From November 27-December 5, 2016, a group of alumni, representing five generations of Tigers, journeyed to Cuba to explore the fascinating culture and history of Havana and other wonderful destinations around the island. The tour was hosted by retired American diplomat George Novinger '78 M'79 P'12. Little did the tour participants know that their trip would take a turn for the historic, when Fidel Castro passed away just as the tour began. While the tour was affected by the country's response to the passing of their famed leader - no music was allowed in the nine days of mourning following his death and many cultural institutions were closed - they got to experience first-hand this poignant moment in world history. Here are some photos from their remarkable journey.
Arriving in Cuba. On the bus ride into Havana from the airport, the streets were filled with thousands of people making their way on foot to the memorial event for Fidel Castro in Revolution Square.
Taking in the Havana sights. Flags were unfurled everywhere in honor of Castro.
A get together with Jessie Huaracayo '02, who works at the American embassy in Havana. She shared many fascinating insights into Cuban life and culture.
Tour participants with Jessie Huaracayo '02 in Havana.
Dinner at L'Atelier, one the many paladars (restaurants in private residences) in Cuba. L'Atelier is the only paladar in Cuba owned and operated by a woman.
Taking in a rehearsal of world-renowned contemporary dance company Malpaso. The experience was slightly surreal, as, due to the nine day Castro-mourning moratorium on music, the company had to present their dance in silence.
A visit to legendary cigar factory Partagas.
A lovely pastoral scene at Las Terrazas, an eco-village which began as a reforestation project in 1968.
At Las Terrazas, tour-goers planted a tree in honor of Oxy.
Taking in the natural beauty of the country side near the Sierra del Rosario mountain range.
Meeting the young students at the Las Terrazas community school.
Visiting a defunct rail depot where former rail and sugar cane industry workers shared the history of those industries in Cuba.
Sunrise over the beautiful town of Cienfuegos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Finally, on the next to last day of the tour, music was allowed again. Just in time for a private performance by the wonderful Cienfuegos Chamber Orchestra, who have entertained Cubans for generations with their unique blend of classical chamber music and Cuban flair.
Tour participants gathered at the Che Guevara Memorial on the final day of the tour.