• Cuba

Overview

A melting pot of African, European, and Caribbean influences, this island nation’s culture is absolutely vibrant. Students will enjoy the unique mix of historic architecture & modern art. 

The students will talk with a local architect about urban planning & how to integrate contemporary architecture with existing Colonial, Baroque & Neo-classical styles. Students will also meet with local artisans & writers to discuss their work, and learn about the preservation of Cuban culture through art & literature.

The group will also visit local art projects to learn how Cubans work together to revitalize their communities through large-scale reclamation projects. Artists collaborate with other community members to create murals & mosaics that represent the particular flavor of each neighborhood. In addition, these areas create new revenue streams for artists who offer classes & sell their work. The increased number of visitors also results in increased business for the community at large.     

Highlights

  • City Historian’s Office – Learn about the restoration of Havana’s historical center
  • Institute of Friendship with the Peoples – Learn how this agency specializes in relations with international guests
  • National Association of Writers & Artists – Meet with members to discuss the preservation of Cuban culture through art & literature
  • Local art school visit – Enjoy a cultural exchange with teachers & students
  • Green Roof Tiles House – Speak to an architect to learn about contemporary architecture, urban planning & interior

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Havana

Arrive at Jose Marti International Airport & begin with a bus tour of Modern Havana. After hotel check in, gather for an informational meeting with your guides to discuss your time in Cuba. Begin your evening with a welcome dinner at a local restaurant followed by free time to enjoy the city’s cultural activities.

Day 2: Havana

Begin your day at the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, an agency specializing in relations with international guests. Enjoy lunch at Casa de la Amistad before heading over to the Jose Marti Memorial, Revolution Square & Christopher Columbus Cemetery, one of the most historical cemeteries in the world. After dinner, enjoy a cannon blast ceremony at the Morro-Cabana fortress. Spend the night resting or exploring the city’s cultural options 

Day 3: Havana

After breakfast, meet with professionals from the City Historian’s Office to discuss the restoration of Havana’s historical center. Grab a bite to eat before visiting the city’s plazas like Plaza de Armas. Enjoy dinner at one of Earnest Hemingway’s favorite restaurants, Bodeguita del Medio. Spend the rest of the evening at the Almacenes de San Jose market & historical center. The evening is free to explore cultural activities.

Day 4: Cienfuegos

Depart for Cienfuegos, about two & a half hours from Havana. Explore the city by bus & meet with local  representatives from ICAP (Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples). After lunch, gather with members of the National Association of Writers & Artists to discuss the preservation of Cuban culture through art & literature. Then, visit one of the most ornate theaters in Cuba, the Tomas Terry Theater. If you’re lucky, you can catch a performance! Before dinner, talk with artists at a local cultural project or market. End the night with members of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution - a group of men & women committed to protecting their communities from “counter-revolutionary” activity.

Day 5: Trinidad - Havana

Take a short bus ride to Trinidad where groups can meet with teachers & students at a local art school. Walk around the city’s historical center, stopping by museums & even a potter’s workshop. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant & walk around Sugar Mills Valley, an archaeological site that was home to over 75 historic mills. Return to Havana for dinner, hotel check in & a night at your leisure. 

Day 6: Havana

After breakfast, travel to the Green Roof Tiles house where you can meet an architect & learn about contemporary architecture, urban planning & interior design. Visit the Higher Institute of Arts before grabbing a bite to eat at a local restaurant. Spend the afternoon at the Fine Arts Museum followed by a final meeting with your guides to reflect on your time in Cuba. Enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. 

Day 7: Havana

Check out of your hotel & depart for Jose Marti International Airport.