Lessons from Cuba: Full Literacy & Arts in the Curriculum (June 11-19, 2017)

Delegates to this program will:

  • Understand Cuban Education Policy
  • Confer with Cuban Educators and Make Working Visits to Schools, Museums & Other Education-Sector Facilities
  • Learn How Cuba “Diversifies the Learning Experience”
  • Experience Cuba’s Signal Commitment to Music & the Arts, and Observe their Role in Core Curriculum
  • Engage in Meaningful Service Projects, with Direct Application to Student Learning

Understand Cuban Education Policy

Whether your interest is in understanding education policy in Cuba, planning a unique service program for your students, or designing a Contemporary Issues course with case studies from the Cuban experience, this Education & Cultural Project 2017 will speak to you. It is a carefully planned, 8-day interactive professional experience for faculty, staff, and administrators. Working visits to potential student service sites; discussions and workshops with Cuban educators, literacy promoters, and authors; and informal receptions with Cuban colleagues form the core of the program. By the end of the week, you will have acquired new tools and perspectives that you may apply back home at your own school, library, or university campus.

Confer with Cuban Educators and Make a Working Visit to the Museum of Literacy

Cuba has superseded almost all other countries with regard to literacy, and for the past 50 years has boasted nearly a 100% literacy rate. At the Museum of Literacy, you will learn about the spectacularly successful 1961 National Literacy Campaign, organized as a direct result of the 1959 Cuban Revolution. At the museum, you will discuss openly with Americans and Cubans alike how to incorporate fresh, innovative approaches to learning and how to incorporate unfamiliar concepts into the classroom environment. What is the most efficient way to teach someone to read? And how do we both teach and learn when there are obstacles preventing us from using conventional approaches? All these topics will be on the table for discussion.

Learn How Cuba Diversifies the Learning Experience

How do you teach a diverse student population? How do you balance minority and dominant-culture interests in a way that tells the story of all groups truthfully yet with sensitivity, honoring all contributions to a nation’s history, culture, and music? A visit to Casa de África, a local museum and cultural center, focuses on Cuba’s complex historical ties with Africa, reflecting on religion, art, and emancipation battles. The Casa conducts workshops for youth, and hosts themed events, art exhibits, and music & dance performances. We’ll learn the importance of tying our diverse histories into the classroom.

Experience Cuba’s Commitment to Music & the Arts, and Observe their Role in Core Curriculum

Cuba’s Ministry of Culture directs a robust program of education in music, ballet, the visual arts, the dramatic arts, and modern dance, culminating in the university-level Instituto Superior de Arte (Higher Institute of Art). This feature of our visit offers you a glimpse of the value assigned to incorporating artistic technique into the classroom curriculum. We’ll visit Escuela Taller Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, a technical school that teaches archaeological and restoration skills to young people so that they may help rebuild and sustain Old Havana’s physical heritage and cultural patrimony.

Engage in Meaningful Service Projects, with Direct Application to Student Learning

For a US educator contemplating growth and improvement in his or her school’s student service initiatives, or for anyone seeking to draw inspiration from intentional service learning, this is an opportunity to identify new options and to observe innovative programming in action. Brief working visits offer you a better understanding of the history, social context, and economic significance of service programming in Cuba.

One day’s work takes place at an organic urban farm, Organopónico Alamar, located nine miles east of Havana. It’s one of the most successful urban organic farms in Cuba, raising ornamental plants, medicinal herbs, and millions of seedlings for residential and collective farms. Established in the early 1990s, today the cooperative boasts over 400 active members and delivers a range of healthy, organic vegetables to nearby communities. This project creates teachable moments that will sharpen our understanding of how soil erosion, climate change, deforestation, nutritional insufficiency, poverty, cultural attitudes, and government policies intersect.

Our second service experience will be a visit to the Convent of Our Lady of Belén, a humanitarian health services project for seniors in Old Havana. This visit will offer great insight into Cuba’s approach to multi-generational learning. As educators, how do we engage intellectually a person who has experienced a gap in his or her traditional education? And how can we incorporate physical education into the classroom environment?

Visiting these purposeful, intentional community projects exposes you to insights and new perspectives that you may include in future service projects involving your students. At these two selected sites, you will address real-life social problems to strengthen your own grasp of why community work is so critically important, and how it can best be incorporated into your school’s curriculum.

Professional Development in Cuba: Lessons, Applications & Outcomes

If you seek a way to develop professionally while broadening your own perspectives and those of your colleagues, or if you are looking to encourage your students to think critically about a range of global challenges, this program will interest you.

Dates, Pricing & Daily Agendas

DATES: June 11-19, 2017

PRICING: Program fee for each participant: $3900
This price includes registration for all professional activities, 2 synchronous online “Global Classroom” preparatory sessions during Spring 2017, round-trip air from Miami, 8 nights’ shared international-class accommodation, all breakfasts and lunches, welcome dinner, ground transport, local guiding, and interpretation. Deposit of $1500 is due at the time of registration.

DISTRIBUTION OF DAILY AGENDAS: Registered delegates will receive a final daily agenda, including times of departure and arrival at each professional activity, specific purpose of each activity, delegate roles and responsibilities, names of Cuban host individuals and institutions, links to official hotel accommodations and other logistics, on April 1, 2017.  Final payment is due on May 1, 2017.

Fungai Kanogoiwa
(703) 549 9115

Terms & Conditions

Reservations & Cancellations

Cancellation by the traveler within the 90-day period immediately prior to departure will result in the full or partial forfeiture of your balance paid, according to the following schedule:

90 to 65 days: 50 percent of total payment

60 to 45 days: 60 percent of total payment

44 to 30 days: 80 percent of total payment

29 to 0 days: 100 percent of total payment

Cancellation must be made in writing, and will be effective upon the date that we receive it in our offices.

Please note that, of the total payment made, $500 is non-refundable upon signing this contract.

Travel Documents

It is solely the responsibility of the client to ensure that his/her travel documents; inoculations; and medical, baggage, travel, & default insurance, etc. are in order prior to departure.

Liability of Alterra Consulting

Alterra acts as an agent for the principals. Accordingly, Alterra assumes no liability for loss or damage that any passenger may suffer as a result of the failure of such principals to fulfill their obligations, in relation to travel arrangements, accommodation, transfers, tours, or other items.


Neither Alterra Consulting, nor any person acting for, through or on behalf of Alterra, shall be liable for loss, delay, accidents, or inconvenience to any persons or their luggage or property as may arise as a result of flight delays, bad weather, strikes, negligence, or any other cause which is beyond the control of Alterra Consulting.


The jurisdiction for disputes that may arise will be Alexandria, Virginia, USA.

A Note about Travel Insurance

While travel insurance is optional, we suggest that delegates consider securing it to protect their investment in this program. If Alterra cancels a program, all payments will be fully refunded. However, when individual travelers cancel their own participation, some payments made are not refundable, depending on time of cancellation. We can recommend TravelSafe of Wyomissing, PA (www.travelsafe.com) as a reliable, reputable insurer.