We're adding writers in the US-Cuba, Puerto Rican and broader Latinx spaces to our equipo.
A lot has happened since we started. For example, this hotel (SO/ Paseo Del Prado La Habana) wasn’t even there. Photo: ARA Fotos

We’re about to step it up a notch, or seventeen. In order to do that we first need to get you and your brilliant writing mind onboard. Onboard as in… Hey, want to chat with us about what we’re up to, to see if you want to write for us?

Over the past six months we’ve been collecting data and feedback to fine tune our voice. It’s been a super valuable exercise; while our mission remains the same as when when we started, the environment has changed drastically. The sense of optimism that was once palpable in US-Cuba relations has dissipated. Yet, we still believe that the type of stories we tell, both in the Cuban and Cuban-American spaces, are key to building bridges between the United States and Cuban people.

So, what does that mean? What type of writers are we looking for?

The answer is two fold:

First, we know that our stories that drive discovery in the areas of music, food, travel, art, culture and people and tastemakers are really important to the Startup Cuba community. For example, here’s a story about Pastelito Papi that falls into both the food and people columns; everyone loves to hear about Pastelito Papi. The guy should be voted a national treasure. Everyone also loves food.

9 Spectacular Yet Little Known Cuban UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Listicles – the bulleted articles that tell you five-ten things you didn’t think you needed to know but quickly learn that you can’t live without – are also well received. Our most popular are about culture, travel and straight up cultural relevance. For instance we did a top ten list about people you didn’t know were Cuban and one about Cuba’s UNESCO world heritage sites. They both did really well. Not to mention this one about ten Cubanismos that you should know.

Photo: Mashpi, Ecuador. Karen Vierbuchen

Second, we enjoy publishing feature stories that connect with current events. These are solid, smart reads about Cuba, the US and everything in between. Topics are varied, important and often recommended to us by our writers. An example is Hope Bastian’s recent story LGBTQ+ Cubans in the face of the country’s new family code. There’s also this story about Disney’s Encanto and generational trauma in the Latinx community. While not specifically about Cuba, that’s ok. We also do stories that impact the overall Latinx space.

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Features are our stories with more gravitas that go into depth on these topics. They’re usually pitched to us by our writers – or outside contributors – and tend to be more in the direction of serious journalism than Buzzfeed. There’s no real template for these types of pieces so if you have an idea, we’re game to be pitched. For past examples, check out our Features column.

Everything we do is freelance based. So whether you want to write consistently or you have a one-off pitch to send us, we pay you per story.

If you want to learn more, the best way is to take a deep dive into our homepage. Then, we’d love to hear from you here. Have questions? Drop us a message.

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Ken Deckinger is the co-founder and CEO of Startup Cuba and the executive producer and host of its namesake docuseries. A native of South Florida, Ken has been an entrepreneur for his entire professional career. Previously he was co-founder and CEO of HurryDate, pioneering the global concept of speed dating to 45 cities throughout the US, UK and Canada. HurryDate eventually evolved into online dating and was acquired by Spark Networks, the parent company of ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com. Ken is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Florida, where he was honored with the University’s Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year Under 40 award and sits on the Board for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He actively advises entrepreneurs and is a two-time protagonist of a Harvard Business School case study. Ken’s filmmaking and journalistic journey is inspired by a love of travel and authentic connections with other cultures. He believes that the more we know about each other, through stories, the closer we can become — thus the mission of Startup Cuba: to amplify the voices of the people sharing stories in the Latinx space. After living in New York City for 15 years, he encouraged his wife to move their family to Miami to get back to his South Florida roots. Needless to say, it was a short discussion and he and his family now call Boston, where his wife grew up, their home.

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