Once again, the eyes of the world turn to the small but resilient island in the Caribbean Sea. On June 16, 2017, President Trump announced changes to the Cuba sanctions program that include new restrictions on travel to the island. The President instructed Department of the Treasury to issue regulations that will end individual people-to-people travel; however, group people-to-people educational travel with an authorized organization is still permitted.
Santa Fe Photographic Workshops is an experienced leader for group travel to Cuba through people-to-people cultural exchanges and is authorized and licensed by Department of the Treasury. In addition to Havana, we have programs to areas well outside the tourist centers including Pinar del Río, the colonial city of Camagüey, and the eastern cities of Santiago and Bayamo. Over the last seven years we have discovered places and people no other organization has access to. Our trips to Cuba offer our travelers unique experiences that are authentically Cuban.
In alliance with Cuba’s premier photographic organization, Fototeca de Cuba, and its director, Nelson Ramírez, our unique programs allow U.S. participants to learn about Cuba’s long and colorful history and engage directly with Cubans from all walks of life.
Our small group sizes encourage compelling educational and photographic experiences. Each program is led by a world-renowned photographer who contributes their instruction and insights. English-speaking Cuban photographers assist and provide expertise to the programs; their local knowledge is the passport to experiencing Cuba well beyond that of the average visitor.
Since 2010 we have taken more than 1,500 photographers to explore this astonishing island nation. The Workshops educational programs offer unique access to the backstage of Cuba and focus on interactions with its engaging and generous people while recording their amazing lives with our cameras. It is through these personal exchanges that true understanding between peoples is born, not through isolation and restrictions.
We have had many questions recently about how Cuba weathered Hurricane Irma and if the island will recover in time for upcoming travel. We have been in touch with our staff and friends in Cuba and we’re happy to report that they are all fine and the country is bouncing back.
Havana was largely spared from major damage and the sun is shining once again, children are back in school, stores are open, and the city is returning to normal. Santiago and Baracoa were mostly untouched by Irma and are fully ready for the upcoming travel season. Cubans are known for their resilience and this latest challenge will test their resolve, but in the end they will persevere. The historic hurricane took ten Cuban lives, countless homes and caused millions of dollars in damage but Irma did not take the fortitude and spirit of the island’s people. Cuba will surely be ready to greet us with open arms and host our educational programs later this fall and winter.
We feel it’s critically important to visit Cuba now more than ever. To us, the Cubans who assist our programs are not merely staff members; over the years they have become our friends. In addition to the established goals of our people-to-people cultural exchanges, our upcoming trips to Cuba have now taken on the added importance of helping our friends and neighbors to the south recover from the devastation of Hurricane Irma.
Join us this year for a memorable journey to Cuba and extend the hand of friendship to the remarkable Cuban people.
True to the requirements of a people-to-people General License with U.S. Treasury Department, our programs in Cubafocus on educational exchanges with the Cuban people and recording their amazing lives with our cameras.