Alumni and friends of MSSU will have the opportunity to see Cuba before it changes forever by traveling to Old Havana with the Southern Safari group from May 15-23, 2016.

When Barack Obama and Raul Castro announced last December that the United States and Cuba would restore full diplomatic ties for the first time in more than 50 years, the floodgates were opened for foreign investors and developers to completely remake the country that has been caught in a time warp since 1959.

Led by Dr. David Locher, MSSU professor of sociology, the Southern Safari “people-to-people” tour will leave Miami on May 16 for the short flight to Havana. (Participants are responsible for finding their own flight to Miami and hotel the day before.)

The program includes visits to a school, senior center, medical clinic, farmers’ market, community art project, artist’s studio and Ernest Hemingway’s “finca,” where he wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “The Old Man and the Sea.”

The group also will visit Vañales, a scenic rural valley west of Havana, and a nearby seaside community to get a sense of life in rural Cuba. We will have the opportunity to experience Cuban culture by sampling their food, attending dance and music performances, and dancing to Afro-Cuban rhythms.

Cost is $2,975 for double occupancy, with a $500 deposit due by Jan. 30. The price includes all breakfasts and lunches and two dinners, an English-speaking guide and accompanying bus driver, all scheduled land transportation in Cuba, and all sightseeing and entrance fees as specified in the itinerary. Tips and departure taxes are not included.

The group will be accompanied by Paul Bardwil, president of Global Educational Facilitation, in Sacramento, Calif., who has led numerous specialized groups to Cuba.

The trip includes at least four pre-departure sessions about Cuba in March/April 2016. This extensive orientation will set Southern Safari apart from other commercial trips, where participants often board the plane without any prior knowledge of where they are going.

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