Cuba: Community Leadership and Service Learning - Spring Break
Dates / Deadlines:
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
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Cuba: Community Leadership and Service Learning - Spring Break
Faculty-led, Service Learning
Academic Fields Available:
Interdisciplinary/ Open to all majors
About the Community Leadership and Service Learning in Cuba Program
The purpose of this trip will be to strengthen their awareness of Cuban culture, interact with residents in Havana and the surrounding countryside, and engage in meaningful community service that will provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of the country. An extensive itinerary will include a variety of experiences all designed to introduce students to Cuba and foster connections with residents.
To ensure an extraordinary experience, an itinerary has been built that offers a variety of opportunities to engage in Cuban culture and with the Cuban people. Accommodations for the trip will be homestays, allowing students to fully interact and learn more about everyday life. While in Cuba, we will be participate in conversations with an urban planner, local artists, community leaders and farmers. Students will also have the opportunity to visit museums, such as the Museum of the Revolution. In addition to the various tours and speakers, we will be completing community service with at-risk youth from Barrio Habana. We will also be volunteering at local farms, working side by side as they harvest and complete other tasks.
For more information, please contact the faculty leader, Kim Piatt, firstname.lastname@example.org
Housing & Orientation
Participants stay in home stay accommodation.
TBD **This program is contingent upon having a sufficient number of participants enrolled in the program.
Participants earn 1 credit (undergraduate or graduate) for this course.
Saturday, March 10
Early Arrival to Havana
3 pm Check-in at bed and breakfasts, known as “casas particulares”, or “private homes.” Since the 1990s Cuban families have been permitted to rent rooms out of their family homes to foreigners. Featuring comfortable accommodations and ample privacy, it’s a great way to interact with everyday Cubans.
5 pm Socio-economic discussion with urban planner Miguel Coyula, whose presentation will touch on housing, infrastructure, investment, and restoration programs in the city. It’s bound to leave you with a better understanding of why Havana looks the way it does today and possibilities moving forward.
7 pm Welcome dinner at Paladar Atelier. This restaurant is equally known for its atmosphere and exquisite cuisine. The lighting and textures of the house, which was home to a pre-revolutionary senator, coupled with walls adorned in modern art, create a cozy, but modern setting.
Sunday, March 11
11 am Walking tour of the Old City. Visit Plaza de la Catedral de San Cristóbal de La Habana. Wander through the Plaza de Armas, a scenic tree-lined plaza formerly at the center of influence in Cuba. It is surrounded by many of the most historic structures in Havana as well as important monuments. See the Plaza de San Francisco, a cobbled plaza surrounded by buildings dating from the 18th century, dominated by the baroque Iglesia and Convento de San Francisco dating from 1719. Visit the Plaza Vieja, surrounded by sumptuous houses of the Havana aristocracy from the 18th and 19th centuries.
1 pm Lunch Reservation at Doña Eutimia paladar. Famous for its ropa vieja and frozen mojitos, this cozy paladar made Newsweek Magazine’s top 100 restaurants in the world in 2012. The restaurant’s location in the beautiful cathedral square is unbeatable. (meal not included – to be paid on the ground)
3 pm Home visit with Havana residents, visit/tour home, discussion of ration cards, jobs, el paquete, transportation, and other topics of their daily life.
Monday, March 12
9 am Discussion with La Reyna y Real, a female hip hop/jazz duo. The group’s music focuses on breaking down stereotypes in Cuban society, including machismo, healthy relationships, gender relations and race. They will share info about their interesting musical journey and insight into the challenges and opportunities young Cubans face.
11 am Enjoy a performance by Habana Compás Dance, which encompasses the rich rhythm and flow of the island, performing traditional and modern dances born from their Spanish, Cuban and Afro-Cuban heritage.
1 pm Lunch Reservation at Chachacha, located between the Museum of the Revolution and the Museum of Fine Arts in Old Havana, it is known for the exquisite cuisine dishes and the variety of national and international cocktails served at the bar. (meal not included – to be paid on the ground)
2:30 pm Visit to the Museum of the Revolution, which holds hundreds of artifacts from pre- and post-revolutionary times, and highlights the tense relationship between the U.S. and Cuba.
4 pm Spend the late afternoon with Barrio Habana, a nonprofit organization that leads a community sports-arts program in Old Havana for children, at-risk youth and elderly people, while also contributing to preserve the heritage of the city. Take part in a soccer or chess game and do volunteer work with local youth.
7 pm Group dinner with members of Barrio Habana.
Tuesday, March 13
8 am Depart for Artemisa, a small province to the west of Havana.
Spend the morning volunteering at Tungasuk Farm. Work side by side with local workers, tasks may include harvest, weeding and/or pruning, among others. Enjoy an organic farm to table meal followed by a tour of the farm to see the crops and surroundings.
2 pm Depart for Viñales. Considered by many to be the most beautiful place in Cuba, the Viñales Valley is a National Monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is encircled by mountains and its landscape is interspersed with spectacular dome-shaped limestone outcrops (mogotes). Traditional techniques are still in use for agricultural production, particularly tobacco, which makes Viñales famous for being the premier tobacco growing area in the world.
4:30 pm Arrive to Viñales.
Visit the home of a local tobacco farmer, who will teach us about the cultivation and production process, followed by a rolling demo. He might even light up a cigar or two for the group.
6 pm Check-in at casas particulares.
7 pm Orientation meeting with Cándido, our local organizer, to discuss Viñales, the casas particulares, local paladares and other interesting topics.
Wednesday, March 14
Morning Volunteer at a local organic farm. We will also take a tour around the farm, talk to workers and learn about the fundamentals of tobacco harvesting and other local horticulture.
Lunch on your own
4 pm Attend salsa lessons to learn the moves of Cuba’s most famous type of dance.
7 pm Group dinner on the grounds of a local farm, Finca Paraiso Agroecologica (the Organic Paradise Farm), with a stunning view of the valley.
Thursday, March 15
9 am Depart for Havana.
11:30 am Visit to the home and studio of plastic artist Fuster, who has converted his neighborhood into an art project featuring murals, plastic art and other designs.
1 pm Lunch Reservation at Havana’s 21 restaurant, in Vedado neighborhood. (meal not included – to be paid on the ground)
2:30 pm Check-in at casas particulares.
4:30 pm Visit the home and studio of a family of artists, at AltaMira art loft. Discussion about art, culture and daily life on the island. A few years ago, Edel Bordón and his family embarked on a journey to establish an art collective in their apartment building. Spearheaded by his wife Yamilé Pardo, the family created the AltaMira art space, which features an exhibition and workspace off of the main lobby and collaborations with neighbors.
6 pm Spend the early evening at Café Madrigal with Frank Delgado, renowned singer and songwriter, for a discussion about the nueva trova movement in Cuba, followed by a musical performance. Café Madrigal, owned and run by film director Rafael Rosales, is housed in a beautiful colonial mansion with the walls lined with captivating artwork. Enjoy tasty tapas and cocktails.
Friday, March 16
10 am Visit to La Finca Vigía. Formerly the home of Ernest Hemingway, today it still houses his expansive collection of books. It was here where he wrote two of his most celebrated novels: For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. The beautiful grounds and bizarre tales from Hemingway’s many years in Cuba are captivating.
11 am Head to eastern Havana for a tour of Alamar, a Soviet style housing project, and Havana’s eastern beaches. Alamar, one of Havana’s largest neighborhoods, is filled with prefabricated buildings completed by the popular micro brigade movement in Cuba in which neighbors constructed and worked on building their own homes. Meet with local residents and visit a farmers’ market and ration store to get a feel for local living. You’ll have the option to eat lunch at El Chanchullero, a privately-run restaurant popular with the locals. Following lunch, visit Playas del Este (eastern beaches), where Habaneros go to escape the city heat. Take a stroll in the white sand and a dip in the turquoise water.
7 pm Farewell dinner with Cuban friends at Altamira.
Saturday, March 17
Check-out and depart for airport
Spring Break 2018 (estimated): March 10-17, 2018
The College at Brockport | Office of International Education