Sixty years ago, Ernest Hemingway witnessed Cuba moving toward revolution. The country’s transformative energy fueled him to write several of his most famous books, including Old Man and the Sea, A Moveable Feast, and Islands in the Stream.
Today, as the winds of change once again sweep through the island nation, Cuba is experiencing another revolution of sorts. Join esteemed writer and teacher Bill deBuys and, as Hemingway did years ago, tap into the vital energy of evolving Cuba to ignite the inspiration to write creative nonfiction pieces that speak of your discoveries and experiences meeting Cubans from all walks of life on this cultural exchange.
Cuba is one of the most fascinating and beguiling countries in the world, a vibrant and complex blend of history, people, and contemporary culture. Political tensions have all but hidden the enchanting Cuban culture and people from most Americans until recently. This people-to-people educational exchange offers a rare opportunity to engage with the Cuban people and discover and explore the country’s cultural diversity and her physical beauty with words as our tool of discovery.
Good writing is always an act of discovery, and never more so than when it entails the exploration of new environments and relationships. In this program, we pursue two principal goals: capturing a vivid sense of place and depicting vibrant, strong personalities. Our encounters with Havana and Havanans fuel our efforts to produce sketches of people and places, the building blocks of larger projects and broader understandings.
To enable you to become a better writer and truly begin to understand this enigmatic country, the spirited and gracious Cuban people are our focus. Each day, we venture out to experience the sensational culture of Cuba, visiting markets, dance companies, artist studios, sporting events, and street festivals. We 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. These rich personal experiences in Cuba are transformed into scenes and stories in our generative writing.
Our extraordinary experiences and subsequent writing lead us to a deeper and richer understanding of the people of Cuba and the changes that are taking the world’s breath away. Join Bill on this rich people-to-people cultural exchange and—with the written word as your center and guide—bear witness to this dramatic change in Cuba.
True to the requirements of a people-to-people General License with U.S. Treasury Department, Discovering Cuba: Writing about Place and Character, focuses on educational exchanges with Cuban people from all walks of life and recording their amazing lives with words.