Itinerary and Logistics

“Cuba: Changing Course for Changing Times”

Dates: January 4 – 14, 2018

Accommodation: Three star hotels or private homes


Important Dates

Required Intercultural Competence Training: Saturday, November 11 9-12pm in Irvine

Predeparture Meeting One: Tuesday, November 28 12-1pm in McCone 215

Predeparture Meeting Two: TBD


Program Fee: $2,600 (land package; does not include airfare)

Airfare: $800

Miscellaneous Costs and Airport Transportation: $200

Total Estimated Cost: $3,915

**Each participant is responsible for the following charges:

  • Expenses of a purely personal nature
  • Visa costs
  • Gratuities to the bellboys and waiters, and your guide and driver
  • 1 meal a day
  • Room service charges
  • Travel Insurance (We advise participants to have travel insurance, but it is not required)
  • Extra Beverages or snacks


Itinerary (draft)

Thursday, January 4  

Arrival in Havana International Airport by 11/11:30am and welcome by your Amistur Guide

1:00pm Lunch at El Aliibe Restaurant Typical Cuban cuisine

Bus tour of Revolution Square and Modern Havana.

4.00pm Check in hotel

6:00pm  Information Meeting

7:30 pm   Welcome Dinner at a local paladar

Evening free for individual exploration or rest.


Friday, January 5

Breakfast at the hotel

9:30 Visit Cuban Institute for Friendship with the People’s, ICAP.  Learn about international solidarity and the historical impacts of the US embargo against Cuba.

11:30 Exchange with representative of Foreign Ministry for an overview of Cuba/US relations Request Jorge Bolano

1:00 pm Lunch at a local restaurant

2:30 Visit the UN program in Cuba, learn about the island’s cooperation with international organizations:  UNDP or UNESCO

4:00 Engage with Monterey Institute alumna Connor Gorry, learn about life in Cuba and managing a small business.  CUBA LIBRO

5.30pm Return to the hotel

Dinner on your own

Optional cultural activities: enjoy our VIP reservations for live jazz at la Zorra y el Cuervo (you will taxi).


Saturday , January 6

Breakfast at the hotel

9:00am Optional Salsa lessons and Dancing at the hotel.

10:30am Discussion at the Casas de Amistad with Rafael Betancourt.  Rafael for the past four years was the  local coordinator of the international project, “Socially Responsible Enterprise and Local Development in Cuba”, connecting international social and solidarity economy leaders with their Cuban counterparts and crafting a network for promoting SSE and social responsibility in Cuba with wide participation of activists from many sectors. He combines this with his work as English Editor of Revista Temas, Cuba’s premier social science and humanities journal, and as professor of Urban Economics at the Colegio Universtario San Geronimo de La Habana of the University of Havana. He is a frequent lecturer and speaker on Cuban economics both in Cuba and abroad and has published extensively.

12:30 Lunch at a local restaurant

2.30pm Our afternoon starts with a guided tour walk through Havana’s oldest neighborhood to learn about its historic, architectural, and cultural significance. The area was declared a World Heritage Site in 1982 by UNESCO. Learn about the City Historian’s massive efforts to restore Old Havana buildings, attract tourism and new investment, and improve social services for local residents. The group will explore the four main plazas of the 18th-century colony: Plaza de Armas, which originally housed the main administrative buildings of the colony; Plaza Vieja, the oldest of the plazas; Plaza de la Cathedral, site of the baroque cathedral of Havana; and Plaza de San Francisco, site of the basilica of San Francisco.

4:00 Visit Casa de Africa: see Cuba’s most important exhibit of African Art and witness a live demonstration of Afro-Cuban religious music and dance

Dinner on your own

8:00pm Optional: Buena Vista Social Club  (25 – 50 cucs) (you will taxi)


Sunday January 7 

Breakfast at the hotel

10:00 am Engage our Invited speaker Roberto Perez, from FANJ, the Fundacion de Antoni0 Nunez Jiminez to discuss about sustainable development in Cuba.  Cuba has been declared as one of the top 10 most sustainable countries on earth.

11:30am Visit to the  Museum of the Revolution for a historical and photographic overview of the events that led up to the Revolution and history thru till the Bay of Pigs.

1.00pm Lunch free in old Havana

3:00  Visit to the home studio of renown Cuban Photographer, Roberto Salas, to discuss his experience working in Cuba and around the world. Learn about the Revolution through his eyes and photographs. For those further interested in the history of the Revolution and photography.

7:00pm  Dinner reservation  at a local paladar with invited guest , Cuban Economist, request, Jorge Mario Sanchez  to discuss  self-employment and foreign investment.

9;00pm   Optional cultural activity: enjoy the wonderful Fabrica de Arte Cubano, a former cooking oil factory transformed into a center for the arts featuring music, dance and theater on various stages throughout the night and exhibitions of art, and photography  and film screenings. Headed by one of Cuba’s most important rock stars: X Alfonso (you will taxi)


Monday, January 8 

Breakfast at the hotel

9:00 am Overview of history and development of Havana given by a Cuban architect/urban planner (at hotel) request Miguel Coyula

10:30am  Engage with the community at the Alamar Vivero Urban Garden, one of the largest in Cuba Tour garden learn about Cuba’s efforts to become self-sufficient in agriculture and see how the Alamar Urban gardens provides fresh, organic food to the population at relatively low prices. Requested meeting with Isis Salcines.

1.00pm Lunch at a local restaurant el Ajiaco  in Cojimar

3:30pm Visit Kcho Community Art Project in Romerillo Neighborhood. Learn about this project and their support for technology and connectivity for youth.


Dinner at Jardin de los Milagros and enjoy a brief  Cuban film, Stories from my Grandmother, by AfroCuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando. You can also engage her on issues of race and gender in Cuba.

Tuesday, January 9 

Breakfast at the hotel

Check out of hotel.

9:30am Visit to the Superior Institute of International Relations “Raúl Roa García” (if time permits)

Fly to Santiago de Cuba, the cultural capital of Cuba and the most “Caribbean” city on the island.

Check in to the hotel.

Dinner at El Morro, out for local music (meet up with the Ellen Farmer group).


Wednesday, January 10 

10:00am  We start our morning with a visit to Casa de Caribe, a cultural research institute that houses the Museum of Popular Religions including Santeria and Epiritism. Here we will have a tour and discussion with Raul Miyares on the African cultural heritage of Cuba. Here you will learn about the mixing of Christian and African religions and the art that resulted from the mixture. The visit is likely to include a live performance of music and dance.

Requested meeting with anthropogist, Raul Miyares.

On your way to see Museo de Imagen where you will see interesting displays on the history of photography in Cuba, you will go through the wide tree-lined streets of Vista Alegre, formerly an upper class neighborhood. Much of the architecture in this area dates from the 1920s and 1930s with several neoclassical mansions.

12:30pm Lunch

2:00pm  Walking tour of the city with Santiago’s City Historian.

We will see highlights  starting at the Parque Cespedes, pointing out Santiago de Cuba’s most notable buildings surround the square, including the Casa de Diego Velazquez and the Catedral de Nuestra de Senora de la Asuncion.

We end our agernoon with  a guided tour of the Moncada Barracks, where Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries staged their failed armed attached against President Batista.  It is here that Castro was imprisoned and penned his famous speech, “History will Absolve Me.”

Dinner free

Evening Exchange  with a  local CDR, a committee for the defense of the Revolution.


Thursday, January 11

9:00am  Enjoy an excursion to the foothills of the Sierra Maestra Mountains, where we will visit the National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre. This magnificent church is a pilgrimage site and attracts people from all over Cuba who come seeking the Virgin’s purported healing powers.


After lunch, we move on to visit an adjacent cemetery connected with the church. Photo stop at the El Cimarrón monument by Alberto Lescay. On the way back visit the Cafetal La Isabelica Coffee Plantation, the most important and famous one in the southeast of the country. It was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. Created by French emigrants from Haiti, there are more than 60 coffee plantations in the area.

2:30pm Visit to the Bacardi Rum Factory on the way back to the hotel.

Dinner and evening free for local cultural activities.


Friday, January 12

9:00am   Discussion with a member of las Isabelitas to discuss LBTY issues in Cuba today and learn about the work of CENESEX nationally to end homophobia and transphobia.

11:00 am   Exchange with El Grupo Bayate, a professional organization of the leading naïve artists of Cuba, most of whom were concentrated nearby Santiago de Cuba. Cuban naïve art is a unique blend of mysticism, local rituals and religion, as well as dreams, nature and everyday life. It derives inspiration from the country’s hardworking townspeople and field workers, and from the local landscape, architecture and history.


2:30pm Free for personal exploration and discussions with Dr. Jan Black.

Dinner and evening free for local cultural activities.


Saturday, January 13

8:30 am   Breakfast at the hotel, check out and depart for Holguin city visiting the town upon arrival.

1.00pm    Lunch in Holguin

3.00pm    Exchange with Hermanos Saiz project to learn about their work with Cubans  under the age of 35.

4:30pm   Check in Hotel and enjoy time to rest and swim on the beach.

7:30pm   Farewell dinner at the hotel and wrap up meeting facilitated by Dr. Jan Black.


Sunday, January 14

Breakfast at the hotel and check out

Return to USA

Sites DOT MIISThe Middlebury Institute site network.