• Cuba

Overview

Get a first-hand look at Cuba’s complex political system. Students will gain a deeper understanding of how local & national government work together.  

Meet with members of National Assembly, Electoral Commission & Parliament to learn how they serve the Cuban people & collaborate with other government agencies. Visit local government organizations to gain an understanding of how they interact with & impact their communities. 

Highlights

  • Institute of Friendship with the Peoples – Learn how this agency specializes in relations with international guests
  • Cuban National Assembly & National Electoral Commission – Meet with members & learn about their roles in Cuba’s government
  • Parliament – Talk with members about how they create, implement & challenge policy
  • Local community project visit – Discuss measures taken to restore neighborhoods & local housing developments
  • City Historian’s Office – Learn about the restoration of the historical center of Havana
  • Committee for the Defense of the Revolution – Meet with members committed to protecting their communities from “counter-revolutionary” activity
  • Consejo Popular (People’s Council) – Learn how citizens voice their concerns to locally-elected representatives who report to government officials

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Havana

Arrive at Jose Marti International Airport & begin with a bus tour of Havana to familiarize yourselves with the area. After checking in at the hotel, attend a brief informational meeting to learn about Cuban culture & your visit. The rest of your evening will be spent enjoying dinner at a local restaurant & exploring the city’s cultural options.

Day 2: Havana

Begin your day at the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, an agency specializing in relations with international guests. Then meet with delegates from the Cuban National Assembly to discuss their roles & the structure of the National Electoral Commission. After lunch, meet with key members of parliament to talk about the challenges of Cuban democracy. Then, drive to a local community project where new measures are being taken to restore neighborhoods & local housing developments. Return to the hotel & spend the evening salsa dancing or walking around the city.

Day 3: Havana

After breakfast, drive to the City Historian’s office to talk about restoration of the historical center & how it relates to other government organizations like the Old Havana Municipality Assembly & Council for Municipal Administration. Then, take a walk around the historical center to marvel at Havana’s architecture & dine at a local restaurant. While there, you will also visit a local market called the Almacenes de San Jose where you can purchase artwork & meet artists. Retire for the evening or spend some time on your own exploring the city.

Day 4: Havana - Villa Clara

Depart for Villa Clara, a province three hours east of Havana. Upon arrival, visit the Che Guevara Memorial & stroll around Revolution Square, a site dedicated to the victims of the Battle of Santa Clara. Visit the NaturArte where you will have lunch surrounded by this beautiful community garden project. & finish the afternoon with a drive around the city. Check in to your hotel, have dinner & meet 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: Villa Clara - Havana

Check out of the hotel & start your morning at a Consejo Popular or People’s Council. Here, people can voice needs & concerns to locally-elected representatives who make government officials aware of issues in these communities. Take a boat tour on the Rio Negro & visit a farmer’s house to taste fresh fruits & recharge with a cup of coffee. Spend the afternoon driving back to Havana, check in to your hotel & enjoy an evening on your own. 

Day 6: Havana

Spend the morning at a research center to learn about the growing biotechnological & pharmaceutical industries in Cuba. After lunch, meet physicians to discuss STI/HIV/AIDS prevention & sexual education. Then visit the National Center for Sex Education to talk with professionals about sex education policies & measures being taken to aid the Cuban LGBTQ community. Meet with your guides to discuss your time in Cuba & enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. 

Day 7: Havana

Check out of your hotel & depart for José Martí International Airport to return home.