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00000173-d94c-dc06-a17f-ddddb3f20000The Public Insight Network is all about listening to you. It relies on your personal experiences and expertise.Click here to sign up and tell us a little about yourself. Your knowledge informs the newsroom. We'll send you an occasional email asking if you have personal experience or expertise on a story we are covering. The information goes to our Public Insight Network analyst, Katie Lepri, who will look for coverage ideas as well as potential sources. You may then be contacted with further questions or for a formal interview. Any information you provide is confidential and is not used for marketing, fundraising or advertising purposes. Anything you tell us will only be published with your permission by the Miami Herald Media Company, which includes El Nuevo Herald and WLRN. Learn more about our confidentiality and privacy policy. Below, take a look at the stories network participants have helped inform.

The Sounds Of Pope Francis' Visit To Cuba

Alex Castro
Pope Francis meeting with former Cuban leader Fidel Castro at Castro's home in Havana on Sunday.

The first three days of Pope Francis' whirlwind binational trip took him to the home of a world famous communist leader and through the streets of a little-known Cuban town.

The pope's message of embracing change found its literal representation in the further opening of Cuba, which has spent decades shrouded in secrecy, to media outlets and TV screens worldwide.

Credit Olivier Douliery / Pool via Miami Herald
Pool via Miami Herald
President Obama greets Pope Francis upon his arrival at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland Tuesday for the second leg of the pope's U.S.-Cuba trip.

His three-day visit to the communist island ended Tuesday and was immediately followed by his arrival in Washington, D.C. and a welcome from President Obama. It is the first U.S. visit for the 78-year-old pope. 

The highly anticipated first leg of his journey included an exchange of gifts with former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, a visit to Santiago de Cuba and Holguin, and a meeting with 5,000 youths. 

Friday morning, some South Florida Cuban Americans packed their bags and headed to Havana to see a pope on Cuban soil for the first time in 17 years. Others watched from local churches or at home. In Cuba, facades were repainted, streets cleaned and flags put up to welcome the first Latin American pope.

And, in the town of Holguin, an 8.5 hour drive from Havana, locals had simple hopes: that the pope would bless them and bring relief from bouts with cholera, dengue and drought.   

Here is what the first half of the papal visit sounded like -- in Cuba and in South Florida. 

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