Cuba Trade Mission, November 18-23, 2014

Cuba Notes

Cuba has been making many changes to its laws.  There is rudimentary capitalistic activity going on such as buying and selling property, privately owned restaurants, making and selling of tourist items.  We will learn just what export and import opportunities there may be.  The cost of this trip will be published soon.  We guarantee that the NBCC will not add profit into the cost.  In other words, we will not make one cent from the rate.  Our travel agency will set the price in a few weeks.  Deposits will start being accepted approximately by mid – May with final payment due by the end of August.  This will rival any trip you have ever made.

Any questions should be forwarded to Kay DeBow at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Cuba Itinerary Page 1

Join the National Black Chamber of Commerce on this unique opportunity to discover the many “Faces of Cuba"

Experience a unique social system, government and culture! Meet with entrepreneurs, economists, educators and everyday people while enjoying art, music, history and all that Cuba has to offer.


Martin Luther King Center
Cuban Chamber of Commerce
Museum of Guanabacoa/Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria
Museum of Literacy
National Cuban Art Collection
Finca Vigia – Hemingways home of 21 years
UNESCO Heritage Site – Old Havana
Organic farm with lunch at a paladar
Ration store and Agri-market
Meetings with influential Cubans

Stimulate your five senses while exploring this island for one week…
The impact will touch your hearts and minds forever!


Day 1, Tuesday, November 18, Miami / Havana (L, D)

• Today we arrive in Havana after a short charter flight from Miami (it’s only an hour!) where you will be meet your Cuban guide and driver who will accompany us on our journey
• En route to Havana, we’ll stop at Plaza de Revolucion for a group photo
• Visit to the Museo de la Revolución, learn about Cuban's history in modern times and how the revolution came about. This fascinating museum houses the most complete exhibit of revolutionary history including the Granma Memorial, the vessel that brought Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, and other revolutionaries from Mexico to Cuba in 1956.
• Our first lunch is set on the Bay of Havana. This panoramic view is sure to delight.
• Visit to El Morro Fortress - built in 1589, this fortress dominates the entrance to the Havana Harbor and is one of the most important symbols of Havana
• Check into our hotel
• Time to unpack, change money and get situated before dinner
• Dinner at the El Templete – if you are an Anthony Bourdain fan, this was one of his favorites in Cuba!
• After dinner walk on Obispo Street to get a flavor of Cuba’s traditional Cuban music in Old Havana. Stop at La Floridita, where Hemingway drank daiquiris or the newly re-opened Sloppy Joe's which houses the longest bar in Latin America.

Day 2, Wednesday, November 19: Havana (B, L)

• After breakfast at the hotel we will depart for a walking tour of the UNESCO Heritage site - Old Havana; Exploring the four restored plazas, which date back to the 16th century, you will witness the greatest wealth of Spanish colonial architecture in the western hemisphere. Many of the old residences, government buildings and churches are actively being renovated under the leadership of Eusebio Leal, official historian of the city; we will learn how this renaissance is having a financial impact on Old Havana.

• Peeking into Plaza Vieja Primary School will give us a glimpse of education in Cuba
• Visit the Maqueta de la Habana the scale model of city of Havana and learn how the city was planned, grew, and the present restoration efforts.
• Our people to people visits continue as we enjoy a rehearsal of one Cubas famed dance companies
• Lunch at the historic Hotel Nacional. This hotel was built in 1930s and has been frequented by many famous actors and mobsters. Situated on the Malecon (sea wall), we will enjoy sweeping city views from the gardens and tour the hall of fame bar and more. The opulence and elegance of this hotel will transport you back in time.
• Meeting with the Cuban Chamber of Commerce - learn about new economic initiatives.
• Visit the Feria - Almacenes San Jose, a former harbor warehouse restored by the Office of the City Historian to facilitate an environmental structure where crafts people can display and sell their crafts.
• Dinner on your own - This is a good time to try a paladar, a privately owned establishment; many which have opened recently since the new economic reforms have been adopted in Cuba.

Day 3, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20: Havana (B, L)

• After breakfast at hotel we will begin the day with a Speaker well versed on Cuban economics.
• Depart for “School City” which houses the Cuban Literacy Museum. Here we will learn about the success of the 1961 literacy campaign. We will meet with the director of the museum who will passionately explain how this national effort resulted in over a 97% literacy rate on the island. Now you will understand why Cuba is proud of their educational system.
• Lunch at Ferminia - beautiful restaurant in Miramar
• Continue to Jaiminitas to visit Casa-Estudio de Fuster, the studio-home of Jose Fuster, commonly called the ‘Picasso of the Caribbean. Meet with the artist or his representative who will tell us about his community project. Time to tour his unique studio, home and neighborhood and see how it has changed the lives of many in the area.
• Learn about NGO’s and race relations on the island when we meet with the director of the Martin Luther King Center.
• Dinner on own - Paladar

Day 4, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21: Havana (B, L)

• Breakfast at hotel
• A special discussion awaits where we will learn about imports and exports on the island.
• A walk through history of Cuban society awaits us at the Colon Cemetery; founded in 1871 and the largest cemetery in the Caribbean at 125 acres and considered the 4th most important cemetery in the world. In this architectural gem, you will learn about the history of Cuba though the stories of many important Cubans who are buried here.
• Lunch at Sloppy Joe’s Bar which recently re-opened after a 48 year absence. This is one of Hemingways haunts along with claiming to have the longest bar in Latin America.
• University of Havana – learn about higher education in Cuba, how Cubans decide on their professions, the cost of a university degree and much more as we walk this campus which was established in 1902
• Visit with vendors at a local agri-market. We will learn about the new laws that allow farmers to rent land from the state, sell produce directly to the public, pay axes, etc.
• Visit a local ration store where Cubans use the ration book - "la libreta". Talk with locals about the foods that are available with the ration cards and how they make ends meet.
• Dinner on own – good night to try Tropicana night club!

Day 5, SATURDAY NOVEMBER : Havana (B, L, D)

• Breakfast at hotel and then we will drive to outskirts of Havana to visit the Museum of Afro-Cuban religions in Guanabacoa. We will learn about the religion brought by Africans from western Nigeria and fused with the Catholicism known as Santeria. We will talk about myths, babalaos (the high priests) and be treated to an interactive folkloric performance of dance and music.
• Our day continues on as we head to San Francisco de Paula to visit Finca Vigia, the museum/home of Ernest Hemingway which was left intact after his departure. The famed writer lived here for 21 years while he called Cuba his favorite home. Explore the grounds and see “Pilar” along with an original “Picasso”.
• Lunch today is a treat… it is in one of Cuba’s newest and most successful paladars that also has its own private organic farm, La Yoandra, on the property. We will meet with one of the workers of the land and enjoy a tour of this amazing Cuban farm; learn how a private farmer is developing this acreage and his plans for the future. We then eat eat at Il Divino Paladar – which uses many of its ingredients from their farm. Meet with the owner to discuss new laws regarding paladars. Enjoy a visit to the its wine cellar and witness one of the best and most complete wine cellars in Cuba.
• Bellas Artes Museum – private guided tour of the Cuban national collection of fine arts. Learn about the history of Cuba through the Arts.
• Farewell dinner at Café del Oriente - chance to have a caucus and discuss how this trip has impacted our participants.

Day 6, Sunday, November 23: Havana / Miami (B)

• After our last breakfast at hotel we will check out of hotel
• Say our goodbyes to Cuba and leave a little of our hearts with our new friends
• Connection flight to your home destination (please make this as late as possible)

** Trip itineraries are subject to change due to factors outside of our control. Trip licensed by Other Cuban Journeys, LLC.

The cost of the trip is $3,600.00.  Included in the expenses are:
 6 days in Cuba, 5 nights
 Round Trip Air from Miami – Havana
 Five star hotel accommodations in Cuba at a 5 star hotel
 Meals of 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 2 dinners
 Opportunity to try privately owned Paladars and sample some of the best cuisine of Cuba
 Land transportation in Cuba by a driver with many years of service
 Services of an experienced Cuban, English speaking professional guide who has much knowledge of the Cuban community, politics, education, medical system, arts, economics, etc.
 Entrance fees to the important cultural and historic sites
 Medical insurance while in Cuba – this does not cover preexisting conditions
 US airport departure tax
 Cuban visa fee (if Cuban born, additional fees apply)
 Gratuities to wait staff at included meals and bellboys in Cuba
 Accompanied by experienced tour director who has spent the past 14 years with a presence on the island

Not included:

 Trip cancellation insurance – highly recommended. Cancellation for any reason prior to trip can cause you to lose all money paid.
 Tips for guide and driver
 Departure tax from Cuba
 Domestic airfare to Miami
 Excess baggage charges