Closed off to the majority of Americans for the last five decades, Havana is the subject of some of the world's best songs, painting and films. A mix of African, Spanish, American and Taino cultures, Cuba reveres baseball, dominoes, humour and speaking one's mind. Within Havana, students will find that art of all kinds is plentiful, accessible and often free. Beyond the tourist attractions of Habana Vieja and the resort town of Varadero, there is a world of highly educated, politically aware citizens who know above all how to make something from nothing.
The Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria exists alongside (and often within) Catholicism, Judaism and a host of other African religions that have a uniquely Cuban twist. At times frustrating or confusing, Cuba is always endearing, and visitors find themselves plotting their return as soon as they board the plane for home. Students here will have a chance to see one of the last few functioning Communist states, and be able to examine the changing nature of Cuban domestic and international politics.