The Cuba Today travel program will allow you to know and understand the Cuban civil society today. Specifically, the program provides with a unique opportunity for participants to learn about Cuban creative endeavors to develop artistic, agricultural and community education and development projects. Guided by one of our Program Leaders, you will be able to interact with creative people in Cuba and support independent projects.
DAY 1 - ARRIVAL - HOLA CUBA!
Once in Havana, we will be on our way to a panoramic visit to the city and have lunch in Old Havana. After lunch, we head to Hostal Casavana for check-in. You will have time to relax before we will gather for a welcome dinner and orientation.
DAY 2 -THE ARTS: ARCHITECTURE, DANCE AND VISUAL
After breakfast, a Cuban community development expert will deliver a walking visit to Old Havana. You will learn about Old Havana as a unique urban development project that integrates community and economic development with art. Meetings with owners of art related businesses in Old Havana will provide an understanding of the emerging Cuban entrepreneur and the challenges faced by independent artists. In Cathedral Square we will visit the Experimental Graphic Workshop (printmaking) to meet Cuban artists. After lunch we will visit the List Alfonso Dance Company for a private dance presentation and conversation with dancers and company administrators. Our visit will support their community education program.
In the evening, we will have dinner and visit the Fábrica de Arte Cubano (FAC) (Cuban Arts Factory).
FAC is the initiative of renowned Cuban musician X-Alfonso. The groundbreaking project uses nightlife as a platform for numerous cultural activities, art exhibits, performances, jazz concerts, even a film screening—all in the same venue on the same night. Here we will have a private meeting with artists exhibiting their work and meet community members participating in workshops provided by FAC.
DAY 3 – CUBAN ORGANIC AGRICULTURE
Mediterráneo Havana Restaurant is a one of the most renowned restaurants in the city. One reason is that it gets most of its products directly from the Vista Hermosa Ranch, which is part of a larger project. We'll visit Vista Hermosa to learn about the processes and organic agriculture practices used there. We'll taste cheeses and artisan sausages. Then we'll head back to Mediterráneo, where you'll enjoy a tasting menu made of the ranch products.
DAY 4 – COMMUNITY EDUCATION
After breakfast at our hostal we will visit the Kcho Studio in the Havana suburb of Romerillo. The studio is at the center of El Romerrillo Organic Museum and Community Development Project founded by Cuban artist Alexis Leyva.
After lunch we will visit the Muraleando Community Project.
The need to transform a neighborhood into a healthy and attractive environment was the main motivation for the creation of Muraleando. After almost two decades of existence this social and cultural project marks a difference in the Lawton neighborhood in Havana's municipality of 10 de Octubre.
There we can find music, dancing and acting as part of a show where the most unusual objects are part of works of art.
DAY 5 – COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Our last day in Havana will consist of a full day visit to Las Terrazas.
Las Terrazas, the first ecomuseum in Cuba, located in the eastern part of Sierra del Rosario, the mountain range that covers the westernmost tip of the island, was inaugurated in May 2010. Las Terrazas is a symbol of a territory where human actions and landscape transformation during almost four hundred years, constitute an encompass- ing cultural heritage that provides cohesion and stability to the young Las Terrazas community founded in 1971.
The ecomuseum exhibits the natural, historic and social values representing the territory’s identity and the villagers’ sense of history and culture. While they, and their ancestors, are the main actors in the dynamic process taking place in the historic and natural sites that make up the museum, the latter becomes an expression of and an instrument for the participation of villagers in the community’s present and future development.
In the evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner.
DAY 6 - DEPART - HASTA LUEGO CUBA!
After checkout and lunch, we will travel to José Martí International Airport for departure.
The Casa experience provides you with personalized accommodation services you will not find in a hotel. Our hosts are bilingual and willing to go the extra mile, including private conversations about day-to-day life in Cuba.
Hostal Casavana is the union of three excellent horizontal properties of 250m2, built in the decade of the 50s, in the heart of Vedado. With spectacular views of the City and the Malecón Habanero, it has 14 air-conditioned rooms with TV (local channels) and security box. Each has a private bath equipped with hot and cold water 24 hours, kit of amenities, hair dryer and bathrobes.
Guests in each property have at their disposal a large living room, a dining room and a large L-shaped terrace with views of the sea and the city. All these common areas are beautifully decorated with furniture and lamps from the 50s. Guests will be able to enjoy splendid breakfasts with an incredible view, on the 11th floor dining room.
At Casavana, a group that is like a big family, dedicated to make of your stay an unforgettable experience, will attend you. You will have a maid who will keep the floors immaculate and change your sheets and towels daily, a staff that will make your breakfast something unmatched, a barman that will be available after 5 PM and a manager who will give you personalized attention 24 hours. Massage in your room is available by appointment.
Today we join all Habaneros in their celebration of the foundation of Havana 500 years ago.
Precursor and maximum exponent of the "fusion" style, List Alfonso shows an original and virtuoso repertoire, recognized by the public and critics as "unique and different". Founded 25 years ago by its creator, director and choreographer, Lizt Alfonso, it has conquered audiences of all ages in the five continents, performing in hundreds of cities with the strength and rythm of the Cuba that vibrates today.
"....a great laboratory for interdisciplinary creation that presents the best of contemporary art in Cuba, with a strong social and community focus."
"...to make art social, bringing it to the ordinary people: children, young people, adults and senior citizens."
".......the most valuable heritage and the tradition that must be renewed and kept alive are love for work and the ethics for living in society."