CCS: HISTORY AND CULTURE OF EASTERN CUBA

May 6, 2015 by

DEAR CCS MEMBERS AND FRIENDS,

THIS IS A RARE CHANCE TO SEE THE MOST HISTORIC SITES OF EASTERN CUBA AND TO JOIN IN THE CELEBRATION OF THE 500TH ANNIVERSARY OF SANTIAGO DE CUBA. LOOK THROUGH THE ATTACHED ITINERARY ANDSEE WHAT AN AMAZING TRIP THIS WILL BE. I LOOK FORWARD TO TRAVELING WITH YOU.

SANDRA

--  sandra levinson executive director
      center for cuban studies / cuban art space 231 west 29 street #401
      new york ny 10001 212.242.0559 212.242. 1937 fax www.cubanartspace.net www.CUBAupdate.org


HISTORY AND CULTURE OF EASTERN CUBA

A historic journey to honor the 500th anniversary of Santiago de Cuba. July 17-31, 2015

$4400 double / $4800 single

Holguin, Bayamo, Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo, Baracoa +

We’ll be in Santiago for the 500th anniversary of Cuba’s first capital, its second largest city, and participate in all of the special events surrounding that historic occasion. We’ll make a historical tour through the eastern region of Cuba, and be in Santiago for Carnival as well as the historic 26th of July. Holguin, too, has an annual festival of the arts while we are there.


Friday-Sunday, July 17, 18, 19: Holguin

Holguin is the province where Fidel and Raúl Castro were born in Biran, which we’ll be visiting on our way to Bayamo. Cayo Bariay is also near Guardalavaca  where Columbus landed in October, 1492. We’ll visit the lovely park at Cayo Bariay and see the monument to the meeting between Europeans and the aborigines inhabiting the area then. We’ll also see a short performance by actors depicting Columbus’ arrival and his welcome by the aborigines.

From Friday through Sunday, we’ll be touring the historic places, as well as visiting artists and art centers, including Blanca Rosa Chacon, a sculptor in wood whose pieces portray Cuban historical figures and places.  In the city of Holguin, we’ll meet with artists at UNEAC (the Union of Artists and Writers), and two print workshops. One, Papyro, consists of an artist collective where all of the artists manufacture their own paper. This paper is then used for books, notebooks, drawings, prints and paintings.



Monday-Wednesday, July 20-22: Bayamo, Santo Domingo, La Plata

Bayamo is the city where Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, “father of the country,” was born and where, although he was a large landowner and slave-owner, was in the forefront of the first Cuban war of independence, 1868-1878. We’ll visit his birthplace and the ruins of the Demajagua sugar mill. In 1953 Bayamo, together with Santiago de Cuba, was the scene of battles to take the Bayamo fortress to help bring down Batista, just as in Santiago. Like Santiago’s Moncada, this fortress is today a school. We’ll tour the city and its lovely boulevard (with the only wax museum in Cuba where you can see Hemingway, Marti, Garcia Marquez and Juan Formel!), listen to local musicians who perform near the town’s central square (above) and talk to artists showing in current gallery

exhibits.

One day we’ll go to La Playa de Las Coloradas, where the yacht Granma landed in December, 1956, with 82 people ready to do combat against the Batista tyranny. On the way, we’ll go through the home of Celia Sánchez in Manzanillo.



  .

La Plata, headquarters of the Rebel Army



One night we’ll sleep outside of Bayamo when we go to Santo Domingo in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, the day before visiting the headquarters of the Rebel Army in La Plata.



Thursday-Sunday, July 23-26: Santiago de Cuba

In Santiago, we’ll be staying in guest houses in Vista Alegre, near San Juan Hill. We’ll take part in all of the most important celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the city, we’ll be together with Santiago’s most important artists, such as Alberto Lescay, Carlos Rene Aguilera, Miguel Lobaina and others. We’ll tour an amazing World Heritage Site, the mountain areas where French-owned coffee plantations once dotted the landscape. It’s Carnival time in Santiago so our nights will be full of traditional music, dance and comparsas. The historic remembrance of the attack on Fort Moncada on July 26, 1953 will be especially significant in this, the first year of a new era in U.S.-Cuba relations.



Monday-Wednesday, July 27-29: Guantanamo, Baracoa

Guantánamo Province has more than 500,000 inhabitants, and is the easternmost province of Cuba. It is also the location, since the early 20th century, of the only U.S. military base in a socialist country with which there are no diplomatic relations and is maintained against the wish of the Cuban people and its government. We’ll visit a nearby hotel in Caimaneras with a lookout point that’s as close as we can get to the perimeter of the base. We’ll visit the city of Guantánamo and the local historical museum, and then drive to Baracoa by way of the farola, a road that winds through coffee plantations to reach Baracoa.

Baracoa is where Spaniards founded Cuba’s first city, and it’s one rich in tradition – it’s also the location of the incredible brightly-colored landshells known as polymitas.. While in Baracoa, we’ll visit the Guantanamero municipality, a place where local traditions and culture are best preserved, see the old Spanish cathedral and have the chance to see one of the 14 original crosses placed by Columbus when he arrived more than 500 years ago.



Thursday-Friday, July 30-31

Guardalavaca, Leave from Holguin on July 31 for Miami


Applications for the trip are due no later than May 17th. If you would like to take this historic journey with us, call or write the Center ASAP (212.242.0559 / traveltocubanow@gmail.com)

THE APPLICATION MAY BE PRINTED OUT FROM OUR WEBSITE: www.cubaupdate.org/travel


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