Good Things Come to Those Who Wait! Although my teams in Europe could always arrange Cuban hotels and guiding, the political situation didn’t offer us a legal avenue to arrange trips for our clients.
I’m thrilled to share one of my favorite firms whom I have worked with for 12 years is now offering private trips to Cuba. Always seeking the best partnerships to manage our clients on the ground, I am now completely confident to offer private Cuba to our clients.
I will repeat the maxim: good things come for those who wait. The Cuban infrastructure wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of the tourists now, thus we encourage you to plan 6 months in advance for a trip to Cuba.
We would describe these visits as People to People Journeys, always encouraging our clients to meet locals and absorb customs and culture in every visit to a foreign land.
The few five star hotels are located in the major cities, however we also have access to quite a few private homes in Havana and other rural areas.
Flights for the moment are out of Miami, however that could change within a year.
A brief look at the possibilities for a visit to Cuba:
In addition to the more common requests for activities like baseball and the ballet, their team is in the process of launching a family multi sport trip and a more off the beaten path trips that go out into the provinces.
Music & Dance
Alberto Faya: professor of music takes us through history of Cuban music with a group of his private performers
Cuban Jazz (out and about or private orchestra) + salsa (demo or lessons) + Afro-Cuban
Afro-Cuban drumming lessons with Cuban masters
Cuban Flamenco troops: similar to Spanish but Caribbean/ Cuban rhythms
Compas: unique merging of Spanish dances with the Afro-Cuban rhythms and contemporary dance through new aesthetic codes, in which the female dancers not only dance, but also use percussion, using any element at hand: drumsticks, castanets, heels, wood slipper, claves, chequers, and percussive chairs.
Ballet (National) and also rehearsals and also ProDanza (Laura Alonso who is the daughter of very famous Alicia Alonso)
Afro-Cuban National Dance company https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_rCFYknChA
Customized art tour to see a wide variety of artists from emerging to very established/ famous/ at top galleries around the world.
Many of the galleries have no signage and you need appointments and personal connections.
Some of the galleries are actually extensions of people’s homes (eg: I went to super famous photographers basement studio)
Wide range of artists from emerging artists, to women’s collectives, photographers, established artists (for serious collectors), painters, sculptors, and more. Havana is one of Latin America’s epicenters for art. We have specialized art curators that we work with that can take us around to all of the private galleries.
Active & Nature
Mountain biking in Vinales: tons of levels options and incredibly scenic. Go through the local villages and then through the valleys of magotes, which are limestone mountains.
Snorkeling to see super awesome coral reefs (did you know Cuba is an archipelago of 4,000 islands?)
Meet with local farmers in the beautiful Vinales valley
Birding in Zapata peninsula
Meet with scientists and conservationists
Hiking in Topes de Collantes (close to Trinidad)
This is one of Cuba’s largest National Parks with one of the biggest waterfalls
Academic & Religion
Professors, economists, authors/ writers, journalists, architects, visit to the local synagogue, talk with a Santeria expert (this is the Afro-Cuban religion).
There were two talented young Cuban artists I met in San Francisco, this work belongs to Lisandra. Very colorful, distinctive and evocative images. TEXT FROM HAVANA CULTURA http://havana-cultura.com/en/visual-arts/fragil-lisandra-isabel-garcia-lopez
Lisandra wants to continue with her previous work that explores identity and individuality through the displaying of personal, everyday objects. She built a room missing one of its walls so as to make it accessible to the spectator. The three walls are covered with paintings representing the artist’s personal belongings. On the floors, we find several figures lying down. Four large glasses display human faces painted with a sandblaster, and a light pointed at them results in the images being reflected on the walls.
Below is an extract from her project statement that resumes this piece’s themes:
“My intention with this piece is to work on the subject of intimate introspection which I have been developing for some time now, essentially through self-referential pieces. I want to create a personal world from my own experiences, experimenting with various materials and supports in order to take drawing to a different dimension.
I intend to continue exploring what’s ordinary, intimate, and feminine, representing in my work objects from my own domestic environment to highlight my taste, motivation, and sensibilities, and reflect on the permeability towards the environment that surrounds us.
The notion of transparency is a very important element that is always present in my work. Transparency, to me, means, above all, sensibility towards common and simple things. It also means fragility, vulnerability, and permeability to outside influences and to the things that are part of our lives and we interact with on a daily basis.
I find the contrast interesting because of the juxtaposition of opposed concepts which are, at the same time, complementary. These concepts are represented by the materials from which the piece is built. To give an example, I use glass because it is transparent, fragile, breakable, and delicate, but also resistant, firm, solid, strong, and lasting.”
Lisandra Isabel García López was born in Havana in 1989. She is currently a student at the Higher Institute of Arts and a graduate from the San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts. Lisandra has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including Torbellino II (Galería Habana, Havana, 2011); Interna cognición (National Union of Artists and Writers, Havana, 2010); and Viene el lobo (el verdadero loop) (Factoría Habana, Havana, 2010). In 2010, she was awarded the second prize at the Cubafoto photography festival (Pablo de la Torriente Brau Cultural Center, Havana). She has taken part in academic and artistic exchange programs with New York University (USA), the University of Arts and Social Sciences (Germany), and Cardinal Wiseman High School (UK).
In her words: In my works I propose the evasion of reality as personal art concept and creative strategy. The self-reference is determined by this attitude that doesn’t turns into apathy but into conscious reconversion of the reality that surrounds me. I construct, in an almost autobiographic way, an introspective world where I display my own evasion fantasies, and where I try to find refuge. I create it from my own life experience and my personal universe. In that world I transmute fragments of my body, quotidian environments and objects. I turn them into something filled with a personal meaning, that allows me, imaginatively, get refuge from the rest of the world and, at the same time, highlight certain sorts of likes, customs, motivations and sensibilities.
Lisandra Isabel García López Havana, 1989.
Actually works as an art specialist at the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, in Havana.
2013 Graduates the Faculty of Visual Arts at the Higher Institute of Arts, in Havana
2008 Graduates from the San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts, in Havana.
2013Soft Glass. Villa Manuela Gallery. UNEAC. Havana.
2012Adolescent artist self-portrait. CMBF. Radio Musical Nacional. Havana.
2010Imitation of Life. Miramar Trade Center Art Gallery, Havana.
2009Inventory 55. Ludwig Foundation of Cuba. Havana. Adolescent artist self-portrait. Oswaldo Guayasamín Gallery, Havana.
2008 Thesis Adolescent artist self-portrait. José Antonio Díaz Peláez Gallery, San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts, Havana.
2014 En Rosa.Collage Habana Gallery. Havana, Cuba.
2013 Cuba Contemporánea. Centro Cultural Manoir de Cologny. Geneva, Switzerland.
La herencia de la tradición pictórica. Show of Cuban Digital Arts organized by Pablo de la Torriente Brau Cultural Center. Casona Municipal. Córdoba, Argentina.
La herencia de la tradición pictórica. Muestra Show of Cuban Digital Arts organized by Pablo de la Torriente Brau Cultural Center. Fedro Gallery. Salta, Argentina.SenseLAB, Collateral Exhibition 11th Havana Biennial, Art History and Literature Faculty, Havana. http://www.senselab.info
International Contest on Surrealist Photography Eibar 2007. Plaza de Untzaga. Ayuntamiento de Eibar. Guipúzcoa. Spain.
Efecto, Acción y Reacción. Carmelo González Gallery. Cultural Center, Plaza Municipality, Havana.
2012 Havana Cultura Residence. Havana Cultura Visual Art Projects. Havana Club Internacional.
2010 Second prize Cubafoto. 5×7 Photo Festival, Pablo de la Torriente Brau Cultural Center, Havana.
Génesis Art Galleries Prize. 5×7 Photo Festival, Pablo de la Torriente Brau Cultural Center. Havana..
Special Prize of the Cultural Management at Habana del Este Municipality. XVI Erotic Art
Exhibition. Fayad Jamís Gallery, Arts and Literature Center. Habana del Este.
First Prize. XVI Erotic Art Exhibition. Fayad Jamís Gallery, Arts and Literature Center.
Habana del Este, Havana.
2007 Mention at the IX Exhibition of Digital Arts. Pablo de la Torriente Brau Cultural Center, Havana.
Conferences and Talks
2012Mirar desde la sospecha. Representaciones de género en las Artes Visuales. UNEAC. Havana.
2009Inventory 55. Ludwig Foundation of Cuba. Havana.
2012, 2013 Piece Donation to auction for the fight against cancer, organized by Ludwig Foundation of Cuba and Canada Embassy in Cuba.
2010Tisch Documentary Production Workshop by Professor Robert Pietri. Special programs of Tisch School of The Arts, NYU. Ludwig Foundation of Cuba. Havana.
2009Sense Lab Workshop. Exchange project between the Cuban Higher Institute of Arts, Cuba, and Alanus, University of Arts and Social Sciences, Germany, by Professors Antonio Correa, Frency Fernández, Andrea Sunder-Plassmann, and Dagmar Wöhler. http://www.senselab.info
2006-2007 Exchange Project Cuba-UK Solidarity in Art, between Cardinal Wiseman High School and the San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts. Havana, 2006/London, 2007.