Saturday, December 17, 2011

Grand Circle Foundation P2P Programs

Cuba: A Bridge Between Cultures 

By Invitation Only: Be among the first Americans to visit Cuba on an historic People-to-People program, available only through
Grand Circle Foundation

As Americans, the mystique surrounding Cuba has been ingrained in our psyche for decades—from the tropical paradise that inspired Hemingway to the Cold War catastrophes that strained our relations beyond repair. How has life evolved behind the invisible wall of the embargo? Would we ever have the chance to see for ourselves?
We at Grand Circle Foundation are in a unique position to offer you that chance—at a pivotal moment in history for the people of Cuba, who are facing both hopes and fears in the midst of major government reforms. The Foundation has just been granted a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer People-to-People programs to Cuba—and Foundation supporters are legally eligible to travel to Cuba under this license.
Because space is extremely limited, we are inviting only our very best Foundation supporters to join us on a full range of departure dates through June, 2012.

A fully licensed, "People-to-People" experience

We'll experience the real Cuba through authentic encounters with its people.
The focus of our experience, as our license's "People-to-People" categorization implies, will be meaningful cultural exchange with the people of Cuba—who we think you'll find to be warm, welcoming, and eager to interact with Americans. At Grand Circle Foundation, we aim to change people's lives, and that includes both the travelers who will be joining us in Cuba, and the people who we'll meet when we get there. As we come face to face with a culture that is undergoing major reforms, we will serve as agents of positive change by listening, encouraging, and openly sharing our viewpoints and ideas. We see this program as an important first step toward bringing a better understanding between the United States and Cuba.

Program Overview

You will be responsible for making your own travel arrangements to Miami, where our group meets for one overnight before flying together to Havana the next day.
We will center our People-to-People visits in these three Cuban cities. You can view our planned program here. However, please note that this is a representative itinerary, and that features are subject to change as availability is controlled by the Cuban government.
Truly unique among Caribbean cities, Havana is a beauty with personality.
Havana (5 nights): Cuba's bustling capital is in the midst of a decades-long, multimillion dollar restoration project, which will ensure that its wealth of historic buildings will endure for centuries to come. But beyond the blend of baroque, colonial, and Art Deco architecture, Havana possesses a unique cultural energy that has evolved over 500 years of tumultuous history. We'll hear it in the music, see it in the artwork, and experience it firsthand during planned meetings with local people. To ensure a well-rounded view of this fascinating city, our five nights in Havana will be divided into two separate stays: 3 nights in the historic Old Town, and 2 nights in the vibrant commercial and entertainment center of Vedado.
Cienfuegos (2 nights): Known as La Perla del Sud ("the Pearl of the South") for its gleaming harbor area and dignified ambiance, Cienfuegos is celebrated by UNESCO as a premiere example of 19th-century Latin American urban planning. Its prime location on Cuba's southern Caribbean coast is both stunning and strategic, as the seaport here is central to the country's sugar, coffee, and tobacco trades. We'll experience the city's beauty through the eyes of the artists who call it home, and they will learn firsthand about the openness, kindness, and curiosity of the American people.
Trinidad (3 nights): Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinidad is a colonial gem that recalls life in Cuba's 19th-century glory days. While the historic center is only a few square blocks in size, it boasts some of Cuba's most beautiful architecture—including cobbled streets, pastel-colored houses, charming plazas, and old palaces. It is also the gateway to the Valley of the Sugar Mills, home to some 70 historic mill structures and an enduring reminder of the importance of sugar to Cuba's economy. In Trinidad, we'll meet local craftspeople as well as budding entrepreneurs, and share our ideas and experiences with them.

Reservations can only be made through Grand Circle Foundation:
(toll-free) 1-855-423-3443

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