Have You Thought About Traveling to Cuba?
Abriel Baloney Sutherland is a busy woman. Her company was founded in January 2015 as a educational consultant company that brings educational programs abroad.
"By profession, I am a litigation attorney and worked for twelve years and I got burned out. My family is from Cuba and something has always called me back to that area. I have a lot of family there so I always had close ties there. When I completed the grad program at University of Richmond, I found an easy way to go to Cuba!" explains Ms. Sutherland.
"I was just looking for something that I wanted to do, because I was burned out from practicing law. I always had the idea that I wanted to do policy-related programs related to Cuba, in order to expose people! I think that it is important to develop new programs for individuals that want to travel, tour and participate in educational exchanges."
"On our services page of our website, we have detailed information. The Professional programs would be something that is surrounded around an individual's interest. We make sure that whatever category you select, that you are in compliance with the law."
Dance exchanges have been coordinated. Farming and husbandry classes have been coordinated and as a consultant firm, the company is interested in working with you! "The first thing that I ask you is what are you interested in, in efforts to allow us to speak to your interests" Ms. Sutherland explained.
"Our educational exchanges are in high demand. We are working with the Geological Association and with golfers as well. I have arranged Senior Class Trips and Literary programs with Universities too."
"My ideal client would be a professor looking to internationalize their curriculum for a faculty-led, study abroad program. We do programs three times a year that anyone can jump on board, and we prefer to work with groups! Groups are ideal!" noted Sutherland.
Ms. Sutherland shared that the company was launched when one of her college sorority sisters was traveling and contacted her. Together they brainstormed on the business plan and the company "just started". With her background, degree and close contacts currently in Cuba, the process was a smooth one. Her newly-launched company soon allowed her to move into a caregiver role as well, as she cared for her father during his last days on this Earth. "I actually left my job in October when I found out my dad had cancer, so I walked away from my job and moved my office into my dad's home to be with him."
Past clients have included:
University of Baltimore faculty-led program
Black Professional Associations and more.
"I started off my Freshman year with my family waiting for me in Cuba. I never stopped studying abroad," Ms. Sutherland explained. She details her extensive internships and educational pursuits and lovingly reflects on her supportive family. Her educational pursuits led to the desire to travel, and those aspects of her life have led to Diaspora Travel Experiences.