On January 14th, President Obama announced new categories of legal Cuba educational travel,
they went into effect immediately.
Right now, accredited universities and colleges will no longer need to apply for a Specific License for Cuba education tour
by their students, professors, faculty and staff.
At the end of basic secondary education, Cuban students can choose between pre-university
education and technical and professional education. Those who complete pre-university education are awarded the Bachillerato (high school diploma).
Technical training leads to two levels of qualification - skilled worker and middle-level technician.
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Cuba Educational & Cultural Travel for Educators, Professors and Teachers!
This Cuba study tour goes to Havana City, Cienfuegos & Trinidad
Authentic Cuba Travel in coordination with Cuba’s Teachers Union and Cuban educators warmly invites teachers, professors,
and educators from Canada, US and all over the world to join this official
Cuba education tour taking place from November 23 to November 30, 2013.
Cuba is a paradise lost in the time, beautiful beaches, beautiful landscape, old cars, old buildings that can take you to the most
wonderful adventure and above all the kindness, friendship and beauty of his people will make you love it.
It is also one of the world's last bastions of communism with a fascinating modern history. Cuba's relative political isolation has
prevented it from being overrun by tourists, and locals are sincerely friendly to those who do venture in.
From Cuba’s present political system to its rich history, you will experience Cuban culture first-hand during this Cuba education
tour. Veterans of the Revolution, doctors, school teachers, students and farmers all will share their stories and answer all
your questions. You will be treated with kindness and warmth the likes of which you will rarely found in other travels. It is truly
a life changing experience.
Cuba is extremely safe by any world standards, and the average visitor has no reason to worry about personal safety on the streets,
in the hotels, at the beaches or any other place a traveller might visit.
Authentic Cuba Travel staff has years of experience in the Cuba travel industry and with North Americans travellers. If you really
want to visit the real Cuba that lies beyond the confines of all-inclusive full-packed tourist resorts, this Cuba discovery tour is
for you! Please, check the day-by-day itinerary below. Welcome Aboard!
Cuba Study Tour Highlights include:
Guided tour of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Travel to "The Pearl of the South" Cienfuegos.
Guided tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cienfuegos Centre.
Travel to colonial Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Travel to UNESCO World Heritage Site Sugar Mill Valley.
Tour of Instituto Superior de Arte (Cuba's Arts School).
Visit to Primary School "Angela Landa" in Old Havana.
Visit to the provincial School of Painting of Trinidad.
Guided tour of Cuba's Museum of Fine Arts.
Guided tour of Havana's Literacy Museum.
Follow in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway.
Tour Cojimar fishing village, Hemingway's favourite hangout!
Explore Finca La Vigia, where Hemingway lived for over 20 years.
Private visit to Lizt Alfonso Ballet School.
Tour Havana's Scale Model, guided by arch. Miguel Coyula.
Visit the prestigious Cuban art gallery "Maroya".
Explore the famous handicraft market of Old Havana
Notice to US Educators:
This Cuba education tour is licensable for US professors, teachers, and education professionals who are interested in
conducting professional research on the Cuban education system.
Accredited schools and universities no longer need to apply for a Specific License for travel by their students, faculty and staff (including but not limited to adjunct faculty and part-time staff) to Cuba. Now they can travel under a General License (no application necessary).
Participants must carry a letter on official letterhead signed by a designated representative of the sponsoring academic institution. The letter should state that the travel is part of a structured educational program of the sponsoring institution.
Visit Elementary School “Angela Landa”. Meeting with the principal of the school Prof. Sonia Garcia. Tour of the school. Meeting with Cuban teachers and students.
Guided tour of Cuba's National Art Schools. Meet with Cuban art students and professors.
The schools were designed and built by architects Cuban Ricardo Porro and the Italians Roberto Gottardi and Vittorio Garatti
from 1961 to 1965, in the former affluent neighbourhood of Country Club Park (today known as Cubanacán), specifically on the
grounds of the Havana Country Club golf course.
Tour of Cuba's Literacy Museum in the Liberty City
neighbourhood of Havana. Meeting with museum director Luisa Campos for an introduction on the history of the literacy campaign and
the new literacy campaigns taking place in Venezuela, Bolivia and other regions based on the Cuban Campaign model.
The Lizt Alfonso ballet is composed only of women and a music band. It has been acclaimed in Cuba and abroad in the USA, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, Venezuela Colombia and France.
With the possible exceptions of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, Cuba has had no more famous former resident than author Ernest Hemingway. The hard drinking, womanising, American author fell in love with Cuba after visiting it several times. He lived on Cuba from 1940 until 1960, shortly before his death. Known affectionately as "Ernesto" or "Papa", Hemingway is still beloved by the Cuban people.
Enjoy Afrojazz, Cubajazz and Sonjazz at Club La Zorra y El Cuervo,
Havana’s most famous Jazz club. The club features great performances by island bands and soloists!
Tour of Palacio de Valle in Cienfuegos City. This architectural jewel
originated as a home for trader, Celestino Caceres, who later gave it as a wedding present to the Valle family who added to it
(in a Mughal Style with carved floral motifs) a stunning Carrara marble staircase, cupped arches, bulbous domes and delicate
The Sugar Mill Valley is one of the most photographed landscapes in Cuba. The monumental value of the 65 sites that form the valley increases the interest to visit this place, where important vestiges of the island's sugar colonization still survive.
Guided walking tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinidad’s
Historical Center, a perfect relic of the early days of the Spanish colony with beautifully preserved streets and
buildings with hardly a trace of the 20th century anywhere.
Arrival at "Jose Marti" International Airport in Havana City.
Meet your Authentic Cuba Travel tour guide and bus driver.
Breakfast is complimentary from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Cuba greets its visitors with strains of exotic rhythms such as salsa and rumba emanating from every corner,
and an aquamarine sea laps the white, palm-fringed beaches all around the island. Cuba, with its mix of Spanish
and African roots, is the largest, least commercialized, and most exciting island in the Caribbean.
Private transfer to your hotel
Presidente(Economic Package) or Nacional de Cuba (Premium Package), both facilities located in Vedado, Havana's Cultural Center today.
Day 2. Sunday 24 November 2013. Walking Old Havana
Morning: visit to Finca La Vigia, a hilltop villa 20 kilometers east of Havana, where famed author Ernest Hemingway lived from 1939 to 1960. It is here where the writer completed some of his greatest works, including The Old Man and the Sea, Across the River and into the Trees, and Islands in the Stream.
The villa has been maintained as a museum for the past 49 years. It contains original book and short story manuscripts, letters, over 3000 photographs, Hemingway’s fishing tackle and gun collections, furniture, priceless art collection, and a 9000 volume library that contains rare first editions of his books and those of other famous writers.
Finca Vigía has made both the World Monuments Fund List of 100 Most Endangered sites, and The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 11 Most Endangered Places.
Lunch in Cojimar fishing village.
Tour around Cojimar fishing village, where Hemingway kept his boat Pilar. The writer is remembered by the town with a small gazebo that encircles a commemorative bust, sculpted from the melted down propellers donated by local fishermen.
Afternoon: by guided walking tour of Old Havana, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visit to the Cathedral Square, the most beautiful and private 18th century colonial plaza of Cuba,
named after the masterpiece of Cuban baroque architecture: the Cathedral of Havana built by the Jesuit order.
Visit to Square of Arms, ancient military parade ground for Spanish soldiers and surrounded by impressive
buildings such as:
Palacio de los Capitanes Generales was the former seat of colonial government. Today the building houses the Museum
of the City.
Palacio del Segundo Cabo. The seat of the second authority of the island. Today it houses important publishing
Castillo de la Real Fuerza. The second oldest fortress built by the Spaniards in the West Indies. The castle was recently renovated
and reopened in June 2008 to hold the impressive maritime museum. Well laid out exhibits chart Spain and Cuba's naval history.
Continue walking tour onto San Francisco Square, one of the oldest in the historical quarter.
Visit to Plaza Vieja, the only civic square of colonial times. Notice it doesn't have a church or government building around.
Here we will visit important institutions for visual arts.
Evening: tonight we have a Cuban band playing for us! You'll learn to dance to Salsa, Son, Rumba, and other popular Cuban rhythms
with instruction from bandleaders.
Day 3. Monday 25 November 2013. Havana
Morning: visit to Workshop School in Old Havana. High school graduates enroll in this institution
to learn the arts and crafts necessary to authentically restore the ancient buildings of Old Havana. The school teaches young people
archeological and restoration work that helps preserving the heritage and cultural wealth of Old Havana.
Tour the school and get engaged with students in the different workshops such as Glass work, Carpentry, Iron work and Restoration.
Exchange with professors and students.
Followed by visit to Primary School “Angela Landa”. Exchange with teachers and students to learn Cuba’s primary education level. Tour the schools and
enjoy educational and cultural activities by students. Meet the principal of the school Prof. Sonia Garcia. Tour of the school.
Lunch in La Mina restaurant where you can enjoy traditional Cuban dishes and live music!
Afternoon: visit to the Lizt Alfonso Ballet School founded in 1991. Lizt Alfonso’s choreographies are dance and music of a kind no one else creates: a seamless fusion of Spanish classical dance, ballet, flamenco and Afro-Cuban dance.
Followed by: visit the Museum of Fine Arts (Cuban Collection) where we see the evolution of Cuba's visual arts over the last 300 years.
The collection accounts for the richness of our Spanish, French, Chinese, African cultural roots.
Evening: enjoy Afrojazz, Cubajazz and Sonjazz at Club La Zorra y El Cuervo, Havana’s most famous Jazz club. The club features great
performances by island bands and soloists! (optional, not included)
Day 4. Tuesday 26 November 2013. Havana
Morning: guided tour of Cuba's National Art Schools (ISA). ISA professors are all active musicians,
dancers or artists. Each faculty in the arts provides a combination of theory and practice designed
for students serious about pursuing artistic achievement through concentrated study.
Study at the Institute is comparable to conservatory work in the United States. This is a great opportunity
to exchange with the new generation of Cuban artists. Meet with students and teachers.
We are now "leaving" Havana and entering Fusterlandia, the studio, residence and wild kingdom of José Rodriguez Fuster,
one of the most important Cuban ceramists and painters today. Lunch hosted by Jose Fuster.
Afternoon: visit to the Literacy Museum in the Liberty City neighborhood of Havana.
Meeting with museum director Luisa Campos for an introduction on the history of the literacy campaign and the new
taking place in Venezuela, Bolivia and other regions based on the Cuban Campaign model.
Day 5. Wednesday 27 November 2013. Havana- Cienfuegos- Trinidad
Morning departure to Trinidad, in Central Cuba.
En route, we will visit Cienfuegos city. Cienfuegos is the first, and an outstanding example of an architectural
ensemble representing the new ideas of modernity, hygiene and order in urban planning as developed in Latin America from the 19th
This countryside exploration trip will give participants insights on how the Cuban education system works
in different cities of the country.
The colonial town of Cienfuegos was founded in 1819 in the Spanish territory but was initially settled by immigrants of
French origin. It became a trading place for sugar cane, tobacco and coffee. Situated on the Caribbean coast of southern-central
Cuba at the heart of the country’s sugar cane, mango, tobacco and coffee production area, the town first developed in the
It later became more eclectic but retained a harmonious overall townscape. Among buildings of particular
interest are the Government Palace (City Hall), San Lorenzo School, the Bishopric, the Ferrer Palace, the former lyceum, and some
Visit to Palacio de Valle upon arrival. The eclectic building was erected at a cost of a million and half pesos.
French, Arabic, Italian and Cuban artisans worked with marble, alabaster, brass, glass and ceramic imported from Spain, Italy and
United States. The entrance is primitive Gothic style and leads to a dining room of Mudejar influence, which imitates the famous
Patio of the Lions, of Alhambra, in Granada.
Lunch at Palacio del Valle restaurant.
Afternoon: guided walking tour of Cienfuegos Historical Center.
We will visit neoclassical buildings around Paseo del Prado and the main Square Jose Marti such as:
The Tomas Terry Theatre, completed in 1895 and named after a sugar baron from Venezuela who arrived in Cuba with no money and
made his fortune by buying sick slaves for a low price, to later nurse them back to health and reselling them. This money was
invested in a sugar estate that brought him the wealth to build several outstanding buildings in Cienfuegos, including this
theatre, with materials specially brought over from Europe.
The Casa de la Cultura, home of another wealthy sugar baron, stunning mansion in neoclassical style.
The Cathedral built with the donation of wealthy families like the Lebrancs, the Albis, the Terrys. Inside you find the
reproductions of the 12 Apostles in stained glass imported from Paris. Also the original machinery of the clock tower was built
in France. Still in place and working.
We'll also visit the elegant art gallery Galería de Arte Maroya and review its impressively displayed collection of paintings,
sculptures and antiques.
Now we journey on to the historic city of Trinidad and check in at all-inclusive Costa Sur hotel.
You'll have time for dinner and a swim in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea.
Day 6. Thursday 28 November 2013. Trinidad
Morning: visit to the Academy of Painting “Oscar Fernandez”. Meet with the Principal and teachers to learn about the school curriculum and enrollment criteria. Tour the school and exchange
with students in the different workshops.
Visit to a Maternity Home. Since Cuba places special emphasis on maternity and infant care, expectant mothers with high-risk pregnancies or other special needs can stay at a maternity home where an on-duty nurse lives and is available 24-hours. The most common reasons for going to a maternity home are the need for additional nutritional supplements, the risk of carrying a low-weight baby and carrying twins. A total of 209 maternity homes exist throughout Cuba (PAHO, 1998).
Lunch at hotel.
Afternoon: guided walking tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinidad’s Historical Center. Trinidad is an
outstanding example of a colonial city. It has maintained its historic core, featuring the highest percentage of surviving
antique buildings and public squares and bringing together architectural, historic and cultural elements of great value.
The city is representative of the colonial human settlement and the Valle de Los Ingenios is testimony to the development
of the sugar industry.
Visit to the Architecture Museum (Casa de los Sanchez Iznaga), housing the most representative samples of the city's architectural
development in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Visit to Museo Lucha contra Bandidos, former home of the San Francisco de Asis convent.
Visit to Museo Romantico, overlooking the Trinidad main square. It has an excellent exhibition of romantic style porcelain, glass,
paintings and decorative furniture which belonged to the Conde de Brunet and other Trinidad notorious families.
We will stop at a mirador (lookout) over the Sugar Mill Valley, designated by UNESCO as a World Cultural
Heritage Site in 1988, it constitutes a sort of triangular plain covering some 250
square kilometers and includes the San Luis, Agabama-Meyer and Santa Rosa valleys, besides the coastal plain of the
south delta of the Manati River.
Trinidad is well known for its pottery makers. We meet with a family that has been passing the tradition for generations:
Free time to wander the streets of historical centre or enjoy the beach.
Evening is free to enjoy the beach, hotel amenities, and the lively streets of Trinidad. How about live Cuban popular music on
steps of Casa de la Música – a great opportunity to dance with Cubans and your tour companions.
Day 7. Friday 29 November 2013. Trinidad- Havana
Morning: free time to wander the streets of historical centre or enjoy the beach.
Afternoon: transfer back to your hotel in Havana City.
Hello! My name is Jacqui Birchall. I am a retired Surrey (BC)
high school teacher. My students and I travelled to Cuba with this wonderful people. It was an amazing experience for
my students, students who cried as we left Cuba. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about how to organize
your trip and any other questions you may have about Cuba. I have been lucky enough to have spent time teaching in Cuba
and I have travelled extensively throughout the island. I invite you to take your classroom to Cuba with us!