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    Posted November 13, 2015 by
    Paris, France
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    First Person: Your essays

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    Everyday Cubans


    Silvio and his wife Julia started the very first​ casa particular in Cuba – before the government even started regulating what is now classified as a "casa particular."


    They credit their initial success to Silvio's efforts in converting his fathers 1929 Ford Model T into a taxi for tourists to earn extra money. A passenger asked if a group can stay in their dilapidated house, which they scrambled to fix up, to host their very first guest. They are a dynamic duo, and hosting for them is more than a source of income, it’s a passion. Hosting has given them the opportunity to completely restore a stunning “mansion” located in Havana.


    They’ve really perfected the art of hosting, and even have staff that helps with meal preparation, guest arrivals/departures, etc. Growth for their business has meant that they are able to provide employment to others, thus having a meaningful impact on everyday Cubans.


    Check out my video interview with Julia & Silvio and Airbnb's Latin America General Manager Jordi Torres from Paris at the Airbnb Open.


    Julia and Silvio's listing https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5623904 

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