Traveling Cuba’s National Freeway: The Road to Revolution

Open to Students in Every MIIS Program and Juniors and Seniors at Middlebury College
Accommodations: 3-Star Hotels

The Cuban Revolution was not just a historical event; on the contrary, it is an ongoing project. Led by Dr. George Henson, this course focuses not only on the historical and geographical roots of the Cuban Revolution but also its present-day political, economic, diplomatic, and cultural realities, as they relate to education, healthcare, tourism, international relations, and trade. Correlative topics of race, gender, LGBT activism, the arts, and sports will also be treated. Spanish not required.

The course will begin in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba’s second-largest city (located in the second-easternmost province of the same name). From Santiago, you will travel in (private and air-conditioned) bus along the country’s National Freeway, first to the province and capital city of Guantánamo. From there, we will travel to Niquero, in the modern-day province of Granma, the site of the landing of Granma, the yacht used by 82 members of the 26th of July Movement, including Fidel Castro, his brother Raúl, Che Guevara, and Camilo Cienfuegos. From there, the group/course will travel the length of Cuba along the National Freeway, stopping in the Cuba’s major provincial cities, before arriving in Havana. From Havana, the trip will continue west, through Cuba’s two westernmost provinces, Artemisa and Pinar del Río. By the end of the course, you will have visited all 15 provinces and their capital cities.

By traveling throughout Cuba’s 15 provinces, you will witness firsthand the disparities in levels of economic and social development throughout the island and engage personally with Cubans whose lives are distinct from those of the capital and even neighboring provinces relative to their immediate geographic, social, and economic realities.

In the event there are more applicants than spots, preference will be given to:
2nd-year Students
MIIS Students
Relevance of Course to Student’s Program of Study and Future Career Goals
Date of Application Submission

Academic Credit: 2- or 4-unit course credits, Directed Study, or Immersive Professional Learning.*
This trip falls under Tier 3 of the Immersive Professional Learning Funding Guidelines. Apply by October 1st and November 1st to be considered for an award of $1,000 to offset the costs of this program.

Contacts at MIIS:
George Henson, Lead Professor:
Carolyn Taylor Meyer, Director of Immersive Professional Learning and Special Programs:
*Students who wish to receive Directed Study credit must arrange a project of study with a MIIS faculty member beforehand.