We will be traveling to Cuba under the auspices of Cuba Cultural Travel (CCT), authorized by the U.S. Treasury Department to organize and operate People to People Tours in Cuba. Experience Cuba’s legendary culture and creativity – its amazing colonial and modernist architecture, extraordinary artists, celebrated music and dance, and inventive food.
You will be visiting Cuba at a truly fascinating time – a time when history is visibly unfolding — with Cuba slowly integrating select capitalistic ideas after nearly 60 years of Communist rule. The tour will include informative lectures and spirited discussions about the Cuban economy, the U.S. trade embargo, and the current state of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Reuters’ top journalist reporting from Cuba today, Marc Frank, will speak to our group about the rapidly changing culture and economy of Cuba due to the influx of foreign investments and the increasing access citizens have to the world beyond the island. Frank is the author of the insightful book Cuban Revelations: Behind the Scenes in Havana.
Former Cuban Ambassador to the European Union, Carlos Alzugaray, will address the history of Cuban-American relations from the 1823 Monroe Doctrine to the 1959 Cuban Revolution and the period of societal upheaval leading up to it. Popular Cuban TV journalist, Cristina Escobar, offers her provocative and frank opinions on Cuban self-determination.
We will explore the profound cultural and political influences that inform art production on this remarkable Caribbean island. Our group will have special access to the studios of the most innovative visual artists living in Cuba today. A broad cross-section of artists will be visited in their private studios. These talented artists will include those who are well established — whose careers initially flourished in the 1980s and 1990s — as well as those who are in mid-career or just beginning to receive acclaim. Included on our tour will be Jose Toirac, legendary for making art the Cuban Government prohibited him from exhibiting or selling, humorous and inventive Abel Barroso, conceptual artist Reynier Leyva Novo, and emerging talent Mabel Poblet Pujol, to name a few.
In addition, we will tour various museums, including the Palacio de Bellas Artes where our guide will be Aylet Ojeda, the museum’s Curator of Contemporary Art and Naïve Art. We will experience an unprecedented opportunity to attend a private dinner, hosted by Ojeda in a historic home. Exclusively for this event, Ojeda will curate and lead a discussion about the work of a group of upcoming, talented artists, some of whom will be in attendance.
The architectural offerings on this trip will be varied and extraordinary. Dr. Isabel Rigol, a renowned architectural historian and conservationist, will lecture on the preservation of historic architecture in Havana, providing a perspective on the massive undertaking in progress. Orestes del Castillo, architect, professor, and the right hand of the Historiador of Havana (City Historian, Eusebio Leal) will lunch with our group and speak about the outstanding, newly renovated examples of Havana’s colonial architecture.
We will visit the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte, now known as the Instituto Superior de Arte, (ISA), designed by three prominent mid-century architects: Ricardo Porro, Vittorio Garrati, and Roberto Gottardi. These exceptional art schools, some never completed, have provided the extraordinary art education that has produced generations of gifted visual and performing artists in Cuba. At ISA we will be guided by architect Universo García, a professor in the Department of Design at ISPJAE and director of the project to restore the National Arts Schools.
Our focus on modernist architecture will continue with architect Eduardo Luis Rodríguez, a leading Cuban architectural scholar and author of the book The Havana Guide: Modern Architecture, 1925-1965. Luis Rodriguez will provide unprecedented entree to important modernist architectural sites, including private homes and public buildings.
Music is everywhere in Cuba and we will explore and sample a wide range of offerings. We will meet with Dr. Alberto Faya, a musician, professor, and researcher within the Cuban musical world for over 20 years, who will lecture on and provide a demonstration of the evolution of Cuban music from early colonization to the present. Our group will experience multiple private performances by world-class musicians and dancers throughout our stay. The Cuban Youth Orchestra, comprised of students from the Lyceum Mozartiano Orchestra School and ISA will perform part of its European and Cuban musical repertoire. Compañîa Irene Rodríguez, an astonishingly talented flamenco dance company, will perform for our group at the Centro Asturias.
Award Award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter Arturo Infante will present his short film Gozar, Comer y Partir, a humorous portrayal of the peculiarities of Cuban culture. The film screening will be followed by a question/answer session and a discussion about contemporary cinema in Cuba.
We will walk the Callejon de Hamel, a street in Havana known for its colorful murals and lively rumba, popular with followers of the Santeria religion. Our host and guide will be Elias Aseff, who will explain the role of African religion and culture in Cuba and the importance of Santeria in everyday life. A short walk away is the home of a Babalao who will receive the group and explain about the deities and elaborate altars in the house.
Each of the seven days in this bespoke tour will be curated to maximize our experience of Cuba. Our home base is the Hotel Parque Central located adjacent to Havana’s Central Park and on the western edge of delightful and iconic Havana Vieja (Old Havana). Hearty daily buffet breakfasts and most meals are included. Cocktails are provided at lunch and dinner. The restaurant scene is constantly changing in Havana and we seek out the most passionate chefs and beautiful settings for our meals. The itinerary is still a work in progress. Things change quickly in Havana. Be assured that we will add the most interesting opportunities to the schedule as they present themselves.
$5,795.00 Double Occupancy
$7,295.00 Single Occupancy
Trip participation is on a first-come, first-served basis. Trip registration is a three-step process.
NOTE: A deposit refund cannot be guaranteed and is possible ONLY if your space can be resold. Travel cancellation insurance is highly recommended, however, DO NOT PURCHASE TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE OR MAKE ANY AIRLINE RESERVATIONS UNTIL NOTIFIED.
Passport Requirements: Passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after departure date. Passports must be U.S. only. Foreign passports allowed only in conjunction with a valid U.S. Resident Alien card (Green Card) or proof of eligibility to enter/exit the United States.
NOTE: Havana can be a difficult destination for people with mobility issues. Walking surfaces are broken and uneven and stairs are plentiful. Please consider this when making a decision to participate.
The itinerary is subject to change. The final itinerary will be provided closer to the time of trip departure.
Pricing is based on a minimum of 15 paying patrons. Accommodations are based on double occupancy. Tour includes: Overnight at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at the Miami International Airport on January 22; round-trip airfare from Miami to/from Havana; accommodations at the 5-Star Parque Central Hotel in Havana; 6 lunches and 5 dinners, daily breakfasts; special architecture, artist studio, museum, and art collection tours; all honoraria, gratuities, and entrance fees; private air-conditioned bus transportation with cold water provided on the bus; all pre-tour mailings; and the services of multiple scholar-guides, Resonant Journeys staff, and a Havana-based tour guide.
Tour price does not include: Round-trip airfare from/to departure city and Miami, meals not noted in the itinerary, and hotel accommodations in Miami on January 29, following our return from Havana.