Road Scholar : Home
Cuba Today: People and Society

Program Number: 20437RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/7/2014 - 10/15/2014; 10/14/2014 - 10/22/2014; 10/21/2014 - 10/29/2014; 11/4/2014 - 11/12/2014; 11/11/2014 - 11/19/2014; 11/11/2014 - 11/19/2014; 12/2/2014 - 12/10/2014; 12/9/2014 - 12/17/2014; 12/9/2014 - 12/17/2014; 1/6/2015 - 1/14/2015; 1/6/2015 - 1/14/2015; 1/13/2015 - 1/21/2015; 1/13/2015 - 1/21/2015; 1/20/2015 - 1/28/2015; 1/20/2015 - 1/28/2015; 1/27/2015 - 2/4/2015; 1/27/2015 - 2/4/2015; 2/3/2015 - 2/11/2015; 2/10/2015 - 2/18/2015; 2/10/2015 - 2/18/2015; 2/17/2015 - 2/25/2015; 2/17/2015 - 2/25/2015; 2/24/2015 - 3/4/2015; 2/24/2015 - 3/4/2015; 3/3/2015 - 3/11/2015; 3/10/2015 - 3/18/2015; 3/17/2015 - 3/25/2015; 3/17/2015 - 3/25/2015; 3/24/2015 - 4/1/2015; 3/24/2015 - 4/1/2015; 4/4/2015 - 4/12/2015; 4/7/2015 - 4/15/2015; 4/14/2015 - 4/22/2015; 4/21/2015 - 4/29/2015; 4/28/2015 - 5/6/2015; 5/5/2015 - 5/13/2015; 5/12/2015 - 5/20/2015; 5/19/2015 - 5/27/2015; 6/2/2015 - 6/10/2015; 6/16/2015 - 6/24/2015; 7/7/2015 - 7/15/2015; 7/14/2015 - 7/22/2015;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Cuba
Price starting at: $3,395.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: ; Independent City Discoveries
Meals: 21; 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt    

Delve into the rich history and heritage of Cuba. In the heart of Havana and Cienfuegos, meet members of the local communities to discuss their lives and cultural traditions. Meet face-to-face with community leaders, local residents, artists, and intellectuals to discuss Cuba today and explore local landmarks that are significant to Cuba’s cultural heritage.




Highlights

• Meet with members of a local musical group in Cienfuegos and learn about their careers as musicians.
• Enjoy lively interactions at a local Senior Center.
• Learn about conservation and enjoy lunch at a beachfront private enterprise.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day with some walking on uneven cobblestone streets.



Round-trip charter flight from Miami to Cuba is included. Road Scholar is authorized to travel to Cuba under OFAC License #CT-2014-308137-1.

Due to high demand we may operate two groups on the same departure date, one with a reverse itinerary. Please look at the Daily Schedule for more details.




Date Specific Information

11-11-2014, 12-9-2014, 1-6-2015, 1-13-2015, 1-20-2015, 1-27-2015, 2-10-2015, 2-17-2015, 2-24-2015, 3-17-2015, 3-24-2015

Please note that this departure date operates in reverse while in Cuba; beginning in Cienfuegos and ending in Havana.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Miami, Fla., 1 night; flight to Havana (Cuba), 4 nights; coach to Cienfuegos, 3 nights; flight to Miami for departure.



Arrival Miami, Fla.
1 night
Flight to Havana (Cuba)
4 nights

Enjoy an opportunity to visit with Cubans in private businesses and community centers. Embark on a walking exploration of Havana’s restored plazas and squares and admire the Spanish baroque architecture and visit Hemingway’s haunts.



Coach to Cienfuegos
3 nights
Departure

Delight in meeting the Cienfuegos Choir, which will serenade you with Cuban songs. Discover the town of Trinidad, a lovely colonial-era gem.




Cuba

It's a time of rapid change on the island of Cuba. After decades of restrictions, dynamic Cubans seize new opportunities created by pro-free-enterprise reforms. Havana’s “yank tanks” (classic American cars) are increasingly joined by late model imports. Literacy and health care statistics outpace many developed countries. At the same time, some Cubans still lack access to goods as basic as toothpaste. It’s a fascinating moment to discover Cuba and meet with its people as they look to the future.



Accommodations
Miami: Comfortable hotel near airport. Havana: Historic landmark hotel on the Malecón. Cienfuegos: Mid-Century modern hotel with outdoor pool.
Meals and Lodgings
    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center
  Miami, USA 1 night
   Hotel Jagua
  Cienfuegos, Cuba 3 nights
   Hotel Nacional de Cuba
  Havana, Cuba 4 nights
  DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Situated one mile from Miami International Airport (MIA), this modern Miami, Florida hotel adjoins the Miami Airport Convention Center and the Miami International Merchandise Mart, which is also open to the public.

The hotel is a 10 minute drive from the airport and offers a free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel. To call the shuttle upon arrival at the airport: On the 2nd Level / Departure Level, go to the nearest outside door and identify the Door number. Call the hotel on (305) 261-3800 and tell them your location. The shuttle will come and pick you up upon request.

  Contact info: 711 NW 72nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33126 USA
phone: 305-261-3800
web: http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-miami-airport-and-convention-center-MIAMADT/index.html
  Room amenities: 334 oversized guest rooms with complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access, individual temperature and air-conditioning control, alarm clock radio with MP3 connection, coffee maker with coffee, iron and ironing board, 2 line speaker phone and an in room safe.
  Facility amenities: Warm chocolate chip cookie at check-in; restaurant, bar, Automated Teller (ATM), baggage storage, beauty salon, clothing store, gift shop, laundry/valet service, room service, fitness room, heated outdoor pool, the hot tub and whirlpool spa, 24-hour complimentary airport transportation to and from Miami International Airport and the Waterford Blue Lagoon Office Park.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: To be determined Contact Road Scholar Participant Services at (800) 454-5768 for details.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM

 Hotel Jagua
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Hotel Jagua is a resort-style hotel, with a magnificent location in Cienfuegos’ well-known residential area of Punta Gorda. The Jagua is considered one of Cuba's most famous hotels. Its comfortable rooms are characterized by the spaciousness of the 1950s and offer beautiful panoramic views.
  Contact info: Calle 37 No. 1 e/ 0 y 2
Punta Gorda
Cienfuegos,  Cienfuegos Cuba
phone: +53 43 551 003
web: www.gran-caribe.com/english/hotel.asp?hotel_code=SCTGCJagua#rooms
  Room amenities: Air Conditioning, safe, phone, room service, minibar, 220 volt electricity, TV, hairdryer,
  Facility amenities: Bar, swimming pool, restaurant, laundry service. PLEASE NOTE: The hotel does not have WiFi service. There is internet service at the hotel however, it is very expensive and very slow. You may purchase a card at the hotel for internet access. The price is 3 CUC’s (subject to change) for 30 minutes.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the center of Havana, The Nacional Hotel is situated on a vantage point overlooking the Malecon – Havana’s seafront promenade. The Hotel Nacional de Cuba has hosted numerous illustrious guests: actors, artists and many other famous people. The hotel is a National Monument and is inscribed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
  Contact info: Calle 21 y O, Vedado, Plaza
Havana,  10400 Cuba
phone: + 53 7 836 3564 al 67
web: www.hotelnacionaldecuba.com/en/home.asp
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, in-room safe (additional fee), radio, TV, direct-dial telephone, private bathroom with hairdryer. Please note that there are no designated non-smoking rooms.
  Facility amenities: 3 Restaurants, bar, 24 hour room service, outdoor swimming pool, gift shop, beauty salon, Cabaret Parisien show, business center with computers and Internet access (open from 9:00a.m. - 7:00 p.m.) Please note that Internet service in Cuba is expensive and very slow. The hotel has unreliable WiFi service.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program begins with orientation in Miami followed by dinner on day one of the program. Please arrive at the hotel by 4 PM. You will be staying at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends upon arrival of the charter flight in Miami on day nine. Avoid scheduling connecting flights that depart within 3 hours of the scheduled arrival time. You will be staying at Hotel Nacional de Cuba the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Elderhostel, doing business as Road Scholar, is licensed under the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) under the U.S. Department of Treasury for participants to travel to Cuba on a Road Scholar program. Participants will receive a copy of this license prior to travel to Cuba in Miami, during orientation. In addition to the Personal Information Forms, each participant is required to submit an Affidavit of Participation, Travel Affidavit, Cuba Travel Service Reservation Form, and a clear copy of the passport picture information page prior to departure (check-list provided). These forms are sent in the first mailing and they must be completed, signed, and submitted to Road Scholar at least eight weeks before the program start date. Please refer to the end of the information packet for these forms and please note that Road Scholar must receive the original documents. IMPORTANT NOTE: Any participant born in Cuba, regardless of current nationality, must advise Road Scholar immediately as additional forms and costs may be required.
  Parking availability:
Parking at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center is $7/day (subject to change). It is also possible to park at the airport and take the hotel shuttle.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Miami
  Nearest highway: I 95 U.S. Interstate Highway
  Nearest airport:  Miami International Airport
  Transportation to site: The hotel is a 10 minute drive from the airport and offers a free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel. To call the shuttle upon arrival at the airport: On the 2nd Level / Departure Level, go to the nearest outside door and identify the Door number. Call the hotel on (305) 261-3800 and tell them your location. The shuttle will come and pick you up upon request.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Havana
  Nearest highway: Cuba’s national highway, the Autopista.
  Nearest airport:  Havana International Airport
  Transportation from site: A group transfer from the hotel in Havana to the airport for our return charter flight is scheduled for all participants. The flight is currently scheduled to arrive in Miami at 12:00 PM. For those looking to make early flight arrangements, please do not make connecting flight plans within 3 to 3.5 hours of arrival in Miami due to possible delays and airport security. We recommend that you not make flight arrangements from Miami until 40 days prior to departure due to possible schedule changes with the charter flight times. The Final Information Packet has the confirmed charter flight times. PLEASE NOTE: Charter flight times are subject to change at any time, Road Scholar has no control over these changes.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrivals in Miami / Program Orientation / Overnight in Miami
(Tuesday, March 17)
   
 Afternoon: PLEASE NOTE: This day-by-day schedule should only be used as a guide since program elements are subject to change as availability is controlled by the Cuban government. Individual arrivals at Miami International Airport with an independent transfer using the hotel’s courtesy shuttle service. Upon arrival at the hotel, check in and relax until orientation. Please arrive no later than 4 p.m. The Road Scholar Group Leader will be in the hotel lobby at 4:45 p.m. to accompany the group to the orientation room. Welcome and orientation begins at 5:00 p.m.
 Dinner: In the hotel’s Rioja Restaurant.
   
Accommodations: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Fly to Cienfuegos / Main Square / Children's Dance Activity
(Wednesday, March 18)

Note: Please note: Most staircases in Cuba do not have railings, so if you use a walking aid, please bring it on the program. All accommodations in Cuba feature clean, comfortable rooms with private baths and standard amenities. Please note that Cuban hotel standards may not equal their American or European counterparts. Improvements are ongoing, and we hope that the potential glitch in service or amenities is a minor trade off for the authentic connections and enrichment you’ll experience.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast boxes are provided for early morning departure from the hotel.
 Morning: Early morning departure from the hotel to the terminal (final flight times will be confirmed during orientation). The Road Scholar Group Leader will meet the group in the hotel lobby to transfer to the airport. Please be in the hotel lobby with your luggage and be ready to depart the hotel 15 minutes before departure schedule. Transfer to the airport and check in to the charter flight to Cienfuegos. PLEASE NOTE: Flight times are subject to change and will be confirmed in the Final Information Packet. Upon arrival in Cienfuegos, enjoy a welcome greeting by an experienced bilingual Cuban Guide, who will be with us for the entire program. Depart the airport and transfer to the hotel for lunch.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: Upon arrival in Cienfuegos, explore the city and enjoy a short walking tour through Plaza Jose Marti, the main square in Cienfuegos. Talk briefly about the square's history while you have the opportunity to see local life and observe the beautiful buildings that surround it, including the Tomas Terry Theater. People Connection: Enjoy interactions with a youth dance group and ask them about their lives. This activity accepts a variety of donations. Please check the Road Scholar Discussion Board for this program, for the most up-to-date information. Check in to the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner buffet in the hotel at leisure.
 Evening: Evening at leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Jagua
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Arts School / Trinidad / Casa Particular
(Thursday, March 19)

Note: Walking up to 2 - 2.5 miles over uneven cobbled streets in Trinidad with limited shade and places to sit.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.
 Morning: Meet with faculty and students at the Benny Moré Art School. Beny, as he was known, was a native of Cienfuegos province and a famous Cuban singer, is honored and remembered by this institution. Here, speak with students and faculty about life at the school. (PLEASE NOTE: If the Benny Moré Art School is closed or is unable to accept the group, then another artists group will be substituted. This activity accepts a variety of donations. Please check the Road Scholar Discussion Board for this program, for the most up-to-date information.) Then, depart on a full-day excursion to Trinidad, the crown jewel of colonial Cuban cities. Founded in 1514, this time capsule of a city is a mix of historical landmarks and majestic natural beauty.
 Lunch: Lunch in a paladar in Trinidad.
 Afternoon: On foot, discover the historical center of Trinidad with your Cuban Study Leader. Walk to Plaza Mayor to explore the historically and architecturally significant landmarks of this colonial town. People to People Connection: Pause our walk through beautiful Trinidad to enjoy an enlightening encounter with the owner of a free-enterprise "casa particular" or Cuban bed-and-breakfast. This is the perfect place to learn about the relatively new development of independent business in Cuba, while understanding the owners' story and how they transformed their home into a casa particular. Return to Cienfuegos.
 Dinner: In a paladar near the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Jagua
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Santa Clara / Che Memorial / Senior Center / Children's dance activity
(Friday, March 20)

Note: Standing & walking through the Che Memorial & Museum for about an hour with limited places to sit.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.
 Morning: This morning, discover a local Farmers Market, where you have the opportunity to talk with local farmers about their produce.

Depart on a full day Field-trip to Santa Clara, the beautiful provincial capital of the region Villa Clara. People to People Connection: Enjoy lively interactions with a vivacious group of senior citizens. These young-at-heart folks share their leisure activities and discuss how some Cubans enjoy retirement.

 Lunch: At a restaurant in Santa Clara.
 Afternoon: Visit the Che Guevara Memorial and Mausoleum which features unique historical pieces from one of the most influential revolutionary leaders. The displays chronicle the events of an era in this extraordinary man's life. The mausoleum is the final resting place of Ernesto "Che" Guevara and his companions. Return to Cienfuegos and stroll through the main shopping street of to learn the differences between Ration, Cuban Pesos and CUC stores. Explore the complexity of the two-currency system and have the opportunity to talk with Cubans and workers who shop at these stores. People to People Connection: Enjoy a performance by one of Cienfuegos’ talented musical groups and discuss their musical careers, how they studied their art and what a typical day is for them.
 Dinner: Dinner in a local restaurant.
 Evening: Evening at leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Jagua
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Depart for Cienfuegos / Bay of Pigs / Conservation in Cuba
(Saturday, March 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.
 Morning: Depart from the countryside to the capitol of Havana. En route, stop at the Zapata Swamp to learn about ecology and conservation in Cuba.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a privately owned seaside restaurant, with an opportunity to take a short swim in the Caribbean or a walk along the beach.
 Afternoon: Continue to Playa Giron, also known as the Bay of Pigs, a small coastal village and the site of the historical 1961 clash between CIA-trained Cuban exiles and Cuban rebel forces. Explore the small Bay of Pigs Museum, which reveals the Cuban perspective of the infamous invasion and houses many historical artifacts including a Sea Fury fighter aircraft, photos and maps outlining each step of the failed mission.

Head to the Hotel Nacional and enjoy a welcome cocktail and a guided exploration of this historical and beautifully preserved national monument. This sprawling property includes a Hall of Fame featuring photographs and folklore about its many famous past guests: Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Meyer Lansky and more.

 Dinner: In the hotel's outdoor restaurant.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Presentation and Exploration of History and Architecture of Old Havana / Interactions with Artists / Conversation Exchange
(Sunday, March 22)

Note: Walking and standing up to 2 - 2.5 miles over uneven, cobblestone streets is required in Old Havana.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a presentation by a local architect involved with the government-funded restoration project of Old Havana; learn about the work being done and discuss the challenges and the vision for Havana’s future.

Next, discover the four "plazas" in Old Havana: Plaza de la Catedral, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de San Francisco de Asis, and Plaza de Armas. Each square has its own unique features. People to People Connection: Meet with members of a graphic arts cooperative and discuss what they do.

 Lunch: On your own to explore the many eateries in Old Havana.
 Afternoon: People to People Connection: Experience Havana's first English bookstore and engage in discussions with Cuban intellectuals. This activity accepts a variety of donations. Please check the Road Scholar Discussion Board for this program, for the most up-to-date information.
 Dinner: Your choice to explore the many new privately owned restaurants (Paladares) in Havana. The array of possibilities is constantly growing. A list of suggestions will be provided.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 7: Expert Presentation / Fortress of La Cabana / Dance Company
(Monday, March 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.
 Morning: Today’s Presentation is on the history of U.S.-Cuban relations with an expert in the field. Gain an understanding of the Cuban perspective of the tumultuous relationship between the two countries, followed by open discussion on the topic.

Begin today’s explorations at the Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana, also known simply as "La Cabana." This fortress protected the mouth of the Havana harbor in its day and offers unique views over Havana - ideal for gaining a better understanding of the city's layout.

 Lunch: Private Enterprise: Enjoy lunch in a Paladar and hear the owner’s story of how he operates and sources his ingredients.
 Afternoon: People to People Connection: Observe a rehearsal then enjoy conversation and interactions with a modern dance group.
 Dinner: People to People Connection: As an “appetizer”, enjoy a performance by a women’s a capella chorale. This is an opportunity not only to hear beautiful voices, but to discuss what life is like for women today in Cuba. Then enjoy dinner in a Paladar.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Expert Presentation / Fine Arts / Hemingway’s Home
(Tuesday, March 24)

Note: Standing and walking for about an hour through the Fine Arts museum with limited places to sit.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.
 Morning: Today’s Presentation focuses on the role of religion on Cuban Identity. Field Trip: Explore the Fine Arts Museum of Havana. Cuban art is renowned world-wide. Delve into the stories that each work of art relates and the statement on politics, culture and society that each artist conveys.
 Lunch: Light lunch in a paladar.
 Afternoon: Drive to the outskirts of Havana to Finca La Vigia, the Hemingway Farm. This beautiful property hosts the house where the Nobel Prize-winning author lived with his third wife Mary for over 30 years. Look into the open windows and doors to see the home in perfect condition with Hemingway’s personal belongings as he left them. Walk the grounds to see his private writing studio, swimming pool, and beloved fishing boat, Pilar. The boat is featured in his novel "Islands in the Stream." Return to Havana for another People to People Connection: Visit the home of a family to learn their unique stories in the field of medicine and about their own private enterprise venture.
 Dinner: Dine at a local favorite: El Aljibe, famous for their roast chicken and “secret sauce”.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Free Enterprise Artisan Market / Departure to Miami / Return to U.S.
(Wednesday, March 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.
 Morning: People to People Connection: At the San Jose Artisan Market, interact with artisans selling their original works. Here, see paintings, photography, crochet, wood crafts and many other forms of art. This is a wonderful opportunity to ask the artisans about their inspirations and their daily lives.
 Afternoon: Group transfer to the Havana Airport for the flight to Miami. Charter flight times will be confirmed in the Final Information Packet which is normally sent approximately 4-5 weeks prior to departure. Please do not schedule connecting flights within 3 - 4 hours of arrival in Miami due to possible delays and airport security (PLEASE NOTE: The flight time is subject to change.)
 In Transit: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Cuba


Author: Pierre Hausherr (Photographer), Francois Missen


Description: With full-page photographs, introductory essays on history, architecture, music, food and more, this oversized, illustrated paperback by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Francois Missen and photographer Pierre Hausherr captures the spirit of Cuba, its people, nature and culture.



Cuba Map


Author: Borch Maps


Description: A detailed, double-sided laminated map at a scale of 1:1,000,000.



Cuba, A Traveler's Literary Companion


Author: Ann Louise Bardach


Description: Bardach (Without Fidel) samples terrific contemporary writers for this anthology, organized geographically.



Cuba, Art and History from 1868 to Today


Author: Natha Bondil (Editor)


Description: With ravishing color reproductions of murals, posters, paintings and photographs, this magnificent book documents the history of art in Cuba from independence.



Cuba, What Everyone Needs to Know


Author: Julia Sweig


Description: Director for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, Sweig traces the geography, history and identity of Cuba in this admirably succinct history of the island nation and its role in world affairs.



Culture Smart! Cuba


Author: Mandy Macdonald


Description: A concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.



Dreaming in Cuban


Author: Cristina Garcia


Description: A short, poetic novel of three generations of Cuban women, their reaction to the revolution and the complex relation between those who remained in Cuba and those who settled in the United States. Excellent reading.



Havana, A Cultural and Literary Companion


Author: Claudia Lightfoot


Description: An illuminating guide to the city, its history and geography, as the inspiration for writers, artists, musicians and intellectuals.



Moon Handbook Cuba


Author: Christopher P. Baker


Description: Baker's comprehensive, indispensable guide leaves no stone unturned, covering the natural, cultural and political life of the island with style.



Our Man in Havana


Author: Graham Greene


Description: The classic story of a British vacuum cleaner salesman who gets accidentally drawn into cold war espionage with disastrous results.



Teachings of the Santeria Gods, The Spirit of the Odu


Author: Ocha'Ni Lele


Description: Ocha'Ni recounts 100 sacred stories of Santeria, collected from the oral tradition of the African diaspora, ranging from creation myths, to love stories and share the wisdom and spirituality of Yoruba people.



The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics


Author: Aviva Chomsky (Editor), Barry Carr (Editor), Pamela Maria Smorkaloff (Editor)


Description: Organized chronologically, this multi-faceted portrait of a nation, with most of the selections by Cuban writers, includes not only history, journalism and literature but also songs, paintings, poems and cartoons and speeches.



The Old Man and the Sea


Author: Ernest Hemingway


Description: Hemingway's brief story of a fisherman who after 84 days with no luck finally makes a big catch is also an affectionate portrait of life in Cuba. It won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.



The Sugar King of Havana


Author: John Paul Rathbone


Description: John Paul Rathbone recounts ""elegant, decadent and whirligig years" of pre-revolutionary Havana and the dramatic life of Julio Lobo, the richest man in Cuba (until Castro’s revolution did away with such men). Surviving assassin's bullets and making and losing two fortunes, Cuba's last tycoon went from glittering man about town in pre-Revolutionary Havana -- and one of the world's richest men -- to solitary exile in Spain. With a mother that traveled in those same circles in Havana, Rathbone brings depth and the prespective of an insider to this fantastic story.



This is Cuba


Author: Ben Corbett


Description: Corbett interviews everyday people living on the fringe's of Castro's official Cuba for this account, both a stinging indictment of government policy and a testimony to the Cuban spirit.



Trading with the Enemy


Author: Tom Miller


Description: Miller captures the openness, sensuality and pride of Cuba and the Cubans in this eloquent account of entertaining travels in Fidel's Cuba.



Without Fidel


Author: Ann Louise Bardach


Description: A PEN award-winning journalist who has covered Cuba for 15 years, Bardach (Cuba Confidential) brings knowledge, tenacity and verve to this report on the future of the country.





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