Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Southern Illinois University Launches Cooperation

SIUE working on exchange program with Cuban school

WEDNESDAY MAY 30, 2012, 3:58 PM

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville is negotiating plans for a partnership with the University of Havana in Cuba.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports Wednesday ( that a delegation of three Cuban professors is touring SIUE this week. They are giving guest lectures and meeting with SIUE officials to work out a relationship between the two schools. The partnership would mean Illinois students could study in Cuba and Cuban students could study in Illinois.

SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe is to travel to Havana in September to sign a formal agreement for the cultural and academic exchange program. SIUE established the Cuban and Caribbean Center in 2009.

Plans are already being made for Cuban students to visit SIUE in the spring.

Information from: Belleville News-Democrat,

Monday, May 28, 2012

Universities and Research Institutes

Universidades en Cuba 



Sunday, May 20, 2012

Indiana Travel Agent Promotes Collette Tour

Referred By: Lifestyle Tours
Collette Travel Service, Inc. d/b/a Collette Vacations (“Collette”) has been issued a license (license number CT-18568) by the Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) which authorizes registered guests of our programs, under the auspices of Collette, to legally travel to Cuba, to participate and engage in a full time schedule of authorized educational exchange activities in Cuba, which will involve meaningful interaction between you and people in Cuba. Prior to departure, Collette will provide you with a Letter of Authorization to confirm your legal travel status, the authorized travel agenda and activities, and your recordkeeping responsibilities.

Day 1: Sunday, July 15, 2012 Fly to Miami, Florida - Tour Begins 
Join us and explore the cultural and historic treasures of Cuba - just 90 miles off the coast of the United States - but a world away. Fly into Miami, our gateway to Cuba. Tonight, get acquainted with your fellow travelers during a welcome dinner at a popular Cuban restaurant. (D)

Day 2: Monday, July 16, 2012 Miami - Trinidad, Cuba 
Today your adventure begins as you fly from Miami to Cienfuegos Airport. Transfer to Trinidad, famous for its cobblestone streets and pastel-colored houses. Tonight, a welcome dinner at a local restaurant introduces you to the vibrant culture of the Cuban people. Afterwards, enjoy some live traditional music at your hotel. This includes a fascinating lecture on the instruments used to produce the distinctive “Sounds of Cuba." (B, D)

Day 3: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 Trinidad - Manaca Iznaga - Trinidad 
Visit Manaca Iznaga’s sugar factory and estate, located in the beautiful “Valle de los Ingenios,” or “Valley of the Sugar Mills.” Learn about sugar production and its importance to the Cuban economy. Enjoy lunch at the estate before learning about the local craft of linen-making from the residents. Next, embark on a Trinidad city tour. Visit the Palacio Cantero, the city’s history museum housed in a restored Neoclassical palace. Explore the Old Cathedral, churches, and unique houses of this museum of a city. This afternoon, visit a ceramic studio and participate in a hands-on pottery class while the owners discuss their traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Return to your hotel to enjoy some grilled local specialties at its outdoor restaurant. (B, L, D)

Day 4: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 Trinidad - Cienfuegos - Trinidad 
This morning, drive towards Cienfuegos, the city known as La Perla del Sur (The Pearl of the South). Visit the Cienfuegos Province Botanical Gardens, the oldest of its kind on the island. During a fascinating lecture, learn about the garden’s ties with Harvard University and its founding as a research center where a sugar mill once stood. After a picnic lunch, a city tour highlights the Catedral de la Purisima Concepcion. Later, set out on a spectacular harbor cruise* where local fishermen will share stories and insight into their industry. Tonight, dine at Club Cienfuegos, an elegant restaurant at Cienfuego’s marina, once home to the city’s yacht club. (B, L, D)

Day 5: Thursday, July 19, 2012 Trinidad - Bay of Pigs Museum - Havana 
Embark on a scenic drive this morning, past lush mountains and forests, charming country towns and farms and the pristine Caribbean Sea. Visit the Bay of Pigs Museum in Playa Giron. Through an interactive presentation given by museum staff, discover the history behind one of the major events of the Cold War and how the “Victory of Giron,” as it’s locally known, impacted Cuba. Enjoy lunch at La Cueva de los Peces, which is named for the nearby “Cave of the Fish,” a “cenote” or sinkhole filled with multicolored sea life. You may even spot Cuba’s national bird, the Tocororo, and some of the islands’ most colorful fish. Learn about preservation efforts from local marine biologists and conservationists. Next, travel across the countryside to Havana, Cuba’s energetic capital. Explore the Hotel Nacional, an iconic national landmark. Tonight, dine at the Divina Pastora Restaurant overlooking Havana and its harbor. Visit La Cabaña Castle and take in the Cañonazo, Havana’s cannon firing ceremony. (B, L, D)

Day 6: Friday, July 20, 2012 Havana 
Step back in time as you tour Old Havana. Learn about the city’s architecture and restoration efforts as you visit the Maqueta de le Ciudad de La Habana Museum which houses a model of the city and listen to a lecture from a city planner. Enjoy lunch at El Patio, located in an 18th-century mansion overlooking the cathedral. Visit the inspiring Catedral de la Habana. Meet the students of a primary school in the city’s center and enjoy a talk given by the school administrator. Visit the Caritas Cuba, a Catholic non-governmental charity focusing on at-risk persons, notably the elderly and physically challenged. Tonight, enjoy Cuban favorites as you dine at El Aljibe, just outside the city. (B, L, D)

Day 7: Saturday, July 21, 2012 Havana - Guanabacoa - Havana 
While visiting an orphanage in Havana, meet with the nuns who dedicate their lives to helping these children. Next, discover the secret of Cuban cigars at a cigar factory and learn why they are treasured around the world. Savor lunch at La Torre restaurant overlooking the city. Travel to the colonial township of Guanabacoa and learn about Afro-Cuban religion while at its museum. Explore the Cuban Fine Arts Museum and enjoy a presentation given by a local art historian. Dinner is included tonight as you visit one of Havana’s paladars, a small specialty restaurant. Meet the proprietors of this family-run and privately-owned business as they share their stories about opening a privately run restaurant in Cuba. (B, L, D)

Day 8: Sunday, July 22, 2012 Havana - Ernest Hemingway Home - Casa Fuster - Havana 
Visit the home of Ernest Hemingway, Finca Vigía (Lookout Farm). It was here that he conceived his final masterpiece, The Old Man and the Sea. This cultural time capsule remains much like it did when the author left in 1960. Next, head over to the Casa Fuster, the colorful home to Jose Fuster. One of his apprentices or even the artist himself will be on hand to talk about his work, inspired by Gaudi. Experience lunch at La Ferminia, a popular restaurant that resides at the end of the legendary 5th Avenue. Visit the Latin American Medical School to meet American, Cuban and foreign-born medical students and talk to them about their goals, schooling, what their plans are after graduation, and the challenges of studying medical care abroad. Later, visit the U.S. Interests Section and learn about U.S. policy towards Cuba. This evening, take a trip to the Plaza de San Francisco de Asis in one of the antique American cars that the city is known for. Finally, savor dinner at the Cafe del Oriente as you celebrate an amazing journey to Cuba. (B, L, D)

Day 9: Monday, July 23, 2012 Havana - Miami, Florida - Tour Ends 
Fly from Havana to Miami. Your tour ends today. (B)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Budget Travel Promotes Friendly Planet


Cuba, Air, Tours, 4 Nights, From $2,099

See historic Havana and Hemingway's haunts with this (legal) vacation package to Cuba.

A taxi ride through Cuba
This educational trip to Cuba includes a packed itinerary of scenic sights and cultural interactions.
 (Courtesy Tuckerg/myBudgetTravel)
The Real Deal Vacation package to Cuba includes round-trip air between Miami and Havana via a U.S. government-licensed charter service; four nights at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba or similar; twelve meals (four breakfasts, four lunches, and four dinners); a complete touring program, including entrance fees; and most taxes and fees, from $2,099 per person.
When Oct. 3, 17, 2012 ($2,099); Jul. 25, Aug. 1, 15, 29, Nov. 28, 2012 ($2,199); Dec. 26, 2012 ($2,499).
Gateways Miami (from $2,099).

The Fine Print All air and hotel taxes and fees are included in the package price, as is the Cuba visa fee. The package also includes the necessary travel authorization from the U.S. Treasury Department. A $30 Cuba Departure Tax is not included and is to be paid separately. Based on double occupancy; the single supplement is $199 ($359 for Dec. 26, 2012 departure).  Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book By May 23, 2012 (from $2,099); add $300 for bookings made after May 23.
Why It's a Deal Until recently, Cuba has been off-limits to American travelers. In the past few years, the U.S. government has worked with a number of travel providers to operate travel programs to Cuba, but independent travel is still restricted. This travel deal from Friendly Planet provides a full itinerary of cultural and historical events, airfare, four nights in Havana, and all necessary paperwork, for a government-approved trip to one of the Caribbean's most unique islands. And if you book soon, you'll save $300 off the regular price.
More Friendly Planet offers pre- and post-trip nights at the Crowne Plaza Miami for $60 per person, per night (single supplement is $50), including airport transfers. The agency also offers a separate seven-night Cuba package starting at $3,399.

Read more:,8616/#ixzz1vDx705vV

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pasadena Chamber of Commerce

In the interest of the greater Pasadena Business Community

Pasadena Chamber of Commerce header image 2

Travel to Cuba with Pasadena Chamber members-informational meeting May 16th

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, in association with our sister chambers in Burbank and Glendale, are offering the opportunity to be among the first to
Unspoiled history
legally visit Cuba. With our travel partner Chamber Destinations, our three chambers are collaborating to offer our members a trip to Cuba. With a direct flight from Los Angeles (LAX) you can visit the unspoiled, preserved Cuba this October. Travelers will depart from LAX on October 16th and return nine days later.
The Chamber is hosting an informational meeting on the Cuba trip on Wednesday, May 16th at 6pm in the Solarium at Villa Gardens at 842 East Villa Street in Pasadena. FREE parking is available in the lot to the west of Villa Gardens. The meeting is free and open to anyone interested in travel to Cuba.
Our travel partner Chamber Explorations offers over 100 years of group travel experience, a nationwide team of travel consultants and first class people to people travel programs. They are committed to providing the highest level of service, quality and value to our chamber organizers and travelers.
The following is included in the Chamber trip to Cuba:
Exotic Cuba
  • Round trip nonstop air from Los Angeles (LAX) to Havana.
  • Eight nights in first class  hotels;
  • 21 full meals;
  • Small group touring;
  • Daily sightseeing and admissions;
  • All programs feature modern motor coaches, baggage handling and airport transfers;
  • Cuba entry visa (Tourist Card);
  • Cuban medical insurance;
  • Time to explore on your own, if you choose.
For information or to RSVP for the informational meeting, call            626-795-3355       or email There is no obligation to attend the informational meeting on May 16th. Hurry, space is limited.
The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association is a professional business organization. Since the earliest days of Pasadena, the Chamber has played a major role in the development of this internationally renowned city. Since 1888, when the organization was founded as the Board of Trade, the Chamber’s primary purpose has been the enhancement of both the business climate and the quality of life in Pasadena. The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce serves 1500 members.