THE BLOG
02/16/2016 01:51 pm ET Updated Feb 16, 2017

Exploring Trinidad With Julio Muñoz

In Trinidad, local guide Julio Muñoz is a huge personality. He has his fingers in many pots, everyone in town seems to know him, and he's written up in all the guidebooks. I'm sure he could be mayor if he wanted. He spent a morning walking with us around Trinidad and was a font of information and personal philosophy.

Julio has two passports (Spanish and Cuban) and could easily move to the USA, where much of his family lives. But his joy is in Trinidad. Julio explained that the treasure of Cuba is its people and its relaxed way of life, where being lazy is an art: "In life, you need a compromise between being happy and earning money."

Julio visits Florida a lot. When asked to list his three favorite things about Florida, he said: "Jet-skis, The Home Depot, and Disney." Disney!?! He shared an emotional story of how later, as an adult, he gained a love of American cartoons. He said, "I started to cry when Mickey put his arms around me... me, a macho, 49-year-old Cuban man."