Dear parents, families, and friends of the Cuba group,

Thank you again for your on-going expressions of concern and willingness to support the group. I understand how challenging this continues to be and we appreciate your support as we navigate how to best support our students and keep them safe as the hurricane approaches. I recently got off the phone with Kevin and Michelle, they said the group is feeling good and are well prepared for the storm.

This morning I spoke with the US Embassy in Havana, they have a list of all our students and group leaders, as well as the address and phone numbers where they can be reached in Santiago. The Embassy representative said that the best thing for them to do is listen to the local authorities and stay inside. While initially they were planning to be in 2 houses about a block away from one another, they have decided they would rather all be together at one house. They have lots of blankets and sleeping bags and have all gathered at the house just down the street from the international health clinic to wait out the storm together. They have plenty of food and water, their hosts have been very supportive and accommodating, and they are all feeling good about where they are and the preparations they have made.

The center of the hurricane is currently looking like it will pass east of them, though they will still feel the impact of strong winds and rain, most of it late tonight and into the early morning tomorrow. I’ll be checking in with Kevin and Michelle via phone tomorrow morning and will send another update to everyone at that point. I’ll be in touch sooner if anything changes. Once they storm passes, rain has stopped, and internet is back up, we will help students to get in touch with you directly. In the meantime, please feel free to continue to reach out via email or phone with any questions or concerns.

All the best,

Heather Vaught

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