Journey to the island floating in the Caribbean where dramatic change is transforming a nation and its people before our eyes. Now truly is the time to experience the enigma known as Cuba and immerse yourself in its energy to fuel your creative writing skills. With writer Natalie Goldberg as your inspirational guide, you discover that Cuba represents not just another travel opportunity, but the chance to become richer in thought, spirit, and vision—both as a person and as a writer.
A true creative writer paints pictures in the reader’s mind. Cuba is a tropical paradise with a storied history where intrigue, romance, and uncertainty are woven into the fabric of everyday life. It is not enough to say: It was beautiful. I had a lot of fun. We must strive to communicate our experiences through evocative details. On this one-of-a-kind cultural exchange, we make pictures with words and sketch the scenes before us with language.
With captivating Havana as our springboard, our group sets out through the streets and neighborhoods to engage the Cuban people and culture through meaningful people-to-people contact. Each day we venture out, visiting markets, dance companies, artist studios, sporting events, street festivals, and musical performances—journeys that allow each participant to exchange ideas with Cuban artists, students, musicians, farmers, small business and restaurant owners, dancers, and fishermen.
In association with UNEAC (Cuban National Writers and Artists Union), we visit Cuban writers in their neighborhoods. We also make a special visit to Finca Vigía (Lookout Farm)—Hemingway’s plantation home just outside of Havana, where he wrote The Old Man and the Sea—and then travel the short distance to Cojimar, the fishing village where the novel is set.
Our home for the week is Converto Santa Brigida, a beautifully restored convent in the heart of Old Havana, one block from Plaza Vieja. Featuring simple but comfortable accommodations with private bathrooms, light-filled group meeting spaces, a breakfast room, a library, a chapel, and Italian nuns as our lovely hosts, the convent is a serene base to return to after our daily adventures in bustling Havana and the nearby countryside.
Cloistered from the high energy of the city, Natalie devotes time to guiding you to create words and stories that give voice to your experiences. We share our work, write together, listen deeply, receive new writing assignments, and review assigned reading by Cuban authors and invite them for evening salons at the convent. Short meditations and practice in slow walking enable us to better receive and digest all our encounters.
Our extraordinary experiences and subsequent writing lead us to a deeper and richer understand of the people of Cuba and the changes that are taking the world’s breath away. Join Natalie in Havana, bear witness to this dramatic tipping point in Cuba, and forge a higher connection to your passion for writing.
Visit the General Information section for Cancellation and Transfer information specific to our programs in Cuba.