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Subpages for Cuba Travel: Multicultural Cuba, April 20-30, 2016. Havana, Cienfuegos, Santiago and environs. Start registration now, with Anya Achtenberg. :

Cuba Travel: Multicultural Cuba, April 20-30, 2016. Havana, Cienfuegos, Santiago and environs. Start registration now, with Anya Achtenberg.

Multicultural Cuba

April 20 – April 30, 2016

A multicultural arts and history journey through Cuba—

Havana, Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba and environs.   

Brochure with details, at this link:    Multicultural Cuba April 20-30 2016

Curated and led by Anya Achtenberg, Director of Arts Focus on Cuba,

in conjunction with Common Ground Travel in Massachusetts,

and collaboration with Casa del Caribe in Santiago de Cuba.

 

About Multicultural Cuba:

 

The richness of Cuban culture and identity has been fed by many streams throughout its history of migrations, free and forced. Most of us know that Cubanidad, or Cuban identity and ethnicity, was formed essentially by the mix of Spanish, African and indigenous peoples, but on this journey we will visit with some of the many vibrant ethnic communities in Cuba, including communities of Haitian, Yoruba, Chinese, Arab, and Jewish descendants, and with their artists, writers, musicians and dancers, filmmakers, religious practitioners, scholars and organizers.

 

Not a generic tour, this journey aims to bring us to a fuller understanding of the profoundly multicultural nature of Cuban society; its complex and moving history; its spectrum of artistic sensibilities in many genres. The arts are central to Cubans of all cultural backgrounds; central to the Cuban spirit, critical intelligence, economy, social life and societal participation; central to commemorating and celebrating the past, and creating the future. We will have extraordinary opportunities to interact with people involved in a range of community arts projects in a way that will give us a sense of current developments, and a view of how Cubans use the transformative power of the arts and the creative process. Our meetings with people nationally and internationally recognized for their accomplishments in the arts, and meetings with those in community settings, will have much in common, because excellence, creativity, and accessibility of artists and scholars in Cuba are found at all levels.

 

The growing attention paid on the island to its own deeply multicultural composition and history forms a crucial dimension in the vibrant community arts projects and arts education that characterize Cuba. Join us for a rich immersion in the mind-blowing arts of this complex country; an experience of both the iconic and the unknown; and real interaction with both professional and community artists and the multicultural sources that inspire them, during this time of fascinating changes and challenges.

 

With the changes in travel, we will be able to stay in casas particulares—bed and breakfasts—rather than hotels. I will be working hard to make sure more of what you pay goes to the Cubans whose hard work, knowledge and expertise give our group the deepest look into Cuba, and that your experience is a profound and unforgettable one. This brochure includes a listing of what we will be doing in Cuba. A few things may change, but this is essentially the door-opening trip to look forward to.

 

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Tour Overview

 

Havana, one of the most exciting cities in the world!

  • Walking tour of Habana Vieja—Old Havana, founded in 1519—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the 4 main plazas, and meet with independent artists and business owners. And, yes, you can be in love with a place…
    • Visit various Havana neighborhoods with transformative community projects – including, Muraleando, creating visual arts, and music and dance performances to affirm people’s cultures.
    • Visits with: the Arab community at La Union Árabe—the Arab Union (the community includes Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian, Iraqi and other Arab descendants); El Patronato Jewish Community Center in Vedado; and Chinatown’s Chinese Historical and Cultural Project, and the China Society. Fascinating, these deep looks at communities within Havana.
    • Visits to the studio of cutting-edge artist Choko; and, time permitting, the Taller Experimental de Gráfica—the Experimental Graphics Workshop.
    • Meeting with Gloria Rolando, Afrocuban documentary filmmaker and founder of Imagenes del Caribe. Discuss contemporary developments in film; and Afrocuban history and culture in Cuban film. Clips from such films of Gloria’s as, 1912: Breaking the Silence, on the massacre of thousands of Afrocubans in 1912; Reshipment on the treatment and history of Haitian workers and their families in Cuba pre-1959; The Jazz in Us, on this potent art form shared by Afrocubans and African Americans; The Eyes of the Rainbow, on Black Panther Assata Shakur, who remains in Cuba; and on her newest film, Conversation with My Grandmother.
      • Visit the International School of Film and Television (EICTV) in San Antonio de los Banos, which has deeply affected Latin American cinema, as well powerfully touched cinema globally—Gabriel Garcia Marquez was one of its founders, and one of the many international instructors. (And the camera used by Kurosawa for The Seven Samurai—still in use.)
      • Guided visit to the wonderful Cuban collection at the National Museum of Fine Arts.
      • Saturday Rumba—Sábado de la Rumba—at Centro Cultural El Gran Palenque, with renowned Conjunto Folklórico Nacional.
      • We’ll aim to catch glimpses of flamenco classes with young students, and extraordinary tango dancing outside in Prado Park.
      • And, yes, we will have lunch at the iconic Bodeguita del Medio, and in the Barrio Chino–the Chinese neighborhood, at Flor del Loto.

 

Cienfuegos, “The Pearl of the South” with its beautiful bay; the favorite city  of beloved singer and bandleader Benny Moré (born nearby in San Isabel de las Lajas); a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the beautiful beach at nearby Rancho Luna.

  • Discussions about the history and contemporary functions of the cabildos, religious and cultural mutual-aid societies originally organized according to African ethnic groups. (One of the earliest known was Mandinga Zape, founded 1568.) We’ll meet in the Cabildo Santa Bárbara and the Cabildo Cimarrón del Congo.
  • A rich mix of music in Cienfuegos will include presentations in the Cabildos from Tambor Palito and the folkloric group, el Ochareo, as well as a visit to the Benny Moré House of Culture.
  • A visit to Playa Rancho Luna with a country luncheon.
  • Guided tour of the historic city center of Cienfuegos, and the provincial museum in this city founded by a French émigré from Louisiana, and populated by African, European, Chinese and others.

 

 

Santiago de Cuba: cradle of Afrocuban music and culture, and of the Cuban Revolution; the city of heroes.  A deeply brilliant and creative city, not to be missed!

 

  • Performance and discussion with the Sociedad de Tumba Francesa de la Caridad del Oriente. 19th century Tumba Francesa merged French and African dance, music, and extraordinary drumming. It blows my mind every time…as it opens a door to the living history, the mix and clash of cultures that is Cuba.
  • Visit a Haitian community outside of the city of Santiago, where Haitian traditions have been preserved.  Exchange with musicians of Haitian Gagá music (rara in Haiti), and with practitioners of vodú.
  • Meet with hiphop/spoken word artists, sometimes English-speaking Jamaican descendants.
  • Visits to Taller Cultural Luis Díaz Oduardo, a multigenerational artists’ workshop; and the gallery of the renowned artist family, the Aguileras. See the work! Talk with the artists!
  • Tour and explanation of Caribbean House (Casa del Caribe) and the House of Popular Religions.
    • Presentation by Grupo Aburre Eyé of French-Haitian songs and dances.
    • Informed and authentic encounters with practitioners and scholars of Yoruba Santería and Bantu-based Spiritism, as well as Haitian vodú, in community temple houses. Abelardo Larduet, our Santería expert, is a practitioner, scholar, author, and founder of the Festival of the Caribbean in Santiago. Google him. Breathtaking.
    • Visit the community of Cobre:  the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity, worshipped as Oshún; and the Monument to the Cimarrón, the Rebel Slave. Add the Temple House of Madelaine (spiritismo, Bantu-based), with award-winning singing group, Voces del Milagro; and, we’re deciding on the Steel Band.
      • Casa del Caribe’s music/dance event with rumba, changüí, son, salsa, and more.
      • Discussion at Casa del Caribe to dig deep and address your questions about Santiago’s deeply multicultural population and its arts, history, and current conditions; with a stunning line-up of scholars, writers, historians, anthropologists, musicologists, etc.
      • Free time? Moncada Barracks, 1st armed attack by Cuban Revolutionary Forces.
        • Iris Jazz Club? Casa de la Trova? Artex? In a group or on your own, there’s music!

Traveler Information

We are traveling under the legal auspices of People to People travel according to the current US government regulations.

Cost:     $3100.00 per person, double occupancy, for 20 or more travelers.

(Single room supplement, add $200.00)

This is the estimated cost as of this moment, but will be fairly accurate. With fewer travelers, the cost will go up but not a great deal. There are savings tucked into this price because of many factors, including being able to lodge the travelers in “bed and breakfasts” or casas particulares, and my working more directly with specialists and other contacts in Cuba. At the same time, my way of working is to both keep prices relatively moderate for the travelers, and to respectfully pay the Cubans well—long overdue—our experts, organizers, artists, community projects, spiritual communities, filmmakers, and those who take care of our food, lodging, driving, interpreting, etc.—the people who give us the deepest looks at Cuba, and take care of our daily needs as we journey.

 

For information, and to begin the registration process, contact Anya Achtenberg:    aachtenberg@gmail.com or 651.214.9248 for Anya

Registration and Payment schedule:

Deposit: $500.00       Balance: due upon receipt of your invoice.

Tour Inclusions

  • RT air between Miami / Havana-Santiago/Miami.
  • Entry visa (for US citizens) to Cuba.
  •  10 nights at Casas Particulares (Bed and Breakfasts) in Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago, with all breakfasts.
    • 3 additional lunches: Welcome lunch at Bodeguita del Medio and Lunches at Morro and Zunzun in Santiago.
    • Transportation by air conditioned bus for transfers in/out of airport, for all excursions and scheduled activities, and between cities and provinces.
    • Flight Havana/Santiago.
    • English speaking guide to accompany group throughout.
    • Program of visits, meetings and excursions as outlined in the program. All honorarium and fees for performances, scholars, ceremonies, tours, discussions, are included in your payment, except for the few minor costs noted below in “Tour Exclusions”.
    • Medical insurance included with charter flight ticket.
    • Service and mailing fees.

 

Tour Exclusions

  • Fees for visas for travelers who are not US citizens; departure fees, passports, baggage fees, personal gratuities; meals and beverages not mentioned in the itinerary; travel insurance (always recommended); extra donations (not required); evening visits to music clubs; tips for drivers and interpreter.
  • Small entrance fees and donations to museums; music clubs, such as Iris Jazz Club, and Casa de la Trova.
  • U.S. domestic airfares.
  • Personal phone calls, faxes or other personal items, like laundry or dry cleaning.

 

*****Important Information:  Common Ground Policies & Procedures for Group Trips to Cuba

Terms:  Participant applications, travel affidavits and flight reservation forms must be submitted along with $500 per person deposit 90 days prior to date of departure, or by January 22nd , 2016.  Additional participants may be added on a space-available basis up to 60 days prior to travel.  Applications after that will be considered based on availability of hotel accommodations and flight space with a $75 late fee.  All deposits are non refundable though participants may be substituted.  Final invoices will be issued once all lodgings in Cuba are confirmed with every effort to insure that these are issued no later than 60-45 days prior to date of departure.  Final payment will be due 30 days prior to date of departure, or by March 22nd, 2016.  Travel packets will be issued when payment is complete and all paperwork and passport information has been received.  Final program is frequently available from the tour operator only 10 days prior to date of departure once all program activities have been approved and secured.

 

U.S. Legal authority:  All participants must provide completed and signed application, travel affidavit and flight reservation form.  Institutions and organizations must also provide formal letter authorizing members of the group to travel for the purposes specific to the OFAC general or specific license pertaining to their group and for the specific dates of travel.

 

Passport:  Clients must fill in the passport information on the application form and send a clearly readable copy of the passport.  All passports must be valid 6 months beyond the end date of the program in Cuba or client should indicate that a new passport is being obtained.  Non-U.S. passport holders must provide evidence of residency or multiple entry visa.  Cuban born participants who arrived in the United States after January 1, 1971 require a valid Cuban passport for travel and a residency card or U.S. passport for travel to Cuba.

 

Visas:  Common Ground can provide tourist visas for all those qualifying under Cuban regulations for such visas.  Any other visas must be obtained directly through a sponsoring Cuban institution and/or the Cuban Consulate in Washington.  Cuban born participants in the U.S. prior to 1971 should contact us for visa assistance.

 

Cancellation:

If notice is received by Common Ground before departure by

at least 45 days:       Cost of deposit and visa

at least 44-22 days:  Refund of 90% cost of trip less deposit, visa, service fee, program fee if applicable,

at least 21-15 days:  Refund 85% cost of trip less deposit, visa, service fee, program fee if applicable

at least 14 days:        Refund of 70% cost of trip less deposit, visa, service fee, program fee if applicable,

at least 9 days:          Refund of 50% cost of trip less deposit, visa, service fee, program fee if applicable

Therein or no show: Full forfeiture of funds paid

Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance strongly advised.  Write for brochure and more information

 

Connecting flights and overnight:  If traveling directly from the United States, Common Ground recommends traveling to point of departure for Cuba the night prior to the date of travel.  Common Ground will be happy to book the connecting flights for participants as well as an overnight in Miami.  We can make group or individual bookings.  Four hours is required for arrival prior to departure flight for Cuba. We recommend for all charter flights planning departure home for 4 hours following scheduled arrival back in the United States.

Trip cancellation/interruption/baggage insurance:  Common Ground works with Travel Guard Insurance and will provide information and application materials on request.  Cancellation insurance is strongly advised.

 

Guarantee of services:  Tour operator in Cuba reserves the right to change accommodations and schedule as local conditions prescribe.  We ask you to remain flexible as your hosts in Cuba do their best to ensure your comfort and that the goals of your visit are realized.  Please keep in mind that you are traveling to an embargoed country that shares its scarce resources with its citizens as well as with its visitors.

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Note: The application will be coming from Common Ground Travel, and your payments will be going directly to them.

For information and pre-registration, contact me, Anya Achtenberg, at:

aachtenberg@gmail.com

651.214.9248

*You can message me on FB, Anya Achtenberg, with brief questions, but email is better for easier and more complete communication. Thank you!

 

End of this notice

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Cuba Travel, Summer 2015 

Attend Santiago’s Caribbean Festival of Fire

with optional stays in Havana, and in Baracoa in eastern Cuba

brochure at link below — please share widely!!!

Cuba Travel 2015 Havana Santiago Festival of Fire Baracoa

***(Instructions for brochures, click on link; a comment page with the link will appear — click on the link again. Full brochure will be a downloadable document.)

 

Journey through Havana, Santiago de Cuba and environs, Baracoa

Led by Anya Achtenberg of Arts Focus on Cuba, Official Promoter of Santiago’s Festival of Fire; in collaboration with Casa del Caribe, the Festival’s central organizer.

Interested?  Contact Anya Achtenberg, aachtenberg at gmail.com or 651.214.9248

 

~~~~~~~Havana, Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba and environs.

At the center of this trip, which aims to give you a deeper look at Cuba and the Caribbean, is the annual Caribbean Festival of Fire, which every July transforms the already deeply Caribbean city of Santiago de Cuba into a vast Caribbean community gathering. The main dates of our Santiago program are July 3rd-July 10th, and include festival events and special meetings with people doing what you do – poets and writers; traditional healers; historians, anthropologists, and other scholars; visual artists and photographers; dancers and musicians; in an exciting series of exhibitions, performances, ceremonies, colloquia, readings, parades including folkloric dances from around the Caribbean—stunning days and nights of celebrations and exchanges.

 

And for a closer look at the many cultures of Santiago itself, visits and performances have been arranged outside of the Festival, as with the extraordinary Society of the Tumba Francesa; with local hiphop/spoken word artists; with visual artists at the multi-generational Taller Cultural; and with local and nationally renowned writers, historians, musicologists, anthropologists, musicians and dancers.

 

Large delegations from all over the Caribbean have been attending for decades. It is time for those of us from the United States, with our very large Caribbean populations, and our constant involvement in the Caribbean…to be fully part of this community that will come together at the 35th annual Festival of Fire, which honors The Bahamas this year, and celebrates the 500th anniversary of the founding of the city of Santiago de Cuba.

 

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But there’s a lot more…

 

Now that we are starting to have some options, let’s use them!  Here they are:

 

Group I:  June 29th- July 10th:  Miami to Havana; on to Santiago and the Festival of Fire; with additional visits for our group with local Santiagueros.

 

Group II:  July 3rd-July 10th:  Miami to Santiago and the Festival of Fire, with our additional program.

 

Group III, July 3rd-July 14th:  Miami to Santiago and the Festival of Fire, with our additional program; on to the Haitian community of Thompson, and then to Baracoa; back to Miami by way of Holguin.

 

Group IV, June 29th-July 14th:  The fullest journey – Miami to Havana; on to Santiago and the Festival of Fire, with our additional program; then on to Thompson and Baracoa; back to Miami by way of Holguín.

 

This journey aims to bring us a fuller vision of the profoundly multicultural and changing nature of Cuban society; its complex and moving history; its spectrum of artistic sensibilities. Join usfor a rich immersion in the mind-blowing arts of this complex country; an experience of both the iconic and the unknown; and real interaction with both professional and community artists and themulticultural sources that inspire them, during this time of fascinating changes and challenges.

Since Casa del Caribe named me, at the end of November 2014 after my Multicultural Cuba trip, Official Promoter in the US of Santiago’s Pan-Caribbean Festival of Fire; the beginning of normalization of relations between the US and Cuba have meant many changes for travelers and trip organizers, and new challenges arising. But we’re going to Cuba with some great changes in US travel policy already in place.

 

Overview of Our Journey:

 

Havana, one of the most exciting cities in the world! For those in Groups I and IV:

    • Visits in Havana neighborhoods with transformative community projects – including, Muraleando, where a neighborhood has been transformed, physically and spiritually, through making art with community participation; AND a visit with the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project, and with members of the Sociedad de China, in Havana’s Chinatown.
    • Meeting/exchange with Afrocuban filmmaker, Gloria Rolando, for discussion of film and history in Cuba, and viewing of film clips from documentaries including Reshipment (Reembarque) on 20th century Haitian migrations to Cuba; 1900: Breaking the Silence, on the Party of the Independents of Color, and the massacre of thousands of Afrocubans in 1912; on the love of jazz in Cuba; and other subjects.
    • Visit to UNEAC Havana, part of The Union of Artists and Writers founded in 1961 by Afrocuban poet Nicolas Guillén.
    • Visit to the International School of Film and Television (EICTV) in San Antonio de los Baños. Students from about 55 countries have attended. We’ll view some student theses, discuss the school and its influence on global, especially Latin American cinema. By the way, the camera Kurosawa used to make The Seven Samurai is there, still being used!
    • Visit to the Museum of Fine Arts/the Cuban Art Pavilion, for an extraordinary vision of Cuban history, society, culture, and aesthetics.
    • Walking tours of Habana Vieja—Old Havana, founded in 1519—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With lunch at the historic Bodeguita del Medio…

 

 

Santiago de Cuba: cradle of Afrocuban music and culture, and of the Cuban Revolution; City of Heroes. For all participants in all 4 groups:

 

We’ll be in Santiago for the 35th Annual Caribbean Festival of Fire – and will split our time between specially planned visits for our group, and a stream of extraordinary events, exhibitions, performances, colloquia, parades, poetry readings, music and dance. At the end of this list are some of the Festival events.

 

  • Performance and discussion with the Sociedad de Tumba Francesa de la Caridad del Oriente. 19th century Tumba Francesa merges French and African dance, music, and extraordinary drumming. Not to be missed!
  • Visit to Taller Cultural Luis Díaz Oduardo, a multigenerational artists’ workshop in Vista Alegre. Meet with the artists, see their work, discuss the issues, talk about art!!
  • Meet with young hiphop/spoken word artists, very talented…
  • Visit Moncada Barracks, site of the 1st armed attack by Cuban Revolutionary Forces.
  • Visit the extraordinary Santa Ifigenia Cementery, where lie revolutionaries such as José Martí, musicians such as Compay Segundo of the Buena Vista Social Club, urban guerrillas Frank and Josué País, and even a very important Bacardi.

 

Festival events (we’ll all attend some together, and others are your choice! and connect to people with your interests, from all over the Caribbean) including:

 

 

  • Casa del Caribe’s music/dance events with rumba, changüí, son, and more.
  • Visit the community of Cobre:  the National Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Charity of Copper, worshipped as Ochún or Oshun, the patroness of Cuba; visit the Monument to the Cimarron, on this day of Celebration of the Rebel Slave. Ceremony with and performance by Bantu-based priestess Madelaine, and award-winning folkloric chorus, Voices of the Miracle/Voces del Milagro.
    • A fiesta campesina/guajira—a party in the countryside in the town of Berraco, with a visit to the studio of celebrated painter/sculptor Alberto Ruano.
    • Performances at San Pedro de la Roca Morro Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
    • Galas at the Heredia Theater and at the Houses representing the various countries; including a Haitian-Cuban social event.
    • The Serpent Parade, from Marte Square to Céspedes Park, with music, dance, and all manner of performance and popular statements from all around the Caribbean.
    • Colloquium, “The Caribbean that unites us…”
    • Attend a religious ceremony for Yemayá at Playa (beach) Juan González  and speak with local Santería practitioners.
    • The Closing Parade of Fire, and the burning of last year’s worries.
    • Visits to Casa del Caribe, and the Union of Artists and Writers, to dig deep in discussion and address your questions about Santiago’s deeply multicultural population and its arts, history, and current conditions; meet scholars, writers, anthropologists, etc., who love questions!

 

 

Baracoa and Thompson! For participants in Groups III and IV.

 

Spend a wonderful day in Santiago, post-Festival; visit the rural Haitian community of Thompson; then on to Baracoa, Cuba’s oldest city (founded 1512)—lush, mountainous, with many rivers including Cuba’s largest, the Toa—Baracoa is the largest center of the culture and presence of Cuban-Indians, with over 50 sites of archaeological significance, in a setting of spectacular natural beauty and biodiversity. See details below:

  • In the Haitian community of Thompson, we’ll be able to discuss Haitian experience and history in Cuba; exchange with a group of Haitian Gagá musicians, singers and dancers; attend a performance with explanations of songs sung in Creole. We’ll visit a temple house, exchange with practitioners of vodú (vodoun in Haiti), and attend a ceremony.
  • Visit the Matachín Fort and Municipal Museum (local history, nature, archaeology).
  • Visit to the Baracoa chocolate factory with its sweet rewards.
  • Visit the bird and plant habitat at the River Toa, and, pending, to Humboldt National Park, in this region known for biodiversity
  • Visit the Archaeological Museum in the Caves of Paradise.
  • Learn about Cuban music and dance in various stellar sites, including: Casa de la Trova, Casa de Cultura, and the Saturday street party, La Noche Baracuense.

Traveler Information

We are traveling under the general license issued by the Office of Finance Assets Control (OFAC) of the US government, for People to People programs to Cuba. Under the new regulations, this is the only license needed. Marazul is the entity conducting the People to People program.

Arts Focus on Cuba and Marazul have worked extremely hard to keep costs lower that what is generally found, and offer events/activities/meetings and visits that are true to the deepest aspects of Cuban culture, life, history…We are proud that we organize, every time, something that is extraordinary, respectful, and goes beneath the surface.

Costs are below. Remember that double accommodations will be the most economical choice.

 

Program dates and costs:

Group I:  start with activities in Havana, flight to Santiago, and the Festival of Fire and related events in and around Santiago:

June 29-July 10th:  Havana—Santiago Festival (12 days, 11 nights)                                                

$3304  double accommodations***                                                                                                                

$3744  single accommodations

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Group II:  For the Festival of Fire and our related events in and around Santiago:

July 3-10th:  Santiago Festival (8 days, 7 nights)                                                                                       

$2774 double accommodations***                                                                                                                

$3099 single accommodations

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Group III:  For the Festival of Fire and our related events in and around Santiago, and the trip to Thompson and Baracoa, all in eastern Cuba:

July 3-14th:  Santiago Festival; Thompson, and Baracoa (12 days, 11 nights)                                                                                       

$3224 double accommodations***                                                                                                                

$3589 single accommodations

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Group IV:  For the entire 2 weeks +, some days in Havana; flying east for the Festival and our related events in and around Santiago; and then on to Thompson and Baracoa:

June 29-July 14th:  Havana; Santiago Festival; Thompson, and Baracoa (16 days, 15 nights)                                                                                        

$3889 double accommodations***                                                                                                                

$4474 single accommodations

 

Registration and Payment schedule:

Deposit: $300.00

Balance: due upon receipt of your invoice some weeks before departure. Specifics to come.

Registration will be directly with Marazul, our travel services provider.

Contact information for Anya, pre-registration: aachtenberg@gmail.com or 651.214.924

Tour Inclusions:  Airfare round trip, Miami to Cuba; entry visa (for US citizens) to Cuba; all land transportation that is part of the itinerary; intra-country flights as stated; English speaking tour guides and interpreters; daily breakfasts; specific lunches and dinners as noted; Festival of Fire registration fees and attendance at any Festival events; all program activities as noted in the itinerary; hotel accommodations; health insurance while in Cuba; airport transfers on international flights.

Tour Exclusions:  Visa fees for non-US citizens; departure fees, passports, baggage fees, personal gratuities; meals and beverages not mentioned in the itinerary; travel insurance, unless otherwise noted in the itinerary; donations for special events; tips for guide and bus drivers; US domestic airfares; personal phone calls and other items like laundry.

Refunds and Cancellations

Cancellation notice received 30 or more days prior to departure will result in full refund less $500.

Cancellation notice received 29 to 14 days prior to departure will result in full refund less 100% airfare + 50% of program cost.

Cancellation notice received 13 days or less prior to departure will result in no refund.

~~~~~~~~~~~

For more information on the trip and on registration; copies of Arts Focus on Cuba’s trip itinerary/program, and the Festival of Fire program;  and for applications, please contact Anya:

Anya Achtenberg, Arts Focus on Cuba

Aachtenberg@gmail.com  or 651.214.9248

http://anyaachtenberg.com/?page_id=390    

https://www.facebook.com/ArtsFocusonCubaTrips

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Below: information on a past trip

Arts Focus on Cuba and the Center for Cuban Studies, present:

Multicultural Cuba:   

November 3 – November 13, 2014

 ~~~

A multicultural arts and history journey through Cuba—

Santiago de Cuba and environs, Havana, and Matanzas

***Links here, to 2 Downloadable Brochures, and full information also in text on this page, below:    

Multicultural Cuba Full Nov 2014 [1]                    

Multicutural Cuba trifold Nov 2014 (1)

***(Instructions for brochures, click on link; a comment page with the link will appear — click on the link again. Full brochure will be a downloadable document; trifold is a pdf that will open a web page, and can be saved as a pdf. document.)

 

Gibara

Photo by David Schnack, from a hilltop in Gibara

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Multicultural Cuba Travel:   

November 3 – November 13, 2014

~~~~~

A multicultural arts and history journey through Cuba—

Santiago de Cuba and environs, Havana, and Matanzas

~~~~~

Curated and led by Anya Achtenberg, Arts Focus on Cuba, in conjunction with the Center for Cuban Studies (NY) 

About this multicultural arts and history journey through Cuba:

The richness of Cuban culture and identity has been fed by many streams throughout its history of migrations, free and forced. Most of us know that Cubanidad, or Cuban identity and ethnicity, was formed essentially by the mix of Spanish, African and indigenous peoples, but on this journey we will visit with some of the many vibrant ethnic communities in Cuba, including communities of Haitian, Jamaican, Yoruba, Chinese, Arab and Jewish descendants, and with their artists and writers, musicians and dancers, filmmakers, scholars and organizers.

Not your generic tour, this journey aims to bring us to a fuller understanding of the profoundly multicultural nature of Cuban society; its complex and moving history; its spectrum of artistic sensibilities in many genres. The arts are central to Cubans of all cultural backgrounds; central to the Cuban spirit, critical intelligence, economy, social life and societal participation; central to commemorating and celebrating the past, and creating the future. We will have extraordinary opportunities to interact with people involved in a range of community arts projects in a way that will give us a sense of current developments, and a view of how Cubans use the transformative power of the arts and the creative process. Our meetings with people nationally and internationally recognized for their accomplishments in the arts, and meetings with those in community settings, will have much in common, because excellence, creativity, and accessibility of artists and scholars in Cuba are found in all sectors.

The growing attention paid on the island to its own deeply multicultural composition and history forms a crucial dimension in the vibrant community arts projects and arts education that characterize Cuba. Join us for a rich immersion in the mind-blowing arts of this complex country; an experience of both the iconic and the unknown; and real interaction with both professional and community artists and the multicultural sources that inspire them, during this time of fascinating changes and challenges.

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 FestivalofFireHorn

Photo by Victor Manuel Sigue Castellanos, at the Festival of Fire

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Tour Overview

Santiago de Cuba: cradle of Afrocuban music and culture, and of the Cuban Revolution; the city of heroes

  • Performance and discussion with the Sociedad de Tumba Francesa de la Caridad del Oriente. 19th century Tumba Francesa, developed by enslaved Africans, merges French and African dance, music, and extraordinary drumming.
  • Visit a Haitian community outside of the city of Santiago, where Haitian traditions have been preserved.  Exchange with musicians Grupo de Gagá Haitiano, and with practitioners of vodú.
  • Meet with English-speaking hiphop/spoken word artists, often Jamaican descendants.
  • Visits to Taller Cultural Luis Díaz Oduardo, a multigenerational artists’ workshop; and Galería de Arte Universal for women artists. See the work, talk with the artists!
  • Informed and authentic encounters with practitioners of Yoruba Santería and Bantu-based Spiritism.
  • Visit the Moncada Barracks, site of an armed attack by Cuban revolutionaries on July 26th, 1953; this event is considered the beginning of the Cuban Revolution.
  • Visit the community of Cobre:  the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity, worshipped as Oshún; and the Monument to the Cimarrón, the Rebel Slave.
  • Casa del Caribe’s music/dance events with rumba, changüí, son, and more.
  • Visits to Casa del Caribe, and the Union of Artists and Writers, to dig deep in discussion and address your many questions about Santiago’s deeply multicultural population and its arts, history, and current conditions; with a stunning line-up of scholars, writers, anthropologists, etc. They love questions!

 

Havana, one of the most exciting cities in the world!

  • Walking tours of Habana Vieja—Old Havana, founded in 1519—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And, yes, you can be in love with a place…
  • Visits in various Havana neighborhoods with transformative community projects – including, Muraleando, creating visual arts, and music and dance performances to affirm people’s cultures; and Cabildo Quisicuaba, working with the spiritual, cultural, and material needs of the community.
  • Meeting/exchange with women filmmakers: Lizette Vila, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Director of the Palomas Project, documentary filmmaker addressing gender equity issues; Lourdes Prieto: filmmaker of There’s a group that says…, a documentary of culture and politics in Cuba, through the new song movement; Rosa María Rovira, filmmaker and producer, former Director of International Relations at the Cuban Film Institute, and an encyclopedic resource on Cuban cinema.
  • The Experimental Printmakers’ Workshop—Taller Experimental de Gráfica—at the Plaza de la Catedral. Visit with cutting-edge artists; see their extraordinary work.
  • Saturday Rumba—Sábado de la Rumba—at Centro Cultural El Gran Palenque, with renowned Conjunto Folklórico Nacional.
  • Visits with: the Arab community at Casa Árabe; El Patronato Jewish Community Center; and Chinatown’s Chinese Historical and Cultural Project.
  • A visit to one of the associations (organized by region, as Asturias or the Canary Islands) of descendants of Spain who fled the 1930s Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship. There are often flamenco performances with dinner!
  • Caserón del Tango, time permitting! And, yes, we will have lunch at the iconic Bodeguita del Medio.

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Matanzas, called “the Athens of Cuba” for its poets, “the Venice of Cuba” for its rivers and bridges, and an important center of Afrocuban culture.

  • Visit the Museum of the Route of the Slave in the San Severino Castle: a UNESCO heritage site, and a great place to learn about Afrocuban religion.
  • Visit the Cuban Association of Artisans and Artists, including a talk with its fascinating president, Luís Octavio Fernández, descended from the mambises independence fighters.
  • Nearby—Ediciones Vigía, a publishing collective producing unique handmade books of literary and artistic value. And, a great place to meet with local writers and artists!
  • Rehearsals/performances with world-renowned dance and music groups: Grupo Afrocuba de Matanzas, and, Los Munequitos de Matanzas, whose repertoire comes from a spectrum of African traditions.  An embarrassment of riches in one day…

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Traveler Information

We are traveling under the legal auspices of a People to People license granted by the US government to organizations that have demonstrated the ability to connect their guests with Cuban people in real and substantial ways.

Cost: $3250.00 per person, double occupancy, for 15 travelers. (expected)

$3400.00 per person, double occupancy, for 10-14 travelers.

Single room supplement, add $450.00.

Registration and Payment schedule:

Deposit: $500.00       Balance: due upon receipt of your invoice.

Register with the Center for Cuban Studies; inform Anya upon registering.

Contact information:

traveltocubanow@gmail.com or 212.242.0559 for the Center for Cuban Studies

aachtenberg@gmail.com or 651.214.9248 for Anya Achtenberg, Arts Focus on Cuba

 

Tour Inclusions:

  • Airfare round trip, Miami to Cuba.
  • Entry visa (for US citizens) to Cuba.
  • All land transportation that is part of the itinerary, and intra-country flights as stated.
  • English speaking tour guides and interpreters.
  • Daily breakfasts; and specific lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary.
  • Entrance fees and donations to museums, galleries, and other venues as noted in itinerary.
  • Hotel accommodations.
  • Health insurance while in Cuba.
  • Airport Transfers on international flights.

Tour Exclusions:

  • Fees for visas for travelers who are not US citizens; departure fees, passports, baggage fees, personal gratuities; meals and beverages not mentioned in the itinerary; travel insurance, unless otherwise noted in the itinerary; and donations for special events.
  • U.S. domestic airfares.
  • Personal phone calls, faxes or other personal items, like laundry or dry cleaning.

Refunds and Cancellations:

Cancellation notice received 30 or more days prior to departure will result in full refund less $500.

Cancellation notice received 29 to 14 days prior to departure will result in full refund less 100% airfare + 50% of program cost.

Cancellation notice received 13 days or less prior to departure will result in no refund.

 

Anya Achtenberg, Arts Focus on Cuba:

aachtenberg@gmail.com  or 651.214.9248

https://www.facebook.com/ArtsFocusonCubaTrips

 

Center for Cuban Studies:

traveltocubanow@gmail.com  or 212.242.0559

Center for Cuban Studies Website:

http://www.cubaupdate.org