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Southern Safari

cuba car



MAY 18 - MAY 25, 2017

Cuba Street scene

Read about the Southern Safari's 2016 trip to Cuba here:

During our visit to Cuba we will focus on the path Cubans have taken since the Revolution and how that journey has shaped Cuban society and culture. Through daily talks, visits and field trips, we will learn about that unique history, its impact on Cubans and contemporary Cuba.

In order to give us an idea of Cuba today, we will visit a school, a senior center, a medical clinic, a farmers’ market, a community art project, an Afro Cuban cultural center and an artist’s studio, as well as Hemingway’s finca near Havana. By visiting Vinales, a scenic, rural valley west of Havana and a nearby seaside community, we will get a sense of life in rural Cuba.

In the process, we will have an opportunity to join Cubans in their daily activities and experience Cuban culture by sampling their food, attending performances of dance and music, and dancing to Afro-Cuban rhythms.

The trip is sponsored by the Southern Safari club, under the direction of MSSU’s Institute of International Studies.

Agreement/$500 Deposit for Cuba

Chad Stebbins
Phone: 417-625-9736 or email:
Paul Bardwil - President Global Educational Facilitation
Phone: 916-225-8207 or email:

Since 1998, Paul Bardwil has worked with community colleges and universities, doctors and nurses, lawyers, educational groups and cartoonists. He has led many specialized groups to Cuba over the last 15 years.

Cuba \statue PROGRAM COST: $3,470

$500 deposit due February 1, 2017

Final payment of $2,970 due April 1, 2017

The price includes roundtrip airfare from Joplin to Havana, all breakfasts and lunches, arrival dinner and farewell dinner, five nights family stay in Havana, two nights hotel stay in Trinidad, private bus, and bilingual guide. For single occupancy, please add $450.


The program application can be found on the link above. It must be completed, signed, and sent to Global Educational Facilitation with the required deposit of $500 by Feb. 1.


Thursday, May 18, 2017: Joplin to Dallas to Miami to Havana

Bus tour of Old Havana and Revolution Square. We will arrive at the homes of our host families, with whom we will stay for each of the five nights in Havana. A fabulous arrival dinner will end the day.

Friday, May 19, 2017: Havana

The day will begin with a short lecture on the history of Havana by a professor from the University of Havana. We'll then start our own discovery of Havana with a walking tour that starts in Old Havana. We'll walk through the historic streets of Old Havana to witness some of the finest examples of Spanish Colonial and Art Deco architecture. We'll go past the Ambos Mundos hotel, where Ernest Hemingway started writing For Whom the Bell Tolls. After lunch we will visit the other main squares of Havana, including Plaza San Francisco, Plaza Vieja, Cathedral Square, and the Parque Central. We will stroll down Paseo de Prado, which begins at the Parque Central and ends at the seawall. Dinner will be some interesting Cuban cuisine, perhaps at a paladar (a privately owned restaurant).

Saturday, May 20, 2017: Havana

We will visit the Museum of the Revolution, the most important site at which the Cuban government displays its interpretation of the origins, course, and legacy of the Revolution. Later, we will tour New Havana to see the most recent construction projects that demonstrate the effects of tourism and measured trade liberalization undertaken by the government in recent years. Finally, we will visit Miramar, which was Havana's most exclusive and wealthy neighborhood prior to the Revolution. Here, we can examine the ways in which this neighborhood, associated with privilege and opulence before the Revolution, has been transformed by decades of Communist rule.

Cuban boys playing baseball

Sunday, May 21, 2017: Havana

The day will begin with a visit to Cojimar, a small fishing village east of Havana, which was the inspiration for Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. We'll stop at Hemingway's home in Cuba, Finca Vigia. The afternoon will focus on current social projects underway in Havana. We'll visit the Arte Corte, a museum that is also a hairdressing salon, and Muraleando, a community arts center. Here, we can get an up-close view of a particular community in Havana and understand how arts and creative expression further the community's sense of identity.

Monday, May 22, 2017: Havana to Trinidad

We'll depart in the morning for Cienfuegos, a city to the south of Havana. We'll tour the old urban center of Cienfuegos, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its example of Spanish Enlightenment urban planning. Other sites to tour will be the Castillo de Jagua, a Spanish Colonial fort that played a vital role in the colonial economy of the 16th-18th centuries, and the Palmira Yoruba Pantheon, a museum to Afro-Catholic syncretic religion.
We will arrive this night in Trinidad, a coastal city, where we will check into
a hotel for two nights.

Cuban Statue two

Tuesday, May 23, 2017: Trinidad

We'll start with a tour of colonial Trinidad, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Trinidad's main industry is tobacco processing, which is an iconic product for Cuba and a vital part of the island's worldwide reputation. We'll tour the Valley of the Mills, which was home to more than 50 sugar mills at one time. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017: Trinidad to Havana

Boys playing baseball by green carWe'll visit the Casa de Africa, a museum about Cuba's African population as well as Cuba's ongoing relationship with various African countries. We'll then head back to Havana and visit the gigantic Crafts Market before our farewell dinner and discussion.


Thursday, May 25, 2017: Havana to Joplin

Since our flight doesn't leave until 2 p.m., we'll have the morning free for some last-minute shopping (Cuban cigars and rum?) or sightseeing. Say "Adios" to Cuba. 

++NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change

The Program Price Will Include:

• All scheduled land transportation in Cuba, as specified in itinerary.
• All sightseeing and entrance fees, as specified in itinerary.
• Meals: All breakfasts and lunches and 2 dinners while in Cuba.
• English speaking guide and accompanying bus driver.
• Emergency Medical Insurance in Cuba

Cuban boats



The Program Price Will NOT Include:

• Departure tax in Havana, currently $50 USD
• Optional Single Supplement, $450
• Meals, except as specified, personal expenses and any items not listed as
included in the program
• Tips to guide, $35 per person
• Tip to bus driver, $35 per person
• Optional trip to Tropicana, approximately $85 per person without dinner


A valid passport is required for this program. A copy of the picture page of your passport needs to be mailed with your deposit. The passport must be valid six months after return. U.S. citizens are required to show a valid passport for entry into Cuba.

Non-U.S. citizens should contact their local Consulate regarding visa and entry requirements. A visa will be obtained for U.S. participants and distributed to the group in Miami.


The trip includes at least four pre-departure sessions about Cuba in March/April 2017. Dates and times to be announced.