Dr. Karen Jacobs - EdD, OT, OTR, CPE, FAOTA

Dr. Karen S. Jacobs is a Clinical Professor of Occupational Therapy and the Program Director of the On-line Post-professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy Program at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. Karen is a past president and vice president of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). She is a 2005 recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Akureyri in Akuryeri, Iceland; the 2009 recipient of the Award of Merit from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT); and 2003 recipient of the Award of Merit from the American Occupational Therapy Association. She earned a doctoral degree at the University of Massachusetts, a Master of Science at Boston University, and a Bachelor of Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Jacobs’ research examines the interface between the environment and human capabilities. In particular, she examines the individual factors and environmental demands associated with increased risk of functional limitations among populations of university and middle school aged students, particularly in technology & backpack use. In addition to being an occupational therapist, she is also a board certified

professional ergonomist (CPE) and the

founding editor-in-chief of the

international, interdisciplinary journal  

WORK: A Journal of Prevention,

Assessment and Rehabilitation


Day 01: Depart for Cuba
Depart from Miami this morning and arrive in Havana, Cuba. Upon arrival at the Jose Marti International Airport, you will meet your local guide after clearing immigration and customs procedures.

Enjoy a panoramic bus tour of Havana including a stop to see Revolution Square and Vedado in route to your hotel. The Plaza is the 31st largest city square in the world and notable as being where many political rallies take place. 

Head onward to your local hotel. Hotel NH Collection Victoria is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Havana, just a few minutes’ walk from the bustling seafront. This stylish, minimalist hotel sits within walking distance of the Old Town, and an abundance of bars, restaurants and shops. The hotel has onsite dining, access to Wi-Fi (fee applies), swimming pool, and a business center. Guest rooms have AC, bathroom amenities, safe, hairdryer, iron & board, minibar, and a flat screen satellite TV

Enjoy your first taste of locally sourced food this evening as you join your guide and fellow travelers for a welcome dinner at the La Fontana Paladar. 

Overnight:  NH Collection Hotel Victoria (or similar)
Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Day 02: Havana - Cultural Exploration & Community Connections
Meet with representatives from the Cuban Institute of Friendship with People. This mandatory meeting focuses on Cuban/U.S. relations, and is a required component of all U.S. visits to Cuba. 

From there begin your walking tour of the historic center of Old Havana, a village founded in 1519 and declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1982. There will be an explanation of the projects carried out by the City Historian’s Office for the rehabilitation of Old Havana.

Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant.

After lunch, spend time with staff at a local community project like La Casa del Niño y la Niña. This community projects helps school-age children with their schooling as well as art and cultural studies. This is a great opportunity to meet the kids and hear them speak about their lives and this project. The motto of the project is: Listening to young voices and taking them into account for a better world. ​

Dinner is on your own this evening.

Overnight:  NH Collection Hotel Victoria (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 03: Havana, Professional Program

​Today the group will meet with counterparts in the morning and afternoon. This will include discussions with a local medical professional to provide information on many topics related to your profession including access to health care and rehabilitation services for people with disabilities and illnesses across the lifespan, academic training for occupational and physical therapists in Cuba, school based services as well as maximizing quality of life for those with disabilities.

Enjoy lunch and a cooking class at Jardin de los Milagros Private Restaurant this afternoon.

Continue your professional meetings with a visit to either a local polyclinic or geriatric rehabilitation center to meet with OT, PT, rehabilitation and related medical professionals.

​​Dinner is on your own this evening. Later tonight, attend a neighborhood street party with the residents of the block. It’s a great opportunity to interact with the locals!
Overnight:  NH Collection Hotel Victoria (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 04: Havana, Professional Meeting & Cultural Exploration 
After breakfast, the group will visit La Castellana Medical Center. This medical facility is comprised of a cluster of buildings, greenhouses, and gardens in a peaceful urban setting. They specialize in treating those with disabilities. They also provide vocational skills training for approximately 250 patients by 260 staff members, including teachers, administrators, and medical personnel.

Lunch will be provided at a local paladar.

Explore the Museo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum) this afternoon. Dedicated exclusively to Cuban art collections beginning in the mid-16th century, but spanning the 17th and 19th centuries, the museum has galleries devoted to landscape, religious subjects and the Costumbrismo narrative scenes of Cuban life. Other galleries are devoted to more current work and are recognized for the extensive collection of Hyperrealism and the latest generation of Cuban artists whose works all reflect the strong symbolic imagery prevalent in recent decades.

Dinner will be provided prior to visiting Tablado de Pancho for a traditional Cuban music show.
Overnight: NH Collection Hotel Victoria (or similar)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 05: Havana, Cultural & Humanitarian Explorations
After breakfast, the group will visit the Havana Compás Dance Company, recognized nationally and internationally for combining dance and percussion. It has accumulated more than a decade of work in favor of Cuban culture. The use of batá drums, tumbadoras, drumsticks, castanets, shekerés, heels, flip flops, keys, stools and percussive chairs, mostly made by the maestro Eduardo Córdova, makes this dance company one of the best scenic proposals of Cuba.

After lunch visit the Casa de Los Abuelos (The House of Grandparents). Meet with the elderly, their relatives and staff of the center to learn about care for the elderly in Cuba. Enjoy time interacting with the local people. You might play domino's, distribute dessert, or just sit and chat with them about their lives in Cuba. 

This evening’s farewell reception is at the Santa Isabel Hotel terrace in Old Havana. Dinner will be provided this evening for a chance to say farewell to your new friends. 

Overnight: NH Collection Hotel Victoria (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

​​Day 06: Depart for home

Return to the local airport for check-in for your flight home. Depending on the flight time, lunch is by individual arrangement.

Professional Participants - As this Nanda Journey program is focused primarily on professional development, costs associated with your participation on the program may be tax deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense. Consult with a tax professional to determine eligibility.

Please note: All itineraries are subject to change based on availability of hotels, flights and hosting organizations at the time of finalization of booking. Comparable meetings and activities will be arranged should an itinerary change be necessary. 30 days before departure, a finalized itinerary will be available and reflect final details.

What's Included

Cuba: Havana| 6 days | June 23-28, 2021 | $3,899

Cuba is a country steeped in mystery. Connect with the warm Cuban people while enjoying a unique mix of vibrant music, eclectic art, and 1950s cars. Delve into the complexities of Afro Cuban customs and thought. Our OT/PT/Rehabilitation draws people closer together but does not whitewash the challenges that the Cuban people face.  Experience the real Cuba, filled with culture, creativity, art and loving people. Explore the reality of Cuban living standards, which are often difficult and impoverished. Learn about occupational and physical therapy on the island while spending time with staff at a rehab center or policlinic. Learn about Cuba’s health care and exchanging ideas on programs for providing basic therapy to children and resources for families. Discuss rehabilitation and access to care for children while visiting a facility like La Castellana Medical Center for the disabled who provide resources and specialize in vocation training. Enjoy a neighborhood block party as you get to know how the locals live and plan for their futures. Learn about and experience Cuban music and dance!  This journey will also will afford you an opportunity to look past politics and into the heart and soul of a culture and its reality. Come back with an appreciation for Cuba’s music, arts, and culinary cultures after exploring local museums; taking part in a cooking class, and community block party; and visiting the cultural highlights of Havana including Revolution Square. Experiencing these elements first-hand will change your understanding of the roles of those involved in creating a positive social structure and give a broader perspective on this nation.

Call Us 1-888-747-7501

Travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens is still restricted. Under the general “in support of the Cuba People” education license (515.560(c)) posted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, you can legally visit Cuba with Nanda Journeys only if adhering to the guidelines outlined below. The general license allows U.S. visitors to make contact  with (i) Recognized human rights organizations; (ii) Independent organizations designed to promote a rapid, peaceful transition to democracy; or (iii) Individuals and non-governmental organizations that promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba. Only U.S. citizens, and non-U.S. citizens living within the jurisdiction of U.S. territory with a valid green card, are allowed to travel under this license. If you were born in Cuba, please contact the program office for details. A full-time schedule of educational exchange activities will be coordinated that will result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba. Your commitment to full participation in the program is required if you choose to join the program. Most tourist-oriented activities are forbidden by the in support of the Cuban people license which does not allow time for independent exploration. Given those parameters, all accompanying guests (18 and over) must take part in the complete professional and educational program along with the registered traveler. The overall goal is to enhance contact with the Cuban people through interaction and exchange of information between travelers and Cuban citizens. The cost of obtaining a Cuban visa is included in the journey cost.

IncludedNot Included
Information and support  to aid in your travel preparation

Costs to obtain a passport

Exclusively developed professional program in collaboration with Journey leader

International airfare (from designated US gateway city)

Airfare for domestic flight to gateway city

All in-country transportation for the group (including airport transfers)

Accommodations in four to five star hotels

24/7 professional English speaking guide

Individual departure taxes (where applicable)

Fees for all services, most tips and taxes

Professionally led daily program – see itinerary for full details

Travel insurance

Daily breakfast and most lunches & dinner, as specified in the itinerary

10-20 Hours of professional exchanges with counterparts in host  country

Formal and informal meetings with your peers to increase your global knowledge of your profession

Unique insight and knowledge about current issues and challenges related to your profession

24-hour support from US Nanda Journeys office and in-country support

Partnerships in every country to which we travel

Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journey to Cuba

led by Dr. Karen Jacobs

Detailed Itinerary