In the first of our new series, where we introduce you to nuestros escritores, we're excited for you to meet Kate Oberdorfer.
Kate Oberdorfer
Kate Oberdorfer

Kate Oberdorfer has been writing about and studying Cuba since 2006, but her connection to the island goes back much further than that. Her grandfather, Louis Oberdorfer, was the Assistant Attorney General of the Tax Division under Bobby Kennedy. He had an illustrious career, though one of his most important accomplishments was being one of the chief lawyers involved in negotiating with Fidel Castro to bring the Bay of Pigs prisoners back to the United States!

Kate studied abroad in Havana in 2007 and has returned to the island every year since then (COVID-19 years excepted, of course). However, not being able to travel wasn’t all bad: at the beginning of the pandemic, Kate discovered us here at StartupCuba! Becoming a writer for the magazine, in her words, “became her salvation and connection to Cuba” until she was able to visit again. We, of course, were (and still are) thrilled to have her on the team!

Her favorite article that she’s contributed, however, has been her interview with Ada Ferrer…

Kate has written several wonderful articles for StartupCuba, and–fun fact!–handwrites all her pieces before typing them up. Her favorite article that she’s contributed, however, has been her interview with Ada Ferrer, who won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in History for her book Cuba: An American History. “She is a goddess!” Kate gushes. 

Related Post: Book Review: Letters from Cuba, by Ruth Behar

When she’s not writing for StartupCuba, Kate enjoys reading (follow her Instagram) for book recommendations), cooking, and singing in her little pink house in St. Petersburg, Florida. She’s also an expert salsa dancer and thrift shopper. Kate would one day like to publish a book written from the perspective of a butterfly writing to a caterpillar, as well as move to a Spanish-speaking country–perhaps Cuba?

Make sure to check out her upcoming series for StartupCuba, Diving into the Diaspora, debuting soon!

The Latest From Startup Cuba

ConBAC: Cuba’s Blooming Craft Cocktail Scene

Havana’s Hottest New Stays

Is the Face of Havana Changing?

Some of Havana’s Best Art Isn’t in Museums—It’s on the Street

10 People You Probably Didn’t Know Were Cuban-American

Crowdfunding in Cuba: Bringing Art to Life (On a Budget)

9 Spectacular Yet Little Known Cuban UNESCO World Heritage Sites

<strong><em>VIVA</em> Is a Proof of Concept for Cubans Who Use Talent to Flee</strong>

The Continued Effort to Restore Havana’s Historic Neon Glow

Here’s How You Can Support Art Brut Cuba: Cuba’s Outsider Artists

Gabriela Rivero is a recent graduate of Harvard College with a major in Sociology and minor in Latinx Studies. She comes from a colorful Caribbean (Cuban & Venezuelan) and Mediterranean (Spanish & Italian) background, to which she attributes her love of sunshine and her addiction to guava pastelitos. Gabby uses her English–Spanish bilingualism in her work with the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic (HIRC), helping immigrants obtain asylum in the United States. She recently started law school at the University of Miami to become an immigration attorney —shocker!-— specializing in asylum law. She enjoys writing, cooking, singing, and playing tennis and guitar. However, Gabby’s favorite activity is traveling to Cuba, exploring her grandparents’ home country and visiting the friends she made while studying abroad at the University of Havana.

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