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«People-to-People Travel with Oberlin Alumni MARCH 22 - 28, 2015 Dear Oberlin Travelers, Cuba is like a time machine that transports you to a di erent ...»

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CUBA: The Pearl of the Antilles

People-to-People Travel with Oberlin Alumni

MARCH 22 - 28, 2015

Dear Oberlin Travelers,

Cuba is like a time machine that transports you to a di erent side of

world history and then changes your life forever. Join Oberlin President Marvin Krislov on a people-to-people delegation to build

friendship with our neighbors, see the architecture, savor their rich

cuisine, and experience its soul moving music. ere is no time

better than now to visit this fascinating neighbor on the brink of change.

President Krislov is excited to travel with alumni to Cuba and to share the experience with you. I am also excited to be accompanying the group along with Project Por Amor Director.and Oberlin alumnus Sage Lewis ’05, who is an artist and expert on Cuban culture and will be personally taking us to places no other tour groups get to visit.

Our journey through Cuba’s fascinating past and present promises to be an experience to be treasured. I hope you will join us for this memorable journey in Cuba: e Pearl of the Antilles.

Warm regards, M. Danielle Young Executive Director, Oberlin Alumni Association Marvin Krislov became the 14th president of Oberlin College in

2007. He came to Oberlin from the University of Michigan, where he had been vice president and general counsel since 1998. At Michigan, Krislov led the University of Michigan’s legal defense of its admission policies, resulting in the 2003 Supreme Court decision recognizing the importance of student body diversity. In November 2009, he was con rmed by the U.S. Senate as a member of the National Council on the Humanities, the 26-member advisory board of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In addition to serving as president, Krislov teaches a politics class every semester.

He is married to Amy Ruth Sheon, a biomedical researcher. ey have three children, sons Zachary and Jesse, and a daughter, Evie.

Itinerary PLEASE NOTE: is schedule is subject to minor changes between now and the trip dates.

DAY 1, SUNDAY, MARCH 22 | MIAMI TO HAVANA Meet in Miami International Airport. Arrival time to be determined.

4:00 pm ~ Arrive at the Hotel Parque Central and check into your rooms. If you are hungry you might want to buy a snack at the hotel café.

5:00 pm ~ Orientation and Walking Tour. After settling into our rooms and before going to dinner we will get acquainted with our nearest surroundings: Capitolio, Central Park, and Prado. Bordering Old Havana and Central Havana municipalities, this area is notable for signi cant architectural structures that exemplify the mid-19th century urban center.

We will start from the capitol building (1929) modeled on the U.S. Capitol, walk through Central Park (1877), along the Prado promenade, and see the Moorish style Inglaterra and Sevilla hotels, and the original Bacardí building, an example of tropical Cuban Art Deco.

7:00 pm ~ Welcome Dinner at San Cristobal Paladar. Located in a cluttered and eclectic bottom oor home of an early 20th century mansion in Centro Habana, e Guardian rated this as the number one paladar in Havana. Welcome to Cuba!

9:00 pm ~ After dinner we will attend a music or dance performance, to be determined, depending on what is happening in the city that night. Such activities could include the National Ballet, National Contemporary Dance Company, National Symphony Orchestra, jazz concerts, salsa clubs, baseball games, and many other attractions of the Havana night life (not included).

DAY 2, MONDAY, MARCH 23 | LA HABANA VIEJA 8:00 am ~ Breakfast at the Hotel. We will eat breakfast at the hotel every morning. e bu et opens as early as 7:00 am daily.

9:00 am ~ Old Havana, Four Plazas. Start your trip at Havana’s beginning. Explore the colonial city on foot walking through the four main plazas that comprise Cuba’s rst UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin at Plaza de Armas, the site of the oldest Spanish fortress in the New World, the 1519 locale of the rst mass in Cuba, and the palatial Baroque seat of government. Continue on to Plaza de San Francisco de Asis.

10:00 am ~ Open Rehearsal of Camarata Romeu. Along our walk of Old Havana we will stop in the beautifully restored Basílica San Francisco de Asis to sit in on an open rehearsal of the rst all women string orchestra in Latin America. Under the direction of Zenaida Romeu, Camarata Romeu is one of Cuba’s most extraordinary classical music ensembles. is non-governmental independent music group frequently tours internationally and performs new works of numerous Cuban and other Latin American composers.

11:00 am - Continue on Walking Tour of the Four Plazas. Visit the Plaza Vieja where you will nd artist galleries, boutique museums, and markets. Visit with locals as you wind through streets spanning ve centuries of architecture to end at Plaza de la Catedral.

12:30 pm ~ Lunch at Doña Eutimia Paladar. Cuba has recently become known as a “foodie” city for their burgeoning paladar scene. ese private home restaurants, along with other types of small businesses, are nascent experiments in entrepreneurialism. You will meet the owner and discuss free enterprise in Cuba.

2:30 pm ~ Taller de Grá ca, Factoria Habana, and Wilfredo Lam Art Museums. After lunch we will visit Havana’s premiere graphic arts workshop. Factoría Habana, a public studio for local artists, was established by Pablo Neruda and Che Guevara at the beginning of the Revolution as a place where artists living and visiting Havana can work on printmaking. You will meet the owner and many of the artists. We will then visit the Wilfredo Lam Museum which houses contemporary Cuban art exhibits from video art to architecture, design, photography, and painting.





4:30 pm ~ We will stroll down Obispo Street back to the hotel to relax before dinner.

6:30 pm ~ Cocktails and Dinner at the Hotel Nacional.

8:30 pm ~ After dinner we will attend a music or dance performance, to be determined, depending on what is happening in the city that night (not included).

DAY 3, TUESDAY, MARCH 24 | COJIMAR 8:30 am ~ Breakfast at the Hotel.

9:30 am ~ Ferry Ride Across Havana Bay. Ride an old ferry for ve cents that transports Habaneros across the bay to the neighborhood of Regla. Get to know Cuban transportation and talk with the people as you gaze at the old city skyline. Visit to Our Lady of Regla Church. Across the bay from Habana Vieja is a church with a black Madonna that is important in the Afro-Cuban Santería tradition.

11:00 am ~ Ernest Hemingway’s Finca Vigía. Visit the house of American writer Ernest Hemingway where he lived from 1940 – 1960 with his wife, Martha Gellhorn, and their children. Cuba was Hemingway’s most frequented country where he wrote the Old Man and the Sea, To Have and Have Not, and For Whom the Bell Tolls. He donated his Nobel Prize to the Cuban people. e home, as the author left it in 1961, has recently been the subject of a massive preservation e ort by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. At this farm you will be able to see his sport shing boat, the Pilar. e Finca Vigia estate and the shing village of Cojimar are considered the most signi cant locales for those interested in Hemmingway’s history.

12:30 pm ~ Lunch at El Ajiaco. We will have lunch in Cojimar, the shing village where Hemingway kept his boat, the Pilar.

3:00 pm ~ Folklórico Nacional de Cuba Open Rehearsal. Go behind the scenes and witness this extraordinary ensemble rehearse African and Hispanic folkloric music and dances. Members of the Folklórico Nacional de Cuba have performed together for 35 years and have gone on more than 93 international tours. You can’t nd a more authentic Afro-Cuban performance then this.

6:30 pm ~ Dinner at La Guarida Paladar. e location for a classic scene from Cuba’s most well known classic lm “Fresa y Chocolate,” La Guarida has gone on to become one of the most popular restaurants in Cuba.

8:30 pm ~ After dinner we will attend a music or dance performance, to be determined, depending on what is happening in the city that night (not included).

DAY 4, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25 | JOURNEY TO VINALES 8:45 am ~ Breakfast at the Hotel and Check-out.

9:45 am ~ Open Rehearsal of Danza Contemporanea de Cuba at the Teatro Nacional. Cuba’s national contemporary dance company, under the direction of Miguel Iglesias, is one of the world’s leading dance companies. ey seamlessly and masterfully blend modern dance with Afro-Cuban folkloric dance, ballet, and popular dance. “An exotic hybrid of contemporary, classical, and Caribbean styles…an exquisite physical instrument… ey move with an oldfashioned juiciness, reminiscent of the Martha Graham Company, burning up the choreography” - e Guardian 11:20 am ~ Depart for Viñales Valley. Enjoy the drive through the Western province of Pinar del Río, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. is pine-populated, red-soiled tobacco growing region of Cuba features limestone mountains that jut out of the valley oor. Stop for a light lunch (not included), a visit to a tobacco farm, and one of the most beautiful views in Cuba.

2:00 pm ~ Cueva del Indio. Arrive in Viñales and visit a large grotto named because the local indigenous Guanahatabey people used it as graveyard and a refuge during the Spanish Conquest period. We will combine a short walk and a motorized boat ride through its marvelous limestone formations.

3:00 pm ~ Check-in to Hotel Los Jazmines.

4:00 pm ~ Afternoon Hike through the Cuban Countryside. Stroll through the small farms, geological wonders, and world’s nest tobacco growing region.

7:00 pm ~ Dinner at La Casa Verde Paladar. Enjoy homemade traditional country-style cuisine at this family restaurant situated on a farm with a stunning view of the valley.

9:00 pm ~ Night of Music Under the Stars at Centro Cultural Polo Montañez. Locals and foreigners alike gather here to dance and listen to Cuban rhythms (not included).

DAY 5, THURSDAY, MARCH 26 | RETURN TO HAVANA 8:30 am ~ Breakfast at the Hotel and Check-out.

9:30 am ~ Visit Mural de la Prehistoria. Before leaving town, see this enormous mural on the face of a mogote (a typically local steep-sided, at-topped limestone formation) illustrating the process of animal evolution from the prehistoric ammonites to Homo sapiens in the Sierra de los Organos, the surrounding mountain range. It was the work of Cuban artist Leovigildo Gonzalez, a disciple of famous Mexican Muralist Diego Rivera, who was commissioned by Fidel Castro himself to carry out such a task in 1959.

12:30 pm ~ Arrive in Jaimanitas, west of Havana, for a light lunch at Paladar La Casa de Santy.

2:00 pm ~ Visit to Artist Jose Fuster’s Studio in Jaimanitas. Meet the artist who has transformed his entire neighborhood into a Gaudi or Brancusiesque wonderland of sculptures, mosaics, and murals. Fuster has become international renowned for community projects where neighbors volunteer their homes to become part of a sprawling masterpiece known as “Fusterlandia.” 3:00 pm ~ Check-in to Hotel Parque Central.

4:30 pm ~ Reception at the Ludwig Foundation. Meet one of Cuba’s greatest proponents of its artists. See their cutting-edge gallery of art and discuss Cuban society with artists and administrators on this rooftop suite in the Vedado neighborhood.

6:00 pm ~ Dinner at Decamarón Paladar (not included).

8:00 pm ~ Discussion on Cuban Economics and Policy at Cuba Libro. Now that our understanding of the complexity of Cuban society has deepened throughout the trip, we will meet with a Cuban economics and policy specialist to discuss questions about the country and its future. is will take place at a new English language bookstore and co ee shop, a small business experiment in the neighborhood of El Vedado.

DAY 6, FRIDAY, MARCH 27 | CENTRO HABANA 8:30 am ~ Breakfast at the Hotel.

9:30 am ~ University of Havana. Visit Cuba’s largest university and meet with students and faculty to better understand the education system in Cuba. is was the rst university in Latin America built by Spain to compete with Harvard and Columbia.

10:30 am ~ Santería Tour. Meet Afro-Cuban religious practitioners in this authentic and once-in-a-lifetime invitation to go inside the homes of a “palero” (Palo del Monte) and a “babalawo” (Santería), two mysterious traditions brought to Cuba from Congo and Nigeria, respectively. ey will share their altars that are made to communicate with the dead, the saints, and a pantheon of African deities. e journey will take place in Cayo Hueso, beginning in Parque Trillo and ending at the Callejón de Hamel. is is an opportunity to discuss pagan beliefs that continue to have great importance in Cuban culture.

12:00 pm ~ Enjoy a delicious traditional Afro-Cuban lunch bu et in the home of artist Salvador Gonzalez in Centro Habana and learn about some of the traditional creole dishes that make Cuban cuisine so rich.

1:00 pm ~ Rumba Demonstration at the Callejón de Hamel. Rumba (guaguancó) is a secular Afro-Cuban music, song, and dance tradition that lies at the heart of all Cuban rhythms. In this concert workshop, the ensemble Rumba Morena will describe how this music, song, and dance is played. e setting is the Callejón de Hamel, a back alley where, 20 years ago, artist Salvador Gonzalez decided to eschew the traditional art scene and paint on the outside walls of his apartment. After the neighbors started to applaud his artistic e ort, he transformed it into a large-scale mural and public art installation inspired by Afro-Cuban spiritual practices where rumba music, dance, and rituals happen every Sunday.

3:00 pm ~ National Museum of Fine Arts, Cuban Collection. A Cuban art historian will walk you through the history of the island through the eyes of its painters.

6:00 pm ~ Old Cars Ride. You will travel to dinner “Havana Style” in a eet of specially selected 1950s American cars that will take you on a scenic route through important neighborhoods.

6:30 pm ~ Farewell Dinner at Kadir Lopez Studio. Kadir Lopez, and his brother Kelvin Lopez, are internationally renowned artists and entrepreneurs. eir expansive studio and exhibit spaces are located in a 1930s Havana mansion that has been repurposed by the artists for their home workspace. Here the group will enjoy a delicious Cuban homemade dinner cooked by the family of the artist. You will have a chance to talk with Kadir, Kelvin, and other artists who will join us. In addition to having a fabulous dinner, you will enjoy warm conversation about everything Cuban.



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