Picturing Cuba: Havana and Viñales
Registrations and deposits are now being accepted for this program. To reserve your space, download the application form (PDF) (right click the link and select Save Link As...) and open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader (or Pro) and submit it to us via email or fax.
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As the eyes of the world turn to the small but resilient island in the Caribbean Sea, Picturing Cuba offers you the rare opportunity to engage with the Cuban people and to discover the country’s cultural diversity and physical beauty with your camera. Alluring, urban Havana and serene, verdant Viñales are our primary locations to explore. Join photographer and experienced Cuba traveler Syl Arena for a memorable journey to this beguiling country before it changes forever.
Cuba offers an experience like no other. A tropical paradise with a storied past, where intrigue, romance, and uncertainty are woven into the fabric of everyday life, Cuba is at a turning point in its history. It’s a potent mix of contradictions: socialism, newly approved private enterprise, and some of the richest soils on the planet still being tilled by oxen; relaxed Caribbean island culture and vibrant big-city life; chrome-laden vintage American cars juxtaposed with new Chinese made taxis and tour buses.
To offer you unparalleled access to the citizens and culture of Cuba, English-speaking Cuban photographers who live in Havana and Viñales serve as our local hosts and translators for this cultural exchange. In alliance with Cuba’s premier photographic organization, Fototeca de Cuba, and its director, Nelson Ramírez, our unique program allows U.S. participants to learn about Cuba's long and colorful history and have educational exchanges with Cubans from all walks of life.
Our 8-day, U.S. government-approved educational exchange program visits the cultural centers of Old Havana and the nearby neighborhoods to meet the Cuban people and discover the authentic Cuba that lies beneath the tourist veil. After two full days in bustling Havana, we journey by motor coach to the Viñales Valley, a World Heritage Site and the premier tobacco-growing region in Cuba. Many consider this valley the most beautiful place in Cuba. We spend two nights in the valley and take full advantage of the long days, visiting local farms and cooperatives to witness and learn about rural life in Cuba. We return to Havana for the final two days of our Cuba adventure.
Join Syl and our experienced staff in Cuba for an organized educational exchange through the forbidden isle and experience Picturing Cuba through your own eyes. The music, dance, sports, local produce markets, architectural marvels, stunning landscapes and, most of all, the spirited and gracious Cuban people are the focus of this program that will enable you to better understand this fascinating country just 90 miles south of Miami.
True to the requirements of a people-to-people license with U.S. Treasury Department, Picturing Cuba focuses on educational exchanges with the Cuban people and recording their amazing lives with our cameras. There will not be structured photo instruction nor group critiques.
Syl Arena first traveled to Cuba with The Workshops in April, 2013. A photographer with more than 40 years of experience, Syl is obsessed with light—seeing it, feeling it, and sharing it. He is equally fascinated with shadow. By taking a pictorial rather than documentary approach to photography, he freely shapes these two elements to create images that convey the personas of his subjects. In addition to being the author of the internationally best-selling Speedliter's Handbook and Lighting for Digital Photography, Syl also writes about lighting and photography on his blog, www.pixsylated.com. His web site is www.sylarena.com.
$3,995 per person. Package includes: double occupancy for 5 nights in Havana (Hotel Parque Central) and 2 nights in Viñales (Hotel La Ermita); single supplement add $600; breakfast daily plus two group meals; airport transfers and ground transportation in Cuba; and all required visas and licenses. Hotel expenses in Miami and airfare to Miami and Havana not included; round-trip charter airfare between Miami and Havana is approximately $500.
Syl Arena: Syl Arena, a photographer with more than 40 years of experience, is obsessed with light— seeing it, feeling it, and sha...
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