On this one-of-a kind tour, build connections across cultures among people of faith as you gain a fresh perspective on the history, church, and people of Cuba. Worship with a local congregation, enjoy rare opportunities to engage with Cuban citizens, and reflect on the role of churches and NGO’s in this society as you visit non-profit organizations. Make sense of your experiences during daily spiritual reflections and group discussions. This visit to the Cuban people will be an act of peace as you relate with an open heart and mind. Travellers can also bring supplies that Cuban organizations tell us they desperately need as their economy slows down. Canadian tour leaders Jack and Irene Suderman have been building connections with the church in Cuba for more than 30 years. Their relationships will open doors that you could not enter on your own. TourMagination has the details arranged for Americans to travel safely and legally on this tour under the category of “religious travel”.
Peace Building Tour to Cuba
Thursday, January 16 Havana
Fly into Varadero and transfer together to your hotel in the heart of Havana, Cuba’s capital city. Get acquainted with your tour leaders and fellow travel companions during a tour overview and welcome dinner.
Friday, January 17 Havana
Begin your day with a visit to the Museum of the Revolution—a museum largely dedicated to Cuban history throughout the period of the revolutionary war of the 1950s. See some of the iconic sights of Havana by bus, like the Plaza of the Revolution, Habana Libre, and the craft market. Cap off the day with a delicious dinner in the Old City. Jack and Irene will also give you an introduction to the social, political, and historic realities of Cuba.
Saturday, January 18 Havana
Today, take an excursion to the town of Soroa, affectionately referred to as the “rainbow of Cuba,” for its frequent rainfall followed by sun that produces rainbows and a lush landscape. Visit with an Afro-Cuban woman who is teaching her people (descendants of former slaves) to recover their culture through growing traditional medicinal plants, cooking using historic recipes and methods, and recounting stories. Support her micro-business as you tour her farm. After having lunch in town, observe an authentic cigar rolling demonstration at a cigar factory. Return to Havana late afternoon to spend a leisurely evening in the city.
Sunday, January 19 Havana
Enjoy the rare privilege of worshipping and sharing a meal with a local Cuban congregation, and converse with the church leaders following the service. This afternoon, drive to La Terraza in Cojimar, where Ernest Hemingway lived for several years and was inspired to write The Old Man and the Sea. Dine in one of Hemingway’s favourite restaurants, and reflect on stories about the famed American novelist. Return to Havana for the evening.
Monday, January 20 Havana
Expand your mind and heart at the Martin Luther King Jr. Centre, an organization that promotes Christian social responsibility and progressive change throughout Latin America. Learn about their community housing, medicine distribution, and ecumenical interchange, as well as other projects, as you talk with leaders of the peace-building church that started the centre. At another stop, learn about the Cuban Council of Churches as you interact with their representatives. Top off an engaging day with a fun-filled ride back to the hotel in one of Cuba’s signature classic cars.
Tuesday, January 21 Cienfuegos
On a visit to the Taíno Indian Village, glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of the Taíno people, who were once Cuba’s principal inhabitants. Reflect on the way Cubans interact with their indigenous people as compared to what happens in your own country. After a brief stop for lunch, continue to the Bay of Pigs, to learn about the historical US invasion that took place in 1961. Look through a lens of peace, as you hear about the conflict from the Cuban perspective. Continue to Cienfuegos for the night, a city on the south coast known for its French history.
Wednesday, January 22 Cienfuegos
Start your day by exploring the city of Cienfuegos at your leisure. Stroll along the city streets, browse the shops, or simply relax. This afternoon, tour the Brethren in Christ (BIC) training centre—a project that is the result of a vibrant partnership between the BIC Church of Cuba and the BIC Church of Canada. The centre provides leadership training, pastor support and compassionate ministry.
Thursday, January 23 Varadero
En route to Varadero, take a scenic drive to Santa Clara to visit Che Guevara’s tomb and memorial, where a 22-foot bronze statue of the soldier stands. An Argentinean, Guevara was instrumental in Cuba’s revolution and became Castro’s second-in-command before leaving Cuba to help other countries with their political struggles. Consider the results of armed struggle and reflect on how things could have been different in Cuba with a commitment to peaceful nonresistance. Relax for the rest of the day in Varadero.
Friday, January 24 Varadero
This morning, depart for the city of Cárdenas to visit the Christian Centre for Reflection and Dialogue. The centre includes a sustainable agriculture farm that produces more than 100 tons of food each year—much of which is distributed in schools, hospitals and to the sick and elderly. Enjoy lunch under a thatched roof open-air cabana at the farm, then return to Varadero to relax.
Saturday, January 25 Varadero
Take the day to relax on the beach or explore the city on your own. This evening, reflect on an eventful tour with your travel companions around the dinner table.
Sunday, January 26
Depart for home from the Varadero airport.
For further information, please contact us. We would be happy to be of assistance.