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Cuba: Culture in Focus™

Cuba: Culture in Focus™

Capture and tell the stories of this small but resilient island in the Caribbean Sea


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  • Go on photo tours of Havana’s street scenes and hidden gems
  • Participate in workshops and image reviews with local photographers
  • Photograph landscapes on the Viñales biosphere reserve
  • Volunteer and support art projects benefiting urban families
  • Create work for a photo contest and expo at program’s end
  • Snorkel off a beach in the Cuban keys

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From dawn to past midnight, street life in Havana is a ballet in constant motion, alive with the pulse of the island’s rich culture. Against this dramatic backdrop we meet the gracious people of Cuba and learn to see more deeply. There is a difference between looking and seeing: To look is commonplace. To see is a gift. As photographers, truly seeing begins with the desire to explore your surroundings with sensitivity and playfulness, and learning to use your camera as a tool on this journey of discovery. Venture out to specially selected locations to meet the Cuban people and tell the stories of present-day Cuba: Dance studios, private homes, bustling Havana neighborhoods and rural Viñales provide wonderful photographic backdrops and opportunities to meet Cubans from all walks of life.

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Community Service

Extend a hand of friendship to Cuban residents when you spend time immersed in their communities, learning about restoration and social projects taking place in Old Havana. Visit Muraleando, a community art organization that, in its two-and-a-half years of existence, has managed to physically transform a struggling barrio into a People’s Art Gallery. The changes are spiritual as well: A sense of belonging has developed where residents now feel empowered to solve problems with their own efforts. In the countryside of Viñales, volunteer at the social enterprise Finca Paraiso, which is part organic farm, part family-run restaurant.

Hands-On Learning

Venture off the tourist path on “photo safaris” to explore the little-known and less-traveled backstreets of Havana and its fascinating neighborhoods. Learn how slowing down allows visual artists to perceive color and form in a given scene, and how this increased awareness can lay the foundation for the creative response that leads to making memorable photographs. Share lectures, demonstrations, assignments and supportive image reviews with Cuban photographers. These experts will offer advice and tips for working in the field as you practice your ability to use light and develop your skills.

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In addition to the photography itself, Cuba’s music, dance, architectural marvels, stunning natural landscapes—and, most of all, its spirited and gracious people—are all important focus areas of this program. Take salsa dancing lessons and find opportunities to capture the complex and exhilarating world of traditional and contemporary art here. Horseback ride in Viñales and witness its unique limestone domes, called mogotes. Enjoy the postcard-like beauty of the Cuban Keys with a day trip to Cayo Levisa, where you’ll get to snorkel and play volleyball on a white-sand beach.


Home Base will be at a restored, locally-owned hotel in Havana. Students will share rooms with roommates, typically with ensuite bathrooms, and enjoy communal meals as a group. Accommodations are basic, but clean and safe.

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Dates & Tuition

Cuba: Culture in Focus™ 10-Day Program
Duration: 10 days
Tuition: $3,999
Student/Staff Ratio: 6 to 1
Community Service Hours: 10
Language Hours: N/A
See What's Included
Tuition includes all in-country expenses including:
  • All educational materials
  • Lodging
  • 3 meals per day
  • All in-country transportation
  • Airport pick-up/drop-off
  • Professional full-time staff and experts from the USA/Europe
  • 24/7 Parent Support Hotline during the program
  • Secondary medical and travel insurance
  • All cultural activities, lectures and weekend excursions
  • Pre-departure materials and support
More Information

Interested in Family-Friendly trips? Check out Discover Corps, our volunteer vacations for adults and families, in collaboration with the National Peace Corps Association.

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