In keeping with our commitment to provide U.S. citizens with information about Cuba, the Center consults on people-to-people travel. Until unrestricted travel is again allowed between Cuba and the United States, the Center works to help those planning travel to Cuba to accomplish their goals.
We consult on trips of every kind, organized by Marazul Charters, Inc. in consultation with the Center for Cuban Studies; trips that take you deep inside Cuba's social welfare system, the cultural life of Cuba, and the economics and politics of a rapidly changing society.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact us:
Tsukimi Kai in Cuba: an oral history project
March 20 – 29 main group
March 20 – April 2 – extended project
Tsukimi Kai is taking its fourth group to Cuba to follow connections further into the community of Cubans of Japanese descent and record oral histories. On this trip Tsukimi Kai will travel to Pinar del Rio province for the first time to meet with a grouping of families identified by our hosts the Interim Committee of the Society of Cubans of Japanese Descent. We will also renew old friendships and expand interviews with friends in Havana and the southern coast fishing village of Sugidero de Batabano.
Those able to stay in Cuba for the full two weeks will take the ferry to the Isle of Youth off the coast of Cuba to visit this farming area with a cohesive community that maintains activities in Japanese crafts, food and dance.
Day 1 Friday March 20, 2015
You will meet the entire group at the Miami International Airport, international charter flight check-in area. Tsukimi Kai coordinators will walk you through the check in process in Miami and also through immigration and customs in Havana. In Havana we will meet our Cuban guide and board our Amistur bus for a trip all of the way out to Pinar del Rio. It will be a scenic ride past Havana, through Havana province, over the mountains dividing the two provinces and down into Pinar del Rio where we will settle into our hotel and have the evening free.
Day 2 Saturday March 21
We will visit with families of Japanese descent who will be expecting us at a local community center. There, we will share stories and record their histories of immigration in the early 1900’s, community development, incarceration during WWII, recovery, the impact of the Revolution on their lives and life in the years since. We will share our cultural performance, share our stories and small gifts we have brought. Interviews will also be scheduled into the evening and the next day at the homes of families we meet today.
What should I take with me?
Carry your own prescription drugs, antibiotics, etc. as well as regularly-taken over the counter meds and toiletries. There is a nurse or doctor available or on call in the hotel so if you get sick or injured, your first response should be to call the hotel health care professional and/or go to a local polyclinic with the guide’s help. The Cubans are better at knowing what you might have than you are, usually, and will have appropriate remedies. Bring sunscreen, toothpaste, toothbrush and hair conditioner (plenty of shampoo in the hotels, almost never conditioner).
Can I use traveler’s checks? Do not bring traveler’s checks despite what people tell you. Most hotels and banks will not cash them, and when they do, they will give you only 85 cents on the dollar. your USD will give you 87 cents, that is, one CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso = .87 USD). if you are adept at money conversion, you can watch the Euro, British Pound, or the Canadian Dollar and change a certain amount of money into one of those currencies before traveling as you will do better changing from those currencies to CUC’s. Save 25 CUC for your departure tax!!!
What kind of electrical current does Cuba have? Bring a transformer in case you are in a hotel with 220 instead of 110. Most have at least one 110 plug but just to make sure, a transformer is small and inexpensive and the hotels don’t have them. Most smart phones can be plugged into either, if you are using them for photos (you can’t use them as cell phones).
Can I make phone calls in Cuba? You can buy a pre-paid cuban cell phone for 50 CUC’s or you can buy a card that allows you to make calls from pay phones.
photo by Sandra Levinson
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The Center for Cuban Studies is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, and all donations to the Center are tax-deductible. Donors to the Center are among our most-valued members because they help to insure that the Center’s mission will be fulfilled -- normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States which permit full cultural and educational exchange.