Cuba Bound – A Daughter of Exile Goes Home
Mom and Dad in Havana




One of my favorite childhood stories




Mom's Passport

This is one of my favorite stories of what “resolver” looks like. I was born while my parents were students; my dad was finishing his degree (which had been interrupted due to the revolution). Not only were they poor students, and new parents, but also exiles. That winter they had nothing, just enough money to feed us and keep a roof over our heads in a tiny attic apartment, which was very hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter.

The winter came, and I needed a snowsuit. Mom had an old blanket and some pretty cotton
fabric, and she made a pattern from a newspaper, cut the fabric and hand stitched it and voila – I was probably the cutest and warmest infant around. She “resolved” the situation with ingenuity, creativity and design. Now, into her 70’s, she is still a master at “resolver”!




The “resolver” revisited


That Cuban sprit of “resolver” is found in exile and on the island, and it is clearly part of our culture. Nowhere in the world has a culture of “resolver” been more evident than in modern day Cuba: just look at the car culture that has prevailed, and how they have maintained US cars for over 50 years, with nothing more than ingenuity, recycling, creativity and that spirit of “resolver”. Our Cuban culture, from the past to the present, is full of passion, art, music and creativity, and it pervades everything we do. I believe that is at the root of “resolver”.

I am looking forward to observing and learning more about the culture of “resolver”, because we need more of it in today’s world, in business and in everyday life, and maybe I can bring some of those lessons back into my business thinking to share with the world. I am also helping got raise a new generation – my brother’s children – who are already learning those lessons of “resolver” from their grandmother, and now me.

I recognize that many things have changed in Cuba since my family was exiled, and my mother’s biggest lament as I was leaving my home was that she was very sorry I would never know the brilliant, vibrant, first world that was Cuba. But I say, maybe during my lifetime I can be part of the change that will inevitably happen, carrying the spirit of “resolver” with me in everything I do.

Stay tuned; I’ll share my Cuban experiences and insights upon my return.

Maria Botta is Director – Creative Development, Client Solutions at The Weather Channel. The daughter of Cuban exiles, she was born in the US, and raised in Europe and the Caribbean. She holds an EMBA in Global Management from Thunderbird’s prestigious European program in Geneva, Switzerland, and an Art History degree from Mt. Holyoke College. Her professional experience extends into all genres of production and marketing, she has produced hundreds of TV commercials, promos, short films, and television shows, and has worked in advertising, network TV, marketing and the entertainment industries.





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