Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Orientation Program for Study Abroad Staff

Times, sequence and content subject to change

Holbrook Travel  Higher Education Orientation Program in Cuba 
led by John McAuliff, Fund for Reconciliation and Development

June 15 ‑ 24, 2012

6/15/2012  Miami            Airport Hotel                                              D

Dinner in Miami with Cuban American friends.  (Airport Hotel cost is not included)

6/16/2012  Havana         Tryp Habana Libre                                     D
7:30 a.m. check in for charter flight from Miami to Havana and transfer to our hotel. Lunch on own.  2:00 p.m. Gather for an orientation meeting with Dr. Rafael Hernandez, to discuss social and economic renovation in Cuba and in-depth programs available for students visiting Havana.  [Director of Temas magazine and 2011 visiting professor at Harvard and Columbia Universities] 4:00 p.m. Dr. Carlos Alzugaray will give a presentation on US‑Cuba relations.  [Former diplomat and 2011 visiting professor at Queens College, CUNY] Afterwards, walk to La Rampa, Copelia Ice Cream Palace, Malecon and the Hotel Nacional. 7:00 pm Dinner at La Divina Pastora restaurant (with guests) on the flank of fortress and       witness the cannon firing ceremony.

6/17/2012  Havana         Tryp Habana Libre                                     BLD

9:00 a.m. Walking visit of Habana Vieja guided by an architect from the Office of the City Historian, ending at the Capitolio.  12:30 p.m. Lunch with guests at Yoruba Cultural Association and see a sanitaria religious exhibition.  2:00 p.m.  Visit Finca Vijia, home of Ernest Hemingway. Stop at an agricultural market and shops opened by the  self‑employed (cuenta propistas) to preview field visits suggested by Rafael Hernandez. 7:30 p.m. Enjoy an evening (with guests) at a performance of Opera de la Calle at it
s dinner theater El Cabildo.

6/18/2012  Havana         Tryp Habana Libre                                     BLD

9:00 a.m. Attend a briefing at the Ministry of Higher Education (MES) on Cuba’s university system, including presentations by representatives of Havana schools as appropriate to interests of participants. Have lunch with the staff of MES and          presenting universities. (list below) 1:30 p.m.  Divide up for visits to the campuses of presenters or to universities under other ministries.  4:00 p.m. Meet at the museum and office of the Fundacion Nunez Jimenez for Nature and Humanity, a       non‑governmental institution dedicated to research and promotion of programs for the protection of the environment as it relates to culture and society and host of US student groups. 7:30 p.m. Dine at Paladar La Moneda de Cuba (with guests), then continue on to the rooftop terrace of Elsa Maria's home for an evening of Cuban music.

6/19/2012  Matanzas      Villa Tortuga Hotel Varadero                      BLD

8:00 a.m.  Depart Havana for Matanzas Province. Stop briefly at Cojimar, “site” of Hemingway’s The Old Man and The Sea.    11:00 a.m. Visit the University of Matanzas and have lunch with professors and administrators.  2:00 p.m. Drive   to Cardenas to meet with the Christian Center for Reflection and Dialogue (CCRD), an independent non-governmental organization,  which has hosted international student groups, to learn about its role in the community.  See its organic farm, biogas generator, and computer education program.  Dinner with staff and friends at CCRD followed by a local cultural program.

6/20/2012  Santa Clara  Los Caneyes Hotel                                     BLD

9:00 a.m. Depart for Santa Clara.  12:30  Have lunch with administrators and professors of the Central University "Marta Abreu" of Las Villas and the Medical School.  Visit campuses and the Che Memorial.  As time allows, visit           Parque Vidal and the square of the 12 families that moved from Remedios to found the city.  Dinner with guests.

6/21/2012  Sancti Spiritus   Hotel Los Laureles or casas particulares  BLD

8:30 a.m.  Depart for Sancti Spiritus.  10:00 a.m.  Visit the permaculture organic farm training and research project and museum of the Nunez Jimenez Foundation for Nature and Humanity (FNJ).  12:30 p.m. Lunch with FNJ staff   2:00 p.m.  Meet administrators and professors of the Centro Universitario de Sancti Spiritus (Marti Peres) and visit the campus.  7:00 p.m.  Dinner with guests from the university.

6/22/2012  Cienfuegos   Hotel Jagua                                               BLD

8:00 a.m.  Depart for Cienfuegos, stopping for refreshments at the Torre de Manaca Iznaga.  12:00 noon. Lunch with administrators and professors of the University Carlos Rafael Rodriguez, followed by a visit to the campus.   3:30 p.m.  Visit a      community project, hosted by Arq. Iran Millan, Director of Cienfuegos Office for City Conservation and Restoration.      6:00 p.m.  Dinner at a seaside paladar and casa particular Finca Los Colorados.

6/23/2012  Havana         Hotel Ambos Mundos                                BD

8:00 a.m. Depart for Havana; lunch on own, afternoon for assisted self-directed time (museums, performances, special interest appointments, artisan market, etc.) 6:30 p.m. Farewell working dinner at Atelier paladar; later evening free.  (Hotel Ambos Mundos was Ernest Hemingway’s residence prior to Finca Vijia)

6/24/2012  Miami                                                                              B

7:30 a.m.  Transfer to the airport for charter flight to Miami.

Land Costs: 

Per person in double occupancy:                       $2,550.00
Single occupancy supplement:                          $225.00

Cost includes: local Cuban guide, all items as indicated in the itinerary such as meals, accommodations, speakers, entrance fees, and group transportation; tips for guide and driver.

Cost does not include:  individual tips, tourist card for entry into Cuba, bottled water, departure tax of approximately $27 USD (25 CUC’s), and other items of a personal nature. 

Price is based on a minimum of 10 participants. If fewer than ten enroll, a surcharge will apply.   

Air Costs   (to be confirmed): 

Estimated price per person:                                   $ 650.00

This price is based on current availability and pricing which is subject to change until ticketed.  The price includes a Cuba Tourist Card and required insurance. 

Air cost does not include connecting flights from home gateway or hotel at the gateway.  Holbrook Travel is happy to assist with flights from your home gateway or you may make your own arrangements.    
Due to the time of departure from and return to Miami, this trip will likely require an overnight at an airport hotel on the outbound portion of your trip.  John McAuliff will be staying at the Miami International Airport Hotel, located within the terminal building.  Rooms at this hotel can be reserved for $170 per night including tax.  If you prefer another hotel, be sure that you are at airport check-in desk by no later than 7:30.

Please contact Laurie McLaughlin at Holbrook Travel at 800-451-7111 to discuss your air options or email

Important Notes & Requirements: 

This program is currently available only for participants who qualify for the general license for faculty and staff developing a student program for credit at a tertiary institution or who have a general license for professional research.     

Before purchasing any connecting air tickets that are non-refundable, wait until you are contacted to confirm we have a guaranteed minimum number of participants.  A minimum of 10 participants will be required for the trip and payments will be refunded if the trip cannot take place. 

Due to the short preparation time for this program, participants who wish to confirm participation must send full payment by May 1 to guarantee a hotel in Miami and onward flight to/from Havana.  After May 1, payment is refundable only if FFRD and Holbrook cancel the program.  

Optional travel/trip cancellation Insurance is strongly recommended
See or call Holbrook at 352-377-7111


Tertiary Institutions Located in the Province of Havana

(Not all listed will be included in the program.  Meetings will try to address the  interests indicated by participants on the registration form.)

Under the Ministry of Higher Education

Universidad de Habana
Universidad de Ciencias Informaticas
Polytechnic Institute "Jose A. Echeverria" (CUJAE)
Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Agricolas (INCA)
Universidad Agraria de la Habana
Instituto Superior de Diseno

Under other ministries

Universidad de Ciencias Pedagogicas Enrique Jose Varona
Universidad de las Artes (ISA)
La Escuela de la Medicina Veterinaria
Universidad de Ciencias de la Cultura Fisica y el Deporte "Manuel Fajardo"
Universidad de Ciencias Medicas de la Habana
Escuela Latinamericana de Medicina
Centro de Ingenieria Genetica y Biotecnologia
Centro Nacional de Rehabilitacion "Julio Diaz"
Acuario Nacional Cuba

For further information, contact John McAuliff,, 914-231-6270.   Our goal is 15 to 20 participants.  Holbrook Travel is encouraging enrollment by April 16th to assure participation.  Full payment is due May 1.  To obtain a registration form, contact Michelle Korczynski <> or call 1-800-396-0763.


  1. Iam really satisfy by your information.
    It's well-written, to the point, and relative to what I do.
    I like it very much for giving information on
    Excellent Informatica Online Training

  2. Great writing view!!

    We appreciate with your blog post and like it. Keep up sharing..


    Study Abroad