Fascinating and paradoxical, the small but resilient island of Cuba is once again an island of light and song and hope. Seeing 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.
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, designed to enable you to better understand the enigmatic country that is just 90 miles south of Florida.
Our home for the week is Convento 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.
Life is lived on the streets in Havana. From dawn to past midnight, the ballet of street life in Cuba’s capitol city is in constant motion and alive with the pulse of the island’s rich culture. As such, Havana is a city that is best seen and discovered on foot. Together we venture off the tourist path to explore and discover the little known and less-traveled backstreets of the city and its fascinating neighborhoods.
We embark on a voyage of discovery to a Santeria priest’s secluded home and we gain unusual access to an Afro-Cuban dance company’s private practice to witness and photograph its stirring messages. The limber athleticism of pre-teen girls at a ballet school is juxtaposed the next day by the valiant but somewhat suspect bravado at a boy’s boxing gym. In the leafy suburb of Vedado, we visit a remarkable, time-faded mansion and its equally remarkable owner to photograph Cuba’s splendor in the 1950s. The hidden gem of a farming town just outside the city limits offers a relaxed afternoon strolling the hard packed streets meeting families as they prepare for the end of their work day. A nearby fishing enclave provides a picture-perfect backdrop of scrappy but reliable boats, a mangrove swamp, and sun-weathered faces for portraits and memorable tall tales.
Our 8-day, U.S. government-approved educational program offers a cultural exchange with the Cuban people, as well as experiences rich in stunning photography and deep learning. Catherine’s scintillating and perceptive one-on-one review sessions help you take your photography to a new level, as you are guided to really see deep into your images.
All told, our week together is all about special access and extraordinary experiences that only comes when traveling on a Santa Fe Workshops journey to Cuba, in partnership with talented photographers Catherine and Tricia, and with the support of the English-speaking Cuban photographers who live in Havana and serve as our local hosts and translators. In alliance with Cuba’s premier photographic organization, Fototeca de Cuba, and its director, Nelson Ramírez, our unique program allows participants memorable experiences in Cuba through the photographer’s eye.
True to the requirements of a people-to-people General License with U.S. Treasury Department, Seeing Cuba focuses on educational exchanges with the Cuban people and recording their amazing lives with our cameras.