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Cuba Today: People and Society

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Road Scholar
Program #20437RJ

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9 Days | 8 Nights
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
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Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
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EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. Minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding, and rewarding, programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Dan from Lewes, DE Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 12/09/14 - 12/17/14
Our Dec. 9-17th tour group found Cuba to be a land of cars, cigars, local cuisine, lively music and warm, friendly and resilient people. Our program was very well planned and our tour leader and guide, (Coqui & Jose Luis), were top notch. Our lectures and hands-on visits & interactions were thought provoking & heartwarming. This trip was both educational as well as recreational. Many of us felt that the visit was a trip back in time to our younger days and youth. While there, you'll discover that the "antique" cars are a way of life and not just a tourist attraction. The food was varied and you'll be amazed at the size of the lobster tail, if it is available. The hotels offered "Old World" charm and flavor as well as nostalgia of past celebrities who stayed at the Hotel Naccional. I would recommend that if you want to see Cuba, see it now before revitalization and new development start occurring at an accelerated pace. This program was a good value and it also gave us an opportunity to hear the historic announcement of the resuming of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba while we were there. Both the Cuban people and our group were elated but as you'll learn during the lectures, there are sometimes consequences with progress. Visit soon if possible!

Susan from Plainsboro, NJ Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 12/09/14 - 12/17/14
The best review I could write were the attributes listed in your survey. This was my first Road Scholar trip and I would highly recommend, and have, the Cuba trip to anyone who would ask.

Marilyn from Minneapolis, MN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 03/03/15 - 03/11/15
Great variety of things to do, interactions with groups in Cuba. Multiple opportunities to ask questions of the Cuban people we met, from students to senior citizens.

Carol from Centerville, MA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/07/15 - 04/15/15
If you are contemplating going to Cuba, go now. It is an exciting time, perfectly safe, and absolutely fascinating. The Road Scholar Program was amazingly well rounded and informative.

Victoria from Pittsboro, NC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/07/15 - 04/15/15
I just returned from the 4/7 - 15 tour. Wonderful in all respects (except of course for ancient bathrooms, which was expected). Guides Cameron and Jose were excellent - always there when we had a question or needed something, and making the logistics smooth in invisible ways too. Cuba is beautiful and vibrant - in no way 'frozen in time' but a complex, unique culture that since the 1959 revolution has outlasted eleven US presidents, multiple Popes, and the arrival and departure of the Russians. I am so proud that President Obama is moving our two countries toward closer relations. For future visitors: consider bringing baseballs, donations of supplies from your dentists, soap, and packs of pencils and pens.

William from Grosse Pointe Woods, MI Number of programs attended: 9
Date attended: 03/24/15 - 04/01/15
Like stepping back in time! We had a chance to see a people and nation creative and inventive with medical and educational institutions of excellence. It was a chance of a lifetime to be an ambassador to persons who welcomed us and shared even intimate details of their lives.

Alan from Hoover, AL Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 05/05/15 - 05/13/15
Marie-Claude from Birmingham, AL During the eight days, our eyes have been filled with dance and paintings, our ears with music and songs. There is art on each street in Cuba and it exhibits many talented amateurs and professional artists of all ages and all kinds. But what has struck me the most during this is the resilience, the generosity, the friendship, the directness of the Cuban People who speak with such reserve about their hard time in life as they are too proud to show their difficulties, but instead express their love for the unique culture and the successful achievements of their beautiful Country. Thank you so much Hector for the outstanding lessons you gave us on any subject possible of your Country : Economical, Agricultural, Medical, Educational, Social, Political, Historical... The Professor in you, wanted to educate us as much as possible, respecting our big differences. Martin with his subtle and elegant British conduct was very attentive to all our needs and made sure that everything ran smoothly and perfectly. His knowledge of Cuba in the history of the United States was a very good complement to Hector's informations. Jackson was an excellent driver and a perfect gentleman to assist women at the bus descent. Of course, a great surprise was to have the French President Francois Hollande in the Hotel National at the same time we were in Havana. It created a little delay but it was a treat. I will add a note to celebrate the food and drinks. At lunch and dinner we began the meal with a mojito...very refreshing in the heat and humidity of Cuba. We enjoyed the banana chips, the delicious black beans and rice, the succulent shrimps, the enormous sweet grilled lobsters, the strong coffee and for some, the excellent aged rum...yummy! I wish one day, I will be able to go back to Cuba freely, because in the end, it's the people who matter the most.

Deanne from Huntington Beach, CA Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 10/20/15 - 10/28/15
Amazing interactions with the Cuban people. LOVE the arts. An experience not soon to forget!! I'd go again without hesitation.

Mia from Fremont, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 06/16/15 - 06/24/15
I find this website hard to navigate... One of the lecturers said he would post his PowerPoint presentation with Road Scholar and I couldn't find a page for our trip (Program #20437). I didn't take notes because of this.

Philip from Seattle, WA Number of programs attended: 18
Date attended: 04/14/15 - 04/22/15
I just returned from one of Road Scholar's trips to Cuba, which I had chosen even before the recent developments in relations between Cuba and the U.S. I would find it very difficult to find fault with the organization or the execution of the program. The Cuban leaders were exceptional, though quite different from each other in several ways; of course, that made it even more interesting. Thinking about going to Cuba? Stop thinking, and GO.

John from Durham, NC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/12/15 - 05/20/15
The People to People trip to Cuba in mid_May 2015 was highly informative, timely and current on US-Cuban relations, and gave great insights to the experiences of the Cuban people over the last 50 years. John

Joan from Denver, CO Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/23/15 - 10/01/15
I learned so much on this trip and got to see Cuba in a way that was unique. The Road Scholar's program and staff provided knowledge and experience.

Janet from Sonora, CA Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 01/05/16 - 01/13/16
The trip to Cuba was beyond our expectations. Road Scholar didn't leave a stone unturned. We were amazed at how much we experienced while we were there. Even though the country is so poor and so rundown I know I want to go back. And we loved all the music entertainment we had.

Sue from El Dorado Hills, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 01/05/16 - 01/13/16
The Cuba People to People program is outstanding. My understanding of the country, the culture, the history and the impact of Cuban/US relations was dramatically increased and altered. Our guides were knowledgeable and personable. This trip was a 10!

Nancy from Framingham, MA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/11/15 - 12/20/15
I thought I knew a fair amount about recent Cuban history before our trip. I learned so much more on the trip than I had from all my reading. Our guide (Hector) and the lecturers were exceptional! I can't say enough about them. I don't think that an independent traveler could come away with the inside knowledge of Cuba that we were exposed to.

Cathryn from Yankton, SD Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/08/15 - 12/16/15
This was one of the most interesting tours I have ever been on. It is like a step back in time. It is beautiful country but needs lots of work to catch up; if that is what they want to do.

Carol from Albany, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/11/15 - 12/20/15
Cuba is on the cusp of major transformations to its economy and culture, making this the perfect time to visit. And I can't imagine a better way to go than with the knowledgeable, experienced, welcoming Road Scholar guides. You'll learn more than expected and come away wanting to return!

Patricia from Naples, FL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/01/15 - 12/09/15
Cuba is standing still but it's at the starting gate. It's a beautiful country and the people are wonderful. It's amazing how they have survived with what they don't have. Go now as someone else said. You will see a country 50 years in the past but moving daily to the 21st Century.

David from Moorehead, MN Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/08/15 - 12/16/15
Both Lynne and I were amazed at the complexity, strength, and culture of the Cuban people. Like the people, the issues faced by our counties in resolving our differences are complex, but certainly not insurmountable. The Road Scholar People-to-People program did an incredible job at both exposing us to the issues and providing lectures that enlightened us to the very nuanced and multifaceted nature of all that is Cuban. Be forewarned, the requirements of this tour make it necessary that they schedule “meetings and engagements which will include a full time schedule of People-to People contact in Cuba”. That boils down to a somewhat demanding schedule and very little time on your own. Accommodations are the best available but that is not always up to what an American is used to; my advise on that is if you are a tourist this is probably not the trip for you. Any discomforts are offset by the excellent lectures and exposure to music, dance, art, and people that you will remember for the rest of your life. Our group members included a number of persons who displayed a curiosity, intellect, and love of life that added immensely to the experience. Our Group Leader, Liliana Rhodes, and our Cuban Guide Jorge were accomplished professionals with lifetimes of experience who were able to provide their sometimes very different viewpoints on Cuba in an informative and collegial manner. We all benefited greatly from their considerable knowledge of this fascinating country. At the risk of sounding dramatic, this trip opened our eyes and our hearts to Cuba; I strongly recommend this program for those who wish to learn about Cuba and her people.

Janet from Coronado, CA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/08/15 - 12/16/15
Absolutely eye opening and fascinating glimpse into Cuba's current condition and Cuba's future hopes! Cuba: amazingly beautiful tropical island with a bright future if things can be sorted out between their government and ours! That is their ardent hope and long-held dream. That being said, we were actively on the go for up to 12 hours a day with programmed activities, lectures, performances and other opportunities to listen and to learn, and to participate with with Cuban people. For a true 'road scholar' I think there can be no better way to see what Cuba is today and to envision what it can become if given the opportunities. Our American guide, Lilliana Rhoades, was absolutely a fantastic addition and a fountain of information. Her boundless energy, enthusiasm, and intimate knowledge of Cuba was so very much appreciated by us all. She and our Cuban guide, Jorge, worked long days and nights on our behalf to make the visit just perfect. Special unexpected treat: a ride down the Malecon in Havana in a fabulous fifties vintage convertible at sunset! Wow factor? YES! Cuba! Si!

Pamela from Charleston, SC Number of programs attended: 13
Date attended: 12/08/15 - 12/16/15
Overall, I enjoyed the program and was glad to see Cuba before tourism takes hold. The group of 22 were shuttled from one location to the next by a large tour bus, much like is used in Waikiki for commercial tours -- this is NOT how I prefer to travel. I would have liked to have mingled more in local markets to see how locals live. We had virtually no free time to explore neighborhoods on our own. Some days, we were going from 8:15 to after 7, and I certainly wasn't going to go out after dark. I was impressed w the high level of cultural activities -- dance, music and graphic arts. The architecture is beautiful, but unfortunately so much of the residential is in shambles.

Sidney from Ithaca, NY Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 12/08/15 - 12/16/15
Sid from Ithaca New York Number of programs attended; 3 Date attended: 12/8/15-12/16/15 A wonderful experience (and I write as someone who thought our Ecuador and Patagonia programs were unmatched!) The guides were both terrific - albeit very different; the lectures were at a very high intellectual level; and the people-to-people encounters -- especially the musical ones -- were enlightening. One cavil: not for everyone. If you think you already know everything you need to know about Cuba, you will certainly fulfill your preconceptions, but will probably learn very little. Go with an open mind, and go prepared: I recommend Julia Sweig's CUBA: WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW, which, despite the title, is an informative and well balanced introduction to a complicated and contradictory society.

Risa from Sarasota, FL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/08/15 - 12/16/15
This was an extremely interesting experience. So much to take in - never a dull moment. It will take a while to integrate all we saw and did and learned. GO NOW! Cuba is changing. And try to go a little off season b/c the prediction is that it is going to be mobbed with tourists come Jan. '16.

Fredda from Philadelphia, PA Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 12/08/15 - 12/16/15
We very much enjoyed the Road Scholar Cuba-People and Society program. The lectures were informative, the group leader was excellent, the contacts in Cuba were delightful. There is increasing free-time available as relations between US and Cuba improve. Both cultures benefit from this interchange.

L. David from BLacksburg, VA Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 12/08/15 - 12/16/15
Our trip was fantastic! Both the RS guide and the Havantur guide were very knowledgeable and skilled at keeping the tour group focused on the important items. They were personable and had great senses of humor. The events were exactly what I wanted to see and hear in Cuba. We plan to do another Cuba tour with RS.

David from CHERRY HILL, NJ Number of programs attended: 0
Date attended: 12/01/15 - 12/09/15
GO NOW!! Cuba is changing quickly and if you want to see the past and the future, side by side, GO NOW!!

Glenn from Charleston, SC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/10/15 - 11/18/15
The program was well-organized, informative, interesting--one of the best trips I have taken (and I have traveled a lot).

William from Bristol, CT Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/03/15 - 11/11/15
Terrific trip. A thorough exposure to the people, country and culture of Cuba. Our guides Cameron and Luis were excellent. This is a beautiful country with a generally warm people. It is also a country with a changing political and economic life. I think this trip will help you understand that US Cuban relations should continue to improve in the future.

Bonnie from Oxnard, CA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/27/15 - 11/04/15
This was a wonderful program with a great American guide, as well as a wonderful Cuban guide. This is an amazing country, with warm & welcoming people, beautiful architecture, & delicious food. Road Scholar provided guest lecturers from the university in Havana who were most informative about the architecture, the Cuban/American relations, and the Cuban religions. Every school and studio we visited showed us the great talent Cuba has in the arts. I highly recommend this program.

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"Music venus on this program were excellent" Uploaded By: Keith R

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You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
8 nights of accommodations
22 meals: 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
19 Field trips
1 Hands-on experiences
Visas: 1(out of 1 required)


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