Rob Sequin | Havana Journal with excerpts from the Newark Post
Creative Travel of Newark, Delaware in association with the Center for the Study of Cuban Culture & Economy, has developed a first-of-its-kind program to bring people from the Delaware Valley to Cuba under the People to People exchange program. Creative Travel and The Center are the first to delve into the culinary aspects between the Cuba and the Newark Delaware region.
This Cuba trip is scheduled for November 12-19, 2011 and is limited to only 30 people. The Center received an approved license for travel to Cuba from the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control in June, 2011.
Tour participants will meet with local Cubans who have opened their own private restaurants and have the opportunity to meet with those people and their chefs. Throughout the trip, travelers will meet with some of the people who have opened businesses in Cuba and some of the best chefs in the country and taste their amazing offerings at new paladares- small private home restaurants. The Center specializes in studying private entrepreneurship.
Join Dr. Joseph Scarpaci (also of the Havana Consulting Group), Executive Director of the Center on his 51st visit to Cuba and explore this island of contrasts and its rich culture, still largely unfamiliar to many travelers. Throughout this licensed program there will be opportunities to meet Cubans from different walks of contemporary Cuban life.
Dr. Scarpaci said, “We are happy to partner with Creative Travel, Inc and show this unique side of the private sector of Cuba to the American People. I think both sides will come away with a completely different perspective of what they thought they knew about each other.”
Cuba Landscapes and Culture Tour
Another Cuba trip, and 8-day program by The American Geographical Society Travel Program called CUBA: Landscapes & Culture, will feature three UNESCO World Heritage sites about which Scarpaci has written extensively. Travelers will also visit a private farmer’s market, Cuba’s most famous ice cream parlor, a local library (where each traveler will have a chance to donate a cookbook to the center), local farms, Cuban music and art, and a special lobster meal and pig roast hosted by local private farmers.
• Lecture series to be given by Dr. Joseph Scarpaci
• A carefully crafted walking tour of Old Havana
• Orientation tour of Miramar and Vedado and the Colon Cemetery
• Private musical performance at the Ceramics Museum
• Visit to the studios of artists Juan Moreira and Alicia Leal
• Cocktail reception at the Ludwig Foundation
• Briefing at the U.S. Interest Section
• Meeting with economist Julio Carranzas
• En route to Trinidad, stop at the Bay of Pigs and Cienfuegos
• Full day to explore Trinidad’s rich architectural history
The trip begins with five days in Havana, including a specially designed walking tour of Old Havana which harbors the greatest wealth of Spanish colonial architecture in the western hemisphere, a treasure trove of churches, palaces, citadels and mansions wedged along narrow streets or looming over palm-fringed plazas. Enjoy a tour accompanied by architectural historian Eduardo Luis Rodriquez, with stops in Miramar, once the bastion of the Cuban aristocracy, whose grand old homes are set along wide boulevards.
The history of Cuban political development is well illustrated at the Presidential Palace – now a museum – and a discussion with Dr. Julio Carranzas will allow the group to focus on recent changes in Cuba’s economic policy.
Leave Havana and drive east to spend two nights in Trinidad, Cuba’s oldest colonial city, surrounded by a verdant ring of mountains known as the Topes de Collantes. It is a town of iron windows and soft pastel painted churches. In the center lies the main square ringed by four museums, all once the mansions of wealthy colonialists. Enjoy dinner in town at one of the newly opened private restaurants and a chance to stroll through the narrow stone streets and peer into the open shuttered doors of inviting homes.