Cuba Beyond The Beaches
Ready to go beyond the beaches for a week in February to explore Havana? And squeeze some beach time in if your schedule permits?
Our week in Havana is designed to fully immerse participants in the past, present and future realities of Cuba. Through site visits, dynamic presentations and ongoing conversations over meals, coffee, drinks and leisurely neighbourhood walks with local experts and experienced tour guides, you will engage with the colonial past, the remnants of the Revolution in the present and the hopes and dreams of a future beyond Castro.
We will explore the winding streets and plazas of Old Havana where the past is still very present. Designated a UNESCO world heritage site, architecture dating back to the 16th century provides the backdrop for more recent places of historical interest such as the John Lennon Park and the Yellow Submarine Club (home to Cuban bands celebrating rock n’ roll from the 60s and 70s), recent neighbourhood restorations and new restaurants.
Morning talks and conversation cafés with local experts will delve into the social economic conditions of the present, the impact of the ongoing shifts in US policy towards the island as well as how Cubans have addressed health, education and social services despite the challenges of the US embargo. We will also get a chance to hear what informed Cubans have to say about the country’s future.
A visit to Cuba’s first urban organic farm, Alamar, where you will have a chance to sit down with the farmers and its founders for a meal. Today, half of Cuba’s fruits and vegetables are grown in similar collective organic farms.
The Special Ingredient of our Trips? OUR PEOPLE
Roberto and Rita are the keys to the insider’s perspective of Cuba. Roberto is one of Cuba’s top environmentalists and Rita is an experienced leader in Cuba’s social policy and women’s programs as well as a lawyer. Both are world-travellers themselves and are an incredible resource for our travels. Through their presentations, introductions and company throughout the trip, they will provide up-to-date commentary on what is happening in Cuba today and what is possible for the future.
People You Will Meet Along the Way:
Alberto Cremata started a small community and parent-run after school music and theatre club in his neighborhood twenty years ago. Today La Colmenita (“the little bee hive) is an internationally-recognized children’s theatre group that is much beloved in Cuba. Appointed as UNESCO “Goodwill Ambassadors, La Colmenita has performed around the world.
Dr. Georgina Fariñas introduced music, dance and movement to special needs groups in 1974. Her “psychoballet” is a moving and enjoyable approach that helps young and old program participants perform and connect with their audience and the world beyond themselves.
An economic policy analyst from the University of Havana who consults with government
For those coming with us to Varadero, we will have one outing to meet with Nacyra Gomez Cruz, the dynamic director of the Casa del Carino (Home of Loving Care). This is a project of the Varadero Presbyterian-Reformed Church which has developed many in-house programs at the Casa. The centre is located in an old mansion across the street from a beach.
PROFITS GO BACK TO THE COMMUNITIES
All profits from our tours are donated to Cuban organizations, many of which cater to women and families. Our main sponsor is the Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for the Environment and Humanity, which provides range of services for Cuban communities to promote sustainability and community service.