MiamiHerald / Some said their exile parents avoided talking about their Cuban homeland when they were growing up or said it was too painful; a few said their parents weren’t happy when they found out they would be joining a small group of Cuban Americans intent on seeing for themselves the island that had always been a backdrop to their lives.

But for better or worse, a group of eight young Cuban-American creatives with careers in the arts, fashion, writing and marketing headed to Cuba April 21-27 on a trip organized by the Miami-based CubaOne Foundation. The nonprofit provides free 7-day, people-to-people trips to Cuba for next-generation Cuban Americans who are 22 to 35 years old.

Those in the most recent CubaOne group had their own intensely personal reasons for visiting an island that their parents left and that many of them had never seen firsthand.

For Ceci Fernández, an actress who grew up in Hialeah but now lives in New York, it was important to explore how her family’s memories had become her own. Straddling an ocean, she hoped, would help “put in a missing piece to my work that I’d struggled my whole life to find.”

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