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Women in the City: Art & History in Cuba

Discover the unique social and cultural heritage of Cuba as you study fascinating architecture, converse with locals and embark on a walking adventure with women in historic Havana.
Program No. 23965RJ
8 days
Starts at

Women in the City: Art & History in Cuba

Discover the unique social and cultural heritage of Cuba as you study fascinating architecture, converse with locals and embark on a walking adventure with women in historic Havana.
8 days
Starts at
Program No. 23965 RJ
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At a Glance

The island nation of Cuba is a mosaic of colorful buildings and diverse locals that come together to form a country rich in history, culture and art. Explore with an open-minded group of women to learn about the ways locals bring the community together—from artists who create sculptures out of abandoned wood to business leaders working on improving the colonial architecture that makes Havana so vibrant. Alongside Cuban hosts and inspiring women, immerse yourself in Art Deco buildings, classic cars and lively music while learning how a country shaped by so many outside influences could create such a strong sense of community.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Bond with a group of empowering women as you listen to a performance by a local music group in Cienfuegos before speaking with the artists about their careers.
  • Enjoy a performance from a private Cuban dance company and meet with the dancers to discuss and support their craft.
  • Learn about a community project which, under the leadership of local artists, is transforming a neighborhood through artistic expression.

General Notes

Road Scholar offers opportunities to travel legally to Cuba under the new OFAC Regulations published June 5, 2019. Following the General License category “Support for the Cuban People,” Road Scholar programs include activities intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba. Each day's program promotes independence for the Cuban people and results in meaningful interactions with the Cuban people. Questions about traveling to Cuba? Road Scholar has your answers. Learn more: www.roadscholar.org/cubafaqs.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Spaces Between, Contemporary Art in Havana
by Antonio Eligio Fernandez
This study of shared, communal spaces for Havana artists examines the context of contemporary Cuban art. Including major contemporary figures, the work discusses artists’ techniques, their major themes and the environments in which they create.
Passage to Cuba
by Cynthia Carris Alonso
An wonderful coffee-table book that takes readers through the crumbling, baroque splendor of Havana. Subtitled "An Up-Close Look at the World's Most Colorful Culture."
Cuba in the American Imagination: Metaphor and the Imperial Ethos
by Louis A. Pérez
For more than two hundred years, Americans have imagined and described Cuba and its relationship to the United States by conjuring up a variety of striking images--Cuba as a woman, a neighbor, a ripe fruit, a child learning to ride a bicycle. Louis A. Perez Jr. offers a revealing history of these metaphorical and depictive motifs and discovers the powerful motives behind such characterizations of the island as they have persisted and changed since the early nineteenth century.
Cuba Map
by Borch Maps
A detailed, double-sided laminated map at a scale of 1:1,000,000.
The Distant Marvels
by Chantel Acevedo
A life-affirming tale of love set during a hurricane in 1960s, post-revolutionary Cuba. To keep hope alive amongst the evacuees, Maria Sirena tells the incredible story of her childhood during Cuba's Third War of Independence.
Cuba, This Moment, Exactly So
by Lorne Resnick
This deluxe coffee-table book organizes 250 black-and-white photographs around micro-stories that immerse readers in the heat and culture of the "Pearl of the Antilles." Includes a foreword by great travel writer Pico Iyer.
by Pierre Hausherr (Photographer), Francois Missen
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.
Havana, A Cultural and Literary Companion
by Claudia Lightfoot
An illuminating guide to the city, its history and geography, as the inspiration for writers, artists, musicians and intellectuals.
Cuba and Its Music, From the First Drums to the Mambo
by Ned Sublette
A thorough and entertaining history of Cuba and its music by the popular radio producer, music historian and co-founder of Cuban record label QbaDisc. It's an exhaustive, lively work, beginning not in Cuba but in what is now the southern Spanish city of Cadiz in 1104 BCE and venturing as far as the influence of Cuban music on contemporary American hip-hop.
Moon Cuba
by Christopher P. Baker
A practical guide in the Moon series, packed not only with travel necessities (hotels, restaurants, sights), but also with a good overview of history and destinations throughout Cuba.
Trading with the Enemy
by Tom Miller
Miller captures the openness, sensuality and pride of Cuba and the Cubans in this eloquent account of entertaining travels in Fidel's Cuba.
Che Guevara, A Revolutionary Life
by Jon Lee Anderson
A revised and updated edition of Anderson's definitive biography, published to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.
Our Man in Havana
by Graham Greene
The classic story of a British vacuum cleaner salesman who gets accidentally drawn into Cold War espionage with disastrous results.
Cuba, What Everyone Needs to Know
by Julia Sweig
Director for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, Julia Sweig traces the geography, history and identity of Cuba in this admirably succinct portrait of the island nation and its role in world affairs.
Dreaming in Cuban
by Cristina Garcia
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.
Listen, Yankee, Why Cuba Matters
by Tom Hayden
With an unabashedly liberal bias, Hayden insightfully covers the often troubled relationship between these two nations and brings readers to the present with consideration for the future of U.S.-Cuban relations.
The Double Life of Fidel Castro: My 17 Years as Personal Bodyguard to El Lider Maximo
by Juan Reinaldo Sanchez with Axel Gyldén
In The Double Life of Fidel Castro, one of Castro's soldiers of 17 years breaks his silence and shares his memoir of years of service, and eventual imprisonment and torture for displeasing the notorious dictator, and his dramatic escape from Cuba.
The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics
by Aviva Chomsky (Editor), Barry Carr (Editor), Pamela Maria Smorkaloff (Editor)
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, cartoons and speeches.
Cuba, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Ann Louise Bardach
Bardach (Without Fidel) samples terrific contemporary writers for this anthology, organized geographically.
Hemingway's Boat
by Paul Hendrickson
Focusing on the years 1934 to 1961, from Hemingway's pinnacle as the reigning monarch of American letters until his suicide, Paul Hendrickson traces the writer's life through the story of his beloved boat, Pilar. On display at Hemingway's Finca La Vigia in San Francisco de Paula, east of Havana, it is easy to see how this sleek craft attracted Hemingway, the setting for so much of what the writer loved and the leitmotif of Hendrickson's supple elegy.
The Brilliant Disaster: JFK, Castro, and America's Doomed Invasion of Cuba's Bay of Pigs
by Jim Rasenberger
Jim Rasenberger's gripping, revisionist account of the invasion of the Bay of Pigs, published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the misguided adventure, draws on newly available information from the CIA and his own family history.
Cuba, A History in Art
by Gary R. Libby
This slim, yet comprehensive survey of Cuban art between 1725 and 1959 explains the development of artists’ styles and how developments in Cuba (and especially Havana) changed their work.
Havana Modern, Twentieth-Century Architecture and Interiors
by Michael Connors
In vivid, original photographs, Connors ushers us through 100 examples of Havana’s best-preserved Nouveau and Art Deco architecture, built between the early 1900s and 1965.

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