It is said that every Cuban is born to dance. It is in their blood. And music is a way of life and the heartbeat of the country. Cuba wouldn't be the delightful island that it is without the rhythm of salsa or the pulsating beat of an Afro-Cuban rumba. The arts, in general, are held in high esteem throughout the island and nowhere more so than the historic cultural center of Camagüey. This people-to-people cultural exchange led by frequent Cuban traveler Elizabeth Opalenik offers a unique opportunity to meet, engage with and photograph Cuban dancers, musicians and visual artists. In doing so we discover the complex and exhilarating world of traditional and contemporary art and culture in Cuba – the mysterious isle floating in the Caribbean.
Culturally sophisticated Camagüey is our home base for the week. Settled in 1528, it’s Cuba’s third largest city and a place of beauty, culture, and artistic tradition. The city’s delightful historic center, considered the largest and most well preserved on the island, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. Camaguey is well known for its labyrinthine layout of narrow, twisting streets and irregular blocks that surprise and inspire travelers with its hidden architectural gems, small plazas, and friendly residents.
Cuba is an intoxicating and rhythmic paradise. Where there is dance there is music. Everything from sensual salsa to rhumba to classical ballet, Cuban music and dance is a fertile mixture of African and European influences. Music spills out of every nook and cranny in the city. We visit contemporary and traditional dance companies that have survived the political and economical changes of this small and resilient island. In addition to our focus on dancers and musicians, local artisans open their studios for us to learn about their creative lives.
To offer you unparalleled access to the world of art and culture in Camagüey, English speaking Cuban photographers will 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 Ramirez, our unique program allows U.S. participants to learn about Cuba's long and colorful history and have educational exchanges with Cuban dancers, musicians and artists.
Join Elizabeth and our experienced staff for this 8-day U.S. government-approved educational exchange program to meet the Cuban people and discover an authentic Cuba that lies beneath the tourist veil. The music, the dance, the creative energy, 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. Experience The Rhythm and Pulse of Cuba through your own eyes. True to the requirements of a people-to-people General License with U.S. Treasury Department
, The Rhythm and Pulse of Cuba focuses on educational exchanges with the Cuban people and recording their amazing lives with our camera.