348 S. Fifth Street Highlands NC 28741 US

Start date: Wednesday, June 26 2024.


 On Wednesday, June 26, 2024, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Resource person: Audra Bullard - office@clehighlands.com


Join author Mario Cartaya as he dives into one of the most relentlessly complicated, international political dynamics of the last 60 years: the tortured relationship between Cuba and the United States - with Island Cubans and Cuban Americans caught in the middle. He sheds light on the Cuban Diaspora’s collateral damage: including the separation of families, usurped futures, dreams denied on both sides of the Florida Straits, and the process of adaptation and metamorphosis into the new culture, language, customs, and idiosyncrasies of the United States for those who sought refuge in America. His book, Journey Back Into The Vault tells the story of when he first returns to his native country of Cuba, 56 years after fleeing it in traumatic circumstances as a small child. He seeks to reclaim memories lost during his metamorphosis into an American, see what became of the places synonymous with his first years of life, and reunite with the family he once left behind - even if only at their final resting place. Along the way, his seven day journey rewards us with his rediscovery of 1950’s Cuba, its historical contrasts with the Cuba of today, and the island’s challenges going forward.

Presenter: Mario Cartaya was born in 1951 to a middle class family living in Havana, Cuba. Eight years later, the winds of Castro’s Revolution swept over his country, leaving Mario’s family with no choice but to seek refuge in the US. Mario eventually attended the University of Florida; earning a Bachelors Degree in Architecture (High Honors) and a Masters in Building Construction. Four years later - in 1979 - Mario founded Cartaya and Associates Architects PA , the Fort Lauderdale, Florida firm he headed for 43 years, until his retirement in 2022. In 2019, his many architectural accomplishments were read into the record of the US House of Representatives. In 2022, an American flag was flown over the US Capitol to celebrate his legacy - coinciding with his retirement. Mario, now an author, approaches writing non-fiction books with the same passion and creativity that for so long characterized his life of excellence and award-winning designs.

Notes: Cancellation Policy Please let us know immediately if you are unable to attend a class. There is no refund for cancellations within two (2) weeks prior to a scheduled class. Programs that include food, beverage or art materials must be canceled within three (3) weeks prior to receive a refund. CLE reserves the right to cancel a program if the minimum enrollment has not been met or for circumstances beyond our control, and participants will be notified, a complete refund will be issued. All classes are held in the CLE Lecture Hall at the Peggy Crosby Center unless otherwise noted. In the event information has changed from the published brochure, it will be posted on our website and in our e-blasts. Addresses for “private home” venues will be provided to registrants within 2 days of the program date.

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