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Leader Spotlight:  Gertrude (Trudi) McFarland, RN, PhD, FAAN

Trudi McFarland, Health

Scientist Administrator (Ret),

Nursing Research Study Section,

National Institutes of Health

(NIH), and former Nursing

Education Consultant, Division

of Nursing, HRSA, US Public

Health Service, specializes in psychiatric mental health nursing, nursing diagnosis and clinical decision making, research administration, and education.

Cristina (Cris) Sparks-Early, BA, MA
Cris Sparks-Early, Assistant

Professor of Spanish and

Assistant Division Dean, World

Languages, Northern Virginia

Community College (NOVA) has

taught Spanish for 25 years and

has been awarded NOVA’s

Outstanding Faculty Award three times.  She has chaired numerous faculty committees including the Hispanic Heritage Month, International Education Week, and the Multi-Cultural Week.  She provides consultation to Vista Higher Learning and consults with faculty nationwide. She is a member of Sigma Delta Pi, Spanish Honor Society, was born and lived in Spain, and has traveled extensively to Spanish speaking countries.

Detailed Itinerary

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Travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens is still restricted. Under the general “people-to-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 professionals, as well as local Cuban citizens, as long as the visits support civil society in Cuba, and/or helps promote independence and the notion of peace through interaction. 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 people-to-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.

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500 Cathedral Dr #2377 
​Aptos, CA, 95001

Cultural, Healthcare & Nursing Journey to Cuba led by

Trudi McFarland & Cris Sparks-Early

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What's Included

You are invited to become part of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Explore the Cuban healthcare system including healthcare delivery, access to care, health promotion and disease prevention, prevention of vector borne diseases and unique approaches to the care of the elderly with staff at the Cira Garcia Clinic in Havana and a rural hospital near Santa Clara. Discuss the educational trajectory for professionals such as nurses, physicians, other health professionals and teachers with Cuban professionals from the Ministry of Health and the Cuban Nurses Association. Review the role and education of Cuban artists with experts at the Cuban National Ballet School and Museo de Bellas Artes, both in Havana, and with members of the National Union of Writers and Artists (UNEAC) in Santa Clara and the production of handicrafts with artisans at the Cultural Antiguos Almacenes. Enjoy a neighborhood block party as you get to know how the locals live and plan for their futures. Experience Cuban music and dance!  A journey beyond compare - join us for a life changing experience.

Day 01: Group Convenes in Miami
Travel by individual arrangement to Miami, Florida. Upon arrival in Miami, transfer to the Miami Airport Hilton Hotel—or a hotel of similar quality—to check in. Enjoy dinner on your own tonight. Please note: The program officially begins on Day 2 after arrival in Havana, and no scheduled activities will take place Day 1. However, your hotel accommodations in Miami are included in the program cost.
OvernightMiami Airport Hilton (or similar)

Day 02: Depart for Cuba!
Together with your group, depart the hotel early this morning for the Miami International Airport (transfer provided by the hotel). Airport check-in is required three hours prior to your scheduled departure time; optional breakfast choices will be available for purchase after check-in. Upon arrival in Havana, meet your local guide and travel amid bicycles, bright yellow cocotaxis, and giant camello (camel) buses on your way to lunch at a local restaurant. Late this afternoon, transfer to your hotel. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at a local Paladar (local family run Cuban restaurant). 
Overnight:  Quinta Avenida
Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Day 03: Havana – Welcome & City Exploration

After breakfast, which will be provided daily at your hotel, gather for a welcome and orientation session on Cuba. Meet with your leader and national guide from Cuba to learn more about the program. Immediately following, a local speaker on health diplomacy will join you for a lecture.

Before lunch visit the Centro Cultural Antiguos Almacenes market to chat with private sector owners of more than 300 different booths selling art, handicrafts, clothing and jewelry.

Lunch will be provided this afternoon at a local restaurant before an exploration of the historic center of Old Havana, founded in 1519 and declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Walk through the area with your guide, exploring the restorations and current projects being worked on to preserve the history and architecture of this unique neighborhood. Stop to see some art studios in the neighborhood during your explorations.

Tonight enjoy a musical performance and dinner at Café Taberna Benny More to enjoy a Buena Vista Social Club music experience.  
Overnight:  Quinta Avenida
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 04: Havana – Cultural Exploration & Career Enrichment
Meet with representatives from the Cuban Institute of Friendship with People at the Casa de la Amistad. This mandatory meeting focuses on Cuban/U.S. relations, and is a required component of all U.S. visits to Cuba. 

Immediately following, meet with local medical professionals from the Ministry of Health (MINSAP). A speaker will provide information on the Cuban medical system. Representatives from the Cuban Nursing Association have been invited to discuss the education of nurses and other health professionals.

After lunch, a special visit is in the works to visit the Cuban National Ballet School. With 4,350 students, it is the largest ballet school in the world and the most prestigious ballet school in Cuba. Most of the school’s graduates are now eminent dance professionals, recognized for their superb training, technique and style, in Cuba and around the world.

This evening, after dinner on your own, meet local Cubans during an evening neighborhood street party with the residents of the block participating.
Overnight: Quinta Avenida
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 05: Havana - Cultural Exploration & Clinic Visit
This morning, explore the Museo de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Museum) dedicated exclusively to Cuban art collections beginning in the mid-16th century. Spanning the 17th and 19th centuries, it has galleries devoted to landscape, religious subjects and the Costumbrismo narrative scenes of Cuban life.

Lunch will be provided at Artechef Restaurant & Culinary School, which is a combination culinary school and restaurant. The chef/instructor will demonstrate the proper preparation of ropa vieja which you will be able to sample for lunch (audience participation encouraged); so simple, but so good.

This afternoon the group will visit the Cira Garcia Clinic (or similar) for roundtable discussions and the chance to see the facilities and question the staff about topics of interest.

Return to the hotel for some time to explore with dinner on your own.
Overnight: Quinta Avenida
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 06: Santa Clara - Travel Day
Immediately after breakfast, board your bus and make your way toward Villa Clara, approximately five hours with a lunch break in between the journey to stretch your legs. Your journey leaders are planning “Learn as We Travel Sessions” during the bus trip – short group presentations of interest for those wishing to participate. Your journey ends at the Cayo Santamaria (Key Santa Maria) and upon arrival you will check into the resort. 

Settle into your room and enjoy some time to explore the resort property. You might opt to walk on the beach or swim in one of the four pools of the all-inclusive property. Dinner will be provided this evening at one of the resort’s many fine dining restaurants.
Overnight: Cayo Playa Santa Maria
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 07: Remedios Day Trip
Drive to Remedios and meet with a city historian who will discuss town history. This charming town boasts colonial architecture and cobblestone streets and celebrated its 500-year anniversary in 2014.  Known for the Parrandas Festival, an annual carnival-like celebration in December, you’ll see some of the floats and costumes in various stages of creation and speak with volunteers and festival officials. Before lunch, explore the San Juan Bautista Church and the Alejandro Garcia Caturla Museum—located in the home of this famous Cuban composer. Continue on to the nearby fishing community of Caibarien. Experience Por La Costa, a community art project, and meet the family that runs it. Discuss art and paper-making and see the workshops offered to local children. Enjoy a farewell dinner at the resort​
Overnight:  Cayo Playa Santa Maria
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 08: Cultural Exploration & Career Enrichment

Your morning city tour starts at Parque Leoncio Vidal; the Museo de Artes Decorativas occupies a magnificent colonial house built around 1740. Transformed over the centuries, it was restored in 1820 and again in 1980.  The memory of Che Guevara permeates the town of Santa Clara. Walk around the Plaza de la Revolución dedicated to the famous Argentine guerrilla who fought fiercely alongside Fidel Castro to overthrow Batista. A special visit to the Che Guevara Memorial and Museum has been arranged.

Before lunch, a meeting has been requested with the faculty at a rural hospital.

This afternoon, meet with the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba. Roundtable discussion with prominent contemporary Cuban artists and authors from the major disciplines including art, ballet, music and literature will take place to talk about the role of art and literature in Cuban society. 

Enjoy a farewell dinner at the resort.
Overnight: Cayo Playa Santa Maria
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 09: Time to Say Goodbye
Say goodbye to Cuba and all of your new friends! Your guide will accompany you to the local airport for your charter flight back to Miami late this morning.​
Meals: Breakfast

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.


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Cuba: Havana & Santa Clara | 9 days | November 25 - December 3, 2016

​​Dates:   Nov 25 - Dec 3, 2016

Cost:      USD $4,999 per person

Days: ​    9 ​​