Join Go Eat Give for an insider look into Cuba. A visit to Havana and Trinidad offers an unforgettable and unique experience to learn about the legendary history, art, music and architecture of Cuba. Each day, we will explore a different element of this beautiful country that is frozen in time. From a walking tour of Old Havana, to touring a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to visiting Hemingway’s private estate, and the picturesque Bay of Pigs, you will get to experience the real Cuba. During this one week tour, you will stay at private homes, eat at authentic restaurants, visit popular sites and volunteer with local projects.
Dates: September 17-24, 2016
Cost: $3,475 (based on double occupancy, $3870 (single occupancy). Non refundable deposit $250 due upon registration. Full payment due by June 17, 2016.
Contact Go Eat Give firstname.lastname@example.org, 678-744-8306 for more information or SIGN UP HERE
Meet your tour leader: Shell Stuart, Executive Director of the Georgia Council for International Visitors (GCIV), oversees the design of professional visits to the state of Georgia for current and emerging international leaders. These visits reflect both the visitors’ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the U.S. government. Each year over 500 program participants from all over the world travel to Georgia to meet and confer with their professional counterparts. Through these encounters, they gain a greater understanding of the cultural and political influences in U.S. society and enjoy a firsthand experience of the U.S., its people and its culture. Visitors represent government, politics, the media, education, non-governmental organizations, the arts, public health, international security, business and trade, and other fields.
Shell has led citizen diplomacy trips to Cuba, Iceland, Germany, Spain and South Africa. Her goal is to travel to as many countries as her current age. She’s visited 25 countries to date and is sadly behind schedule. Her most interesting international experience was accompanying former President Jimmy Carter on his historic diplomatic visit to Cuba in 2002, and her favorite place on the planet is Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, which she continues to explore every summer.
- RT flight Miami-Havana
- Cuban Visa
- 7 nights accommodation at Casas Particulares (private homes)
- Daily breakfast & lunch
- Dinners (as mentioned)
- All ground transportation
- English speaking guides
- Cultural activities
- Volunteer coordination
- Medical insurance
- Airfare to Miami
- Some dinners
- Airport departure tax $25
- Luggage Fees
Payment and Cancellation Policy: Non refundable deposit of $250 due upon registration. Full payment must be received 60 days prior to departure. Cancellation is NOT allowed within 60 days of departure, unless Go Eat Give cancels the trip, in which case you will get the option to receive 100% refund or apply your funds towards a future trip. We encourage you to purchase travel insurance in case if you need to cancel due to unforeseen events.
Complete Itinerary (subject to change):
DAY 1 – Saturday, Sept 17 (dinner)
• Arrival at Havana’s José Martí International Airport. Transfer to your Casa Particulares and check in.
• This evening you’ll enjoy a group welcome dinner with your Cuban guide and alumni at Restaurant ArteChef, home to the Cuban Culinary Association. Founded on January 26, 1981, the Association sought to elevate the Cuban Chef from lowly servant in years past to recognition of one who not only satisfies a primary human need, but who fulfills spiritual needs through the role played in bringing people together in the home and in society. The Association aims to revive and revitalize the island’s cuisine – unique in the Americas.
• Après dinner: Your guide with keep you posted on local entertainment options.
DAY 2 – Sunday, Sept 18 (breakfast, lunch)
- Breakfast at Casa.
- Tour of Old City and four main squares in Habana Vieja (Old Havana) declared an UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site.
Visit Cathedral Square, surrounded by colonial mansions of the 1700s and featuring the church built by the Jesuits known later as the Cathedral of Havana. La Catedral is most the most beautiful exponent of Cuban baroque architecture.
Visit to the Square of Arms, an ancient military parade ground for Spanish soldiers, surrounded by impressive buildings such as: Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, former seat of the colonial government. Today the building houses the Museum of the City. Palacio del Segundo Cabo, former seat of the second authority of the island. Today it is home to important publishing concerns.
Continue our walking tour onto San Francisco Square, one of the oldest in the historical quarter. Named after magnificent Basilica of Saint Francis, also a striking example of the Cuban baroque architecture from the late 1700s. Visit Plaza Vieja, the only civic square of colonial times. Absent are churches or government buildings. Here we will visit an important institution for visual arts.
- Group welcome lunch at La Barca Restaurant. (included in tour cost)
- Tour Modern Habana including Callejon de Hamel and a visit to the Centro Cultural Antiguos Almacenes de Depósito San José.
- Dinner on your own.
DAY 3 – Monday, Sept 19 (breakfast, lunch)
- Breakfast at Casa.
- Visit Finca La Vigía (House and farm of Ernest Hemingway Museum).
- Visit the UBPC Vivero Organopónico Alamar, 15 km (9.3 miles) east of Havana. It’s one of the most successful urban organic farms in Cuba raising ornamental plants, medicinal herbs, and millions of seedlings for neighboring residential and collective farms. Established in the early 1990s, the Alamar cooperative has over 20 members and provides a range of healthy, organic vegetables to the community. Produce is raised employing the practice of permaculture: no chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Instead, natural biological methods are used to nourish the soil, frustrate pests and conserve water. The result is an increased rate of yield and reduced costs.
- Volunteer work and Organopónico (Farm work includes picking, planting, cleaning, etc. Bring your rubber boots & donations for farmers).
- Special lunch prepared by private Restaurant Ajiaco, included.
- Visit Cojimar, small fishing village one of Hemingway’s favorites places in Cuba
- Dinner on your own.
- Evening SUGGESTION: SPECIAL “¡Noche de fiesta cubana!” party with live music at Club Chévere (transportation and cover not included)
DAY 4 – Tuesday, Sept 20 (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
- Breakfast in hotel
- Early departure to Trinidad, a one-of-a-kind, a perfectly preserved Spanish colonial settlement where the clocks stopped ticking in 1850 and – apart from the tourists – have yet to restart.
- Lunch at Bay of Pigs
- Check in at Casas Particulares (historic Cuban homes converted to bed and breakfast.
- Salsa dancing class
- Dinner at a private restaurant.
- After dinner, head to Casa de la Trova, one of the best settings to listen to great traditional music. Dance with Cubans and foreign visitors. (Transportation and cover not included in tour costs).
DAY 5 – Wednesday, Sept 21 (breakfast, dinner)
- Breakfast at Casa.
- Walking tour of Trinidad. Declared a national monument by the Cuban government and World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987, this city is very much as it was four centuries ago, the beauty of its baroque architecture and cobblestones squares harking back to a bygone era when Trinidad was a key player in the Caribbean slave trade. It´s also brags spectacular Valle de los Ingenios, a unique Sugar Mill Valley. It contains beautiful churches (such as the Great Parish Church, a neoclassical edifice built in 1892) and public squares, the most important of which is Main Square-surrounded by buildings of great beauty and historic and architectural interest and considered the second most important square in the country, after Havana’s Cathedral Square.
- Visit the Valle de los Ingenios where once Sugar Mills stood.
- Meet with the Santander family, well-known potters who have made unique pottery for over 100 years. Break into small groups so that you can talk with different family members as they complete their pottery and/or ceramic items. You may ask questions about the different techniques and offer comments about the resulting products.
- Lunch at gourmet restaurant.
- Free time to browse the town and dinner on your own.
DAY 6 – Thursday, Sept 22 (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
- Breakfast at Casa.
- Head to the city of Cienfuegos, Cuba’s loveliest city of French colonial architecture on Cuba’s most scenic ocean bay. Guided walking tour of Cienfuegos historical center: Paseo del Prado, Plaza José Martí, Tomás Terry Theater, Casa de la Cultura, The Cathedral .
- Drive to Havana, with stop for lunch along the way.
- Stop at beach if time permits.
- Check in to Casa in Havana.
- Special dinner at rooftop of a local paladar (private restaurant).
- Evening SUGGESTION: SPECIAL Havana Jazz Café Club (transportation and cover not included)
DAY 7 – Friday, Sept 23 (breakfast, lunch)
- Breakfast at Casa
- Morning visit the studio of José Fuster, one of Cuba’s most important ceramists and painters at his whimsical studio in Jaimanitas, just outside of Havana.
- Volunteer work at Fuster’s and the Community of Jaimanitas includes creating a wall mural in the neighborhood.
- Feast on a delicious lunch hosted by José Fuster, included.
- Free time to souvenir shop and walk around city.
- Dinner on your own.
- Evening entertainment Suggestion: Casa de la Música de Centro Habana, one of the best settings to listen to great traditional music. Dance with Cubans and foreign visitors
DAY 8 – Saturday, Sept 24 (Breakfast)
- Breakfast at Casa.
- Check-out and transfer to José Martí International Airport for flights home.
“My trip to Cuba was an educational adventure in exploring the old and the new emerging Cuba. One of the things I liked the most about the trip was sharing dinner and getting to speak with Cuban people who are on the leading edge of change for their country.” ~ Joyce Dillon
“The trip to Cuba was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I learned so much about the country in such a short amount of time. I loved that we volunteered at various locales. The itinerary with visits to several places mixed with local history, architecture and culture was perfect. I hope many more people will take advantage of Cuba travel.” ~ Judy Hsu
“I had the pleasure of travelling with Go Eat Give on a volunteer trip to Cuba in 2013. I have long been a supporter of the organization’s mission to deepen cross-cultural experiences through food and volunteerism, and the trip delivered on all counts. I especially liked that there was plenty of flexibility in the itinerary to explore independently while still providing enough structure to assure exposure to significant highlights. The entire experience was positive and affecting.” ~ Cheryl Garin
“I was fortunate to travel with Go Eat Give to Cuba in 2013. What an amazing experience. The entire trip was vey well planned and the volunteer opportunities fulfilling and very worthwhile. I had visited Cuba many years before, but Go Eat Give showed me parts of the country that I was never able to previously access. The Go Eat Give experience is one that can be tailor-made to your group or family.” ~ Chris Chavis
“Traveling to Cuba has been on my list for over 10 years. I’m so glad I took the opportunity to travel with Go Eat Give this year, what a wonderful way to experience the country! Visiting Cuba was like getting to go back in time. The architecture, culture, landscapes, and rich traditions fill your senses like no other place on earth.” ~ Donna Lindsey Toepfer“Frankly, I had not, nor would I have ever thought it would be possible for me to go there as an American. But I learned, through Sucheta Rawal, founder of Go Eat Give, not only that it was possible, but also that her organization had arranged an eight-day itinerary to visit Cuba on an educational/volunteer vacation. My experience was nothing short of amazing!! Every day was a new opportunity to see and learn. Over the course of our stay we had the opportunity to tour Havana, experience local culture, visit the Partagás cigar factory, eat at both state- and family-run restaurants, and learn about Cuban history. Yet, we had the opportunity for “up close and personal” interaction with locals as we did hands-on volunteer activities on an organic farm, at a major park, and one a community art project. All in all, it was a rich and rewarding experience that I would highly recommend!” ~ Walter Akana