African Roots of Cuban Culture

002-yemaya-calle-jon-v2.jpeg12 Nights/13 Days

This exciting trip takes you across country where you’ll see much of the lovely island.  Starting in the northeast, then traveling south and west across the country to explore how African customs, religion and people have contributed to la cubanía.  You’ll meet artists, dancers, musicians, as well as learn about Santería and other religious practices.  You’ll learn about the influence of religious iconography, and the significance it plays in the country and how these elements have survived throughout the years.  You’ll meet and interact with scholars, artists, researchers, and writers who have dedicated their work to researching Cuba’s African roots and visit landmarks in Afro-Cuban history. (Photo by Cynthia Carris Alonso)

Program Highlights

      • In Santiago de Cuba meet with the city's historian and preservationist and explore its historic buildings
      • Meet local artists whose work reflects the influence of Africa and Haiti
      • Travel to El Cobre to visit the "Virgin of Charity/Oshún," the patron saint of Cuba
      • Enjoy Santiago's Museum of Carnival, in an 18th-Century building, dedicated to preserving the areas rich and diverse culture, and enjoy a performance of African-inspired dance on Santeria and the Orishas
      • In Case de Caribe meet with an expert on the history of African religions
      • On the way to Camaguey, "the city of Square," explore the historic town of Bayamo
      • Meet with local Camagueyan artists and learn what makes their city's culture so unique
      • Explore Camaguey's city center and visit local galleries
      • In the Spanish-colonial settlement of Trinidad, stroll its cobblestone streets, street fairs, and historic buildings
      • Visit local artist studies such as Benito Ortiz, Carlos Cesar Roman, Jorge Sainz, and Hermanos Saiz group
      • In Cienfuegos, Cuba's "pearl of the south," explore the city's architecture and historic places
      • Visit the Maroya Gallery and meet with some of Cienfuegos' best-known artists in their studios
      • A stop in Tapaste brings you up close and personal with one of Cuba's most beloved artists, Manuel Mendive, whose art is strongly influenced by African religion and who is also a santero
      • In Havana's Callejon de Hamel, an alley vibrating with themes of Afro-Cuban culture and religion,  meet with painter-muralist Salvador Gonzalez and hear a talk on santeria
      • In Guanabacoa, a small town know for its Santeria traditions, spend time with artist Alberto Casado 

Price includes hotel, all breakfasts, program meals and meal gratuities listed as “included” in the program (excluding alcoholic drinks), air-conditioned bus, Cuban guide and driver, CCS representative, museum fees.

Costs do not include air, travel insurance, gratuities to guides, drivers, and hotel staff for porterage and/or room service.