SONIA LAGUNA



Born in Punta Brava, just 45 minutes southwest of Central Havana, I emigrated to the United States with my parents in May 1972 on one of the last direct flights from Cuba. While growing up in the Little Havana area of Miami, my entrepreneurial spirit was sparked as I worked with my father in his hardware store. After graduating from high school, I attended Trinity University in Washington, DC.

Upon completing my undergraduate studies and receiving a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, I became a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, where I studied “The biases against wood frame houses in earthquake countries in Latin America.” This opportunity led to my living in Santiago, Chile and Mexico City, Mexico, where my love of South America started to bloom. Combining my post-internship and childhood hardware store experience, I became an employee of Weyerhaeuser Lumber Company. I then trained with Dean Witter as a stock-broker.

After our marriage, my husband and I moved to Santiago in 1990. Here, we started their first chain of cellular phone stores. While in Santiago, I studied at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and received my graduate degree in Business Administration.

Moving back to Miami in 1993, I worked at America Tel, a Chilean telecommunications company, in international sales. Then, I went on to long distance carrier ChileSat, heading the International Carrier Relations Department.

In 2000, I joined Epik Communications where I become Vice President of International Business Development for Latin America. When Epik was sold, I first worked as an International Business Development Manager of Asexma, a trade association in Santiago. Eighteen months later, with a small group of food manufacturers, I founded AsoGourmet, a trade association for specialty food producers where I established the international export program, where I successfully developed several brands and companies, including DOMO Foods.

Upon my first visit back to Cuba in 2008, I knew I had found my “Eden.” On the exciting day - December 17th, 2014 - that President Barack Obama announced the historic re-establishment of diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba, I was visiting family and friends there. Soon after, I alunched Just 90 Miles, eager to share my beloved home country with other Americans. Holding a People to People General License, I have developed three distinct tours that will both tantalize the senses and educate Americans on the lively culture of Cuba. The tours will expose Americans to Cuba’s people, culture, art, religion, and most of all, delicious food. Custom tours are also available, for both entrepreneurs and leisure travelers.

To enhance the experience, Just 90 Miles is developing a book that will highlight the top 20-25 “must-visit” restaurants as well as the top 5-10 “must-visit” rum bars. The goal is to help make the culinary experience as enjoyable and memorable as possible.

The Cuban culture has always been in my roots. I am excited to show you the island country that I so love and cherish – Cuba!