Cuba

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Cuba offers a rich cross-cultural educational opportunity – Cuba’s recent social, economic, and political reforms and historical tensions with the United States are fascinating to explore.  Arts and culture are central in Cuba; Afro-Cuban culture plays a key role in the country, as does the legacy of Spanish colonialism.

Cuba is the most populous island nation in the Caribbean with 11 million residents.  The majority of days with CGE in Cuba are spent in Havana with a day or two in a more rural setting.

A Note on Travel to Cuba

U.S. and Cuban laws restrict travel to and programming on the island for U.S. groups.  As a result, programs in Cuba are more costly, less customizable, and require more advance planning than those at other CGE sites.  Currently, CGE is only able to coordinate travel seminars in Cuba that are part of an accredited course at institutions of higher education that have had previous experience working with CGE or our partner organization in Cuba (the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center).  Given this, we encourage you to contact CGE’s Cuba Program Coordinator at 612-330-1662 early on in your planning process to discuss logistics and your programming ideas.  You can also submit this information via our inquiry form; we will contact you to walk through your program and determine if it is a good fit.

Program Parameters in Cuba

  • Travel seminars are up to 2 weeks in duration
  • Overnight excursion to a regular MLK . Center location such as Matanzas/Varadero/Santa Clara or Pinar del Río/Viñales
  • Lodging is provided at the MLK Center guesthouse or a modest hotel
  • Registration must occur no later than four months before departure
  • Daily schedule is not finalized until two weeks prior to arrival in Cuba

Possible Program Themes

  • Church-State relations
  • Religion
  • Government and politics
  • Popular education
  • Gender and LGBT issues
  • Culture, arts, and music
  • Environmental sustainability

Potential Visits and Excursions

  • Discussions with clergy, ecumenical leaders, and seminarians
  • Visit a free-enterprise agricultural market to speak with independent farmers and cooperative members
  • Visit a ration store
  • Meet with a member of the Cuban Federation of Women
  • Visit the Che Guevara Monument and Museum (Santa Clara)
  • Attend an Afro-Cuban dance or drumming performance
  • Visit with a neighborhood family doctor to discuss local health care issues

Partner Organization and Staff

Program staff from one of our permanent sites will accompany groups to Cuba.  Design and coordination occurs in conjunction with our partner in Cuba, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center.

The MLK Center was founded in 1987.  It is an ecumenical organization that provides a range of social programs and services, including training and education in Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy of non-violence.   Its fundamental objective is to stand in solidarity with the Cuban people and its churches.

Accommodations

Lodging is provided in modest hotels, guesthouses, or at the MLK Jr. Center.