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Shalom Cuba: Exploring Jewish Heritage

Program Number: 20436RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/4/2015 - 2/12/2015;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Cuba
Price starting at: $3,755.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: ; Independent City Discoveries
Meals: 20; 8 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 7 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat; Gluten Free; Low Salt    

A country rich in tradition, Cuba boasts a small but vibrant Jewish community that has evolved through the years. During this special journey that introduces you to communities in Havana, Cienfuegos and Santa Clara, meet members of each community and discover the history and dynamics of Judaism in Cuba.


• Enjoy an opportunity to celebrate Shabbat and eat dinner with the Jewish community members in Cienfuegos.
• Explore the Patranato Synagogue and Jewish Pharmacy considered the heart of Cuban Jewish community life.
• Meet with the director and members of the Centro Sefaradi Synagogue and get an overview of the large Jewish community of Havana.

Activity Particulars

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

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

Cuban-born people who emigrated to the U.S. before 1971 are allowed to travel to Cuba with only their US passport, and Cuban Visa PE11. At this time, due to constraints upon international banking, Cuba is not processing the PE11 visa for People to People visits, only emergency Humanitarian reasons. Regretfully, there is no indication of when this might change and at this time, Road Scholar cannot ensure the ability to obtain the PE11 visa, therefore cannot take the enrollment. (All regular Tourist Card Visas for Cuba are already obtained on behalf of participants.)

Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.

Itinerary Summary

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

Arrival Miami, Fla.
1 night
Flight to Cienfuegos (Cuba)
3 nights

In Santa Clara, visit a local cemetery built entirely of Carra Marble in memory of the Holocaust. Discuss Judaism in Cuba with Jewish community leaders and celebrate Shabbat. Meet with the Cienfuegos choir, who will serenade you with Cuban-infused songs with Afro-Cuban dance.

Coach to Havana
4 nights

Discover the Jewish cemeteries in Guanabacoa, explore the Patranato Synagogue and Jewish Pharmacy, and admire the Spanish baroque architecture of the Cathedral de la Havana, a church that once housed the ashes of Christopher Columbus’s son Diego. Learn about Havana’s large Jewish community as you meet the director of the Centro Sefaradi Synagogue. Join local scholars to discuss the influential and important aspects of Cuba and its people. In Pinar del Rio, meet with members of the Las Terrazas community and learn about this unique self-sustainable project directly from the residents.


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.

Miami: Comfortable hotel near airport. Cienfuegos: Mid-century modern hotel with outdoor pool. Havana: Historic landmark hotel on the Malecon.
Meals and Lodgings
    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center
  Miami, USA 1 night
   Hotel Jagua
  Cienfeugos, 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
  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 Jaqua 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
  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
  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 Participant Information Form is required. Elderhostel 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 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 Miami hotel: Self parking: $7.00 (In/Out privileges) Valet: $12.00 (Per day with In/Out)
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 Double Tree by Hilton Hotels offers a complimentary airport shuttle to all guests. To call the shuttle upon arrival: 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 and bring you to the Double Tree at 711 NW 72nd Ave, Miami, FL 33126.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Depart for Miami
  Transportation from site: A group transfer from the hotel in Cienfuegos to the airport for our return charter flight is scheduled for all participants. The flight is currently scheduled to arrive in Miami around 3:00 PM. For those looking to make early flight arrangements, please do not schedule connecting flights 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 will have 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: Independent Arrivals in Miami / Program Orientation / Overnight Miami
(Wednesday, February 4)
 Arrive To: 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.
 Afternoon: The Road Scholar Group Leader will be in the hotel lobby at 4:45 PM to accompany the group to the orientation room. Welcome and orientation begins at 5:00 PM followed by dinner in the hotel restaurant.
 Dinner: In the hotel’s Rioja Restaurant.
Accommodations: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Fly to SANTA CLARA, Cuba / Ration and CUC vs CUP stores / Music in Cienfuegos
(Thursday, February 5)

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). Our expected flight check in time is 5:30 AM for a 8 AM departure from Miami to Santa Clara. Your Road Scholar Group Leader will meet the group in the hotel lobby to transfer to the airport. Please be in the hotel lobby by 5 AM with your luggage and be ready to depart the hotel.

Upon arrival in Santa Clara, 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 Che Guevara Memorial, where we get an introduction the Cult of Che and learn about his significance to Cubans. We transfer from Santa Clara to Cienfuegos by bus (drive time is about 1.5 hours).

 Lunch: At the hotel in Cienfuegos.
 Afternoon: After checking into the hotel, stroll through the main shopping street of Cienfuegos and learn about 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. Discover the city of Cienfuegos and enjoy a short walking excursion of Plaza Jose Marti, the main square in Cienfuegos. Talk briefly about the square's history, see local Cuban life, and observe the beautiful buildings that surround it, including the Tomas Terry Theater.

People to People Connection: Next, enjoy a performance by a musical group. Depending on which marvelous group of young people is available, the Cienfuegos Gospel Choir or the Cienfuegos Chamber Orchestra will perform. Here, ask them questions, learn about their lives, careers as musicians, and their future plans.

 Dinner: At leisure in the hotel buffet restaurant.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Hotel Jagua
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Trinidad / Cienfuegos Botanical Gardens / Dinner with the Cienfuegos Jewish Community
(Friday, February 6)

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

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Depart for Trinidad, the crown jewel of the colonial Cuban cities. Founded in 1514, this time capsule of a city is a mix of historical landmarks and majestic natural beauty. walk to Plaza Mayor to explore the historically and architecturally significant landmarks of this colonial province. The Cuban Guide will talk about the history of the once decadent buildings on the Plaza Mayor.

People to People Connection: After the walk through beautiful Trinidad, 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' family history as it is tied with the home that was transformed into a casa particular.

 Lunch: Private Enterprise: Dine in a Paladar, a privately-owned restaurant, in Trinidad.
 Afternoon: Return to Cienfuegos and explore the Cienfuegos Botanical Gardens. Meet with the staff and learn about the interesting history related to these gardens and Harvard University.
 Dinner: People to People Connection: Attend Friday Night Shabbat service near the hotel (walking distance) with the Jewish community of Cienfuegos. Dinner at local restaurant.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Hotel Jagua
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Santa Clara Synagogue and Jewish Cemetery
(Saturday, February 7)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Join members of the Cienfuegos Jewish community and the Jewish community of Santa Clara at the newly built Synagogue in Santa Clara. The Synagogue in Santa Clara is the only one outside of Havana and was recently rebuilt with the help of Road Scholar participants and the many Jewish groups that visit Cuba each year. Enjoy a joint service lead by your visiting Rabbi.
 Lunch: Share a Kiddush lunch on the roof of the Synagogue with members of the Jewish Community.
 Afternoon: En route for our return to Cienfuegos stop for a brief visit and prayer at the Jewish Cemetery of Santa Clara.
 Dinner: At leisure in the hotel buffet restaurant.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Hotel Jagua
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Depart for Havana / Bay of Pigs / Zapata Swamp
(Sunday, February 8)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Depart to Havana where life unfolds before our eyes. It is a very unique and interesting experience to see horse-drawn carriages in abundance, and horses used frequently for transport. Make a stop at 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 Bay of Pigs Museum which commemorates the devastating battle that took place at this location. The museum 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. Continue on the scenic drive to Havana. Learn about the conservation and preservation of the Zapata Swamp.
 Lunch: Free Enterprise: Lunch at a Paladar on the Caribbean Sea.
 Afternoon: Boat Ride on Zapata Swamp. Board small, open motor boats to tour the Zapata Swamp, home to many bird species and the Cuban Crocodile. Continue to Havana. Upon arrival at the hotel Nacional in Havana, enjoy a welcome cocktail and a guided exploration of this historical and beautifully preserved hotel. This sprawling property includes a Hall of Fame featuring pictures and folklore about its many famous past guests including: Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Jack Nicholson, Eva Gardner, John Wayne and many, many more. After this exploration, check into the hotel, unpack and relax before dinner.
 Dinner: In the hotel buffet restaurant.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Expert Presentation / Patronato Synagogue & Jewish Pharmacy Four squares in Old Havana / Graphics workshop
(Monday, February 9)

Note: Walking up to 2 – 2.5 miles over uneven cobblestone streets in Havana with limited places to sit.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Begin with an Expert Presentation on the evolution of Havana’s modern architecture: Havana City of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Learn about the restoration work being done and discuss the challenges and the vision for Havana’s future.

People to People Connection: Enjoy interactions at the Patronato Synagogue and Jewish Pharmacy, to meet with members of the organization and learn about the work they do, and see the library which is the heart of Cuban Jewish life (PLEASE NOTE: This is a great opportunity to drop off any donations). Begin a discovery of the four "plazas" in Old Havana: Plaza de la Cathedral and Plaza de Armas. Each square has its own unique features.

 Lunch: On your own in Old Havana
 Afternoon: Continue to explore the main squares: In Plaza Vieja, discover the finest examples of restoration and see the wooden bricks in the walkway. In the Plaza de San Francisco de Asis, the beautiful architecture of the restored Convento of San Francisco is an amazing sight. People to People Connection: meet with members of a graphics workshop and discuss what they do. Stop 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. Then, visit the famous Revolution Square in Havana and learn about the monumental events that have taken place there. This is a great opportunity to take a group picture.
 Dinner: In a Paladar (privately owned restaurant.)
 Evening: At leisure
Accommodations: Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Expert Presentation / Hemingway / Jewish Cemeteries / Home Visit
(Tuesday, February 10)

Note: Walking and standing for 1.5 hours at a time.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Partake in a presentation and an interchange of ideas revolving around religion and ethnicity in Cuba and how Cubans have formed their identities throughout and after the Revolution. 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. Then we stop to pay our respect at the Jewish Cemeteries in Guanabacoa. People to People Connection: Visit the home of a family to learn their unique stories in the field of medicine.
 Dinner: On own in Havana. This is an ideal opportunity to explore one of the many Paladars (privately owned restaurant) that illustrate the new spirit of free enterprise in Cuba today.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Expert Presentation / Sefaradi Jewish Community / Las Terrazas Community
(Wednesday, February 11)

Note: This will be walking and standing at the Las Terrazas community with limited places to sit.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: An Expert Presentation: US - Cuba Relations: A Cuban Perspective will provide new insights as to many of the historical conundrums between the two countries.

Meet with the Director of the Centro Sefaradi Synagogue and an overview of the large Jewish community of Havana. This synagogue is also affiliated with the Conservative Jewish movement in the United States.

Drive to the Artemisa region for a full morning of People to People Connections as you interact with students and faculty at a small rural school in Las Terrazas. Learn about this UNESCO Biosphere reserve that was a pioneer in ecovillages when it was founded in 1968. Meet residents, Artists, Artisans and many others who make their lives here in this unique community.

 Lunch: Enjoy a unique vegetarian meal at the Las Terrazas restaurant, El Romeo, which focuses on sustainable farming practices and produces most of its own ingredients.
 Afternoon: People to People Connection: Meet Maria and learn how she, like many Las Terrazas residents, conceived an idea and developed her own business in the community. At the town square, meet with local residents at the ration store, the doctor and artisans. Return to Havana.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a Paladar (private restaurant).
 Evening: Evening at leisure and prepare for tomorrow's return to the U.S.
Accommodations: Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Departure to Miami / Return to U.S.
(Thursday, February 12)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: 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. It is currently planned for 1:30 departure from Havana and a 2:30 arrival in Miami. 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

This is Cuba

Author: Ben Corbett

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

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 perspective of an insider to this fantastic story.


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.

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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