are 14 other students from Portland State, University of Oregon and Oregon State.

Jorge Michel is taking the trip as a part of a medical program.

"I've romanticized it, to be completely honest. I think it's going to be awesome to go down there and just get to see a country that's lost in time," said Michel.

Michel said that the group's exploration of Cuba will be documented in individual presentations.

"My Youtube is gonna be on bolero music - which is old, Spanish guitar," Michel said. "You hear 'it's a paradise! It's the most beautiful place on earth!' or you hear people complaining about how terrible it is, how repressive."