Meet My Cuban Friends

Left to right: Seeing the Museum for the first time, Mario Rivas; behind him Kiki Guerra, whom I met on a 2010 trip to Cuba when I took five cartoonists, two of whom were from our Creative Associates studio – please see blog for this trip (which is misdated as 2008); Daniel Rivas; and Olesia Sanchez (whom I first met on a trip ‎to Cuba in 2004).

My first trip to Cuba (2004) was on a cultural trip with Sonoma State University. I loved the country immediately and decided I would like to return, but with a purpose of meeting people with mutual interests. Several years later I was able to arrange a trip with cartoonists who are friends of mine to meet Cuban cartoonists.

In 2013, I was able to invite three of the editorial cartoonists we met on the 2010 visit ‎to an Editorial Cartoonist Convention in San Francisco, so they were able to visit Santa Rosa and the Schulz Museum.

To finally be able to put together a program at the Museum itself for our members and the community was truly the culmination of a dream for me. To be able to include the Junior College so that these animators could have the opportunity to talk with students and other artists just added to the richness of their visit.

Kiki, Mario, and Daniel discuss the program for the class with Jessica Ruskin, Museum Education Director.

On the screen is Fernanda, The Girl Detective, a Cuban children’s cartoon (with subtitles in English). Fernanda is the work of Mario Rivas and his son, Daniel.

Then Daniel took to the board and demonstrated the elements of cartooning expressions.

Some of the faces Daniel drew.

Daniel describing how to make a ‘big expression.’

Kiki showing his animation project.

And drawing, and stop motion action.

A student participates.

Mario helping one of the students.

Clay Atchison, Instruction of Animation at Santa Rosa Junior College, introduces the three animators before a talk there in the auditorium.


Daniel drawing for a student after the talk at Santa Rosa Junior College.

Daniel and Mario visit Justin Thompson in his office at #1 Snoopy Place and play with his collection.

Visiting Paige Braddock, Vice President of Creative Associates, at #1 Snoopy Place.

Jason gives them a tour.

At KRRS, one of our local Spanish radio stations, the three animators were interviewed by Program Director Francisco Quiroz (center).

I wanted our Cuban guests to see some of the beautiful sights nearby. Armstrong Redwoods State Park, with its magnificent redwoods, is so accessible being only 30 minutes away and not crowded with tourists.  We went from 90 degree heat at the redwoods to fog right down on the ocean, a 20 minute drive away. My guests took some pictures of the ocean with the rocky outcroppings, but I have none to show.

Colonel armstrong
Armstrong Redwoods State Park is named for Colonel Armstrong, who originally owned the property.

After putting our guests to work at the Museum and the Junior College, they were treated to a visit to Pixar Studios.

A friend of the Museum, Brian Narelle and his wife, Robin, escorted the four Cubans on a trip to San Francisco. Brian and Robin made sure they got to meet Darth Vader.

I have wonderful memories of their visit and I hope they have taken wonderful stories back with them, and that they will be able to visit us again.

—Jean Schulz












© 2024 Charles M. Schulz Museum | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED | A non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
PEANUTS © Peanuts Worldwide LLC | Website by Inbound Design