Travel Seminar to Havana, Cuba

December 29th, 2019 - January 11th, 2020

Register by depositing before October 15th, 2019

Join the Department of Modern Language's Chair, Richard Reitsma, PhD, in a seminar to Havana, Cuba. Explore Cuba and the history of the Revolution and the impact of Fidel's formation in Jesuit education. Though the Revolution has historically had a fraught relationship with all religious practices, that has been developing and changing in uniquely Cuban ways. Through visits in and around Havana and Santa Clara, participants will experience the history and evolving context of Cuba. Email @email for more details or call the Center for International Eduation at 716.888.2400.

Seminar Overview

Explore Cuba and the Cuban Revolution and learn how Fidel’s education by Jesuits impacted his thinking and the social justice movements of the Cuban Revolution.  Participants will explore how churches and other religious institutions have responded to, and participate in, the Revolution and Cuban Society, and how the Cuban Revolution has been changed by the religious.  Participants will also experience the synchronic character of Cuban culture in uniting the traditions of Africa, Indigenous, and European into a hybrid culture that is reflected in its cuisine, music, religious practices, and art and architecture.

Cost: $3,500


  • Guide service and translation
  • Airfare out of Toronto (please contact office for alternate arrangements)
  • Cuban Visa
  • International Health Insurance
  • Transportation for program activities from arrival at the airport in Havana until the day of your departure
  • Room and board (usually breakfast, lunch on the road is often a personal expense, and dinner), hot and cold water, AC, and other basics. Special room requests may increase cost.

Reserve your spot today by sending the deposit amount of $1,750 and complete registration to the following address:

The Center for International Education
Canisius University
2001 Main St.
Buffalo, NY 14094

For questions about registration, please contact, Nicolle Barsch at @email.

For questions about Cuba, or the Seminar Itinerary, please contact Dr. Richard Reitsma at @email.

Preliminary Seminar Itinerary

Day 1

  • Airport pick up, settling in to lodging in Havana, overview of program.
  • Evening tour of the city.

Day 2

  • Excursion on the Ferry to Regla and the Church of Regla. Free time to explore the area.
  • Guided Tour of the Four Plazas of Havana.
  • Visit the Hamel cul-de-sac. Guided visit. Visit a house temple of a family of Yoruba/santería practitioners. 
  • Visit the University of Havana and the iconic steps.
  • Exploration of traditional Cuban music. Dance lessons.

Day 3

  • Visit a Medical Office to learn about the Cuban Health Care System (with Dr. Bárbara).
  • Visit the Coppelia Ice Cream palace, an iconic place made particularly famous by the film Strawberry and Chocolate (with Dr. Luis Hinojosa).
  • Visit a pharmacy.
  • Lecture by Dr. Luis Hinojosa on the Revolution’s commitment to public health. Learn about new advances in cancer treatments in cooperation with Buffalo’s own Roswell Institute.
  • Trip to the Morro Fortress and the Cannonade.

 Day 4

  • Visit the Museum of Literacy. Learn about the 1961 Literacy Campaign to eradicate illiteracy on the island. Learn about the Cuban educational system.
  • Visit the Seawalk.
  • Stroll along 23rd Ave. Visit stalls, artisan shops, and other places to buy souvenirs and such. Ride the Havan Train to see the city.
  • Conversation with Dr. Lesbia Canova on Education in Cuba.
  • Trip to Fábrica de Arte Cubano, a large complex that is art store, art gallery, performance space, dance club, bars, and so forth.

Day 5

  • Visit the Church of the Sacred Heart (a Jesuit church). Learn about their community projects and community engagement.
  • Visit the Queen Loyola Center and learn about the Jesuit Project. Explore the academy. Conversation with Lic. Ulises about the influence of his Jesuit education in the formation of Fidel. Explanation and demonstration of the artistic project.
  • Visit the Baptist Church in Almendares.

 Day 6

  • Day trip to Santa Clara province.
  • Visit the Mausoleo of CHE.
  • Lunch at the Restaurant El Quijote.
  • Guided tour of Santa Clara. Visit a historical church in Santa Clara.
  • Dinner in a Santa Clara restaurant.
  • Visit the Mejunje Cultural Center, a non-governmental social enterprise to establish a safe space for LGBTQ, and others marginalized by the Revolution such as rockers, the old, the poor,etc. Conversation with the founder, Silverio.

Day 7

  • Breakfast in Santa Clara.
  • Visit the Santa Clara museums.
  • Depart for Havana.
  • Free evening in Havana.

Day 8

  • Visit the house of the painter Saulo Serrano, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Discover an Urban Organic Farm Los Lara. Conversation with Ing. Yamila Pérez. Enjoy a fresh, delicious natural fruit drink produced on site. Lecture about urban agriculture and environmentalism in Cuba.
  • Lunch in the restaurant Paladar Mi Gente
  • Visit the Dulce Habana Restaurant in Vedado. Exchange with the owner about entrepreneurship in Cuba. 
  • Dinner at the Dulce Habana Restaurant.
  • Evening at the Benny Moré Tavern: Special show with the renowned Cuban group “Roberto Faz” and other invited artists from Buena Vista Social Club.”
  • Explore old Havana.

Day 9

  • A day at the Beach!

Day 10

  • Visit the Orthodox Church in Old Havana.
  • Visit the Abdallah Mosque.
  • Visit the Museum of the Revolution.
  • Coffee at Loma del Ángel café, and church.
  • Musical Night (cubana, jazz, rap, concierto, etc.)

Day 11

  • Conversation with Prof. Lidia Safora Romay
  • Visit the House of Africa Religion.
  • Conversation about Fidel and his Jesuit Education in Cuba.