Sisters Across the Straits: A Delegation Visit to Cuba
Seize the opportunity to visit Cuba and learn about this island nation and its relation with the United States, a place beloved for centuries by explorers, pirates and artists, which for over half a century has been forbidden to visit.
But times are changing…
This year the League of Women Voters of Florida, Education Fund will sponsor several trips to Cuba as part of Sisters Across the Straits, a project designed to provide League members with a unique opportunity to learn about the nation’s history, culture and developing political scene. The six-day trip offers delegation members with ways to engage in people-to-people interactions with women at different levels, academics at the University of Havana, civic organizations and members of the Federation of Cuban Women.
Delegation members will meet with counterparts and participate in honest dialogue in order to learn about the role of Cuban women in society and explore differences as well as similarities. The aim is to end decades of isolation by building trust and improving relations among people. The project is the brainchild of League Director and former state representative Annie Betancourt, who has led 15 delegations since 2011.
League members share with Cuban women the tools to develop and sustain leadership in their communities recognizing the importance of their involvement in the future development of their country. The meetings and topics of discussion are based upon the interests and composition of the delegation. The League believes that the advancement and empowerment of women is fundamental to achieving peace and prosperity. Past delegations have included attorneys, health care professionals, educators, social anthropologists, historians, artists, economists, urban planners, business owners and other individuals interested in the advancement of women. Participants must be League members before traveling.
Travel to Cuba is restricted by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury, however, the LWVFEF has been granted a specific travel license to conduct people-to-people travel until February 2015. The Sisters Across the Straits project will have come full circle when Cuban women are able to attend League events in Florida.
For additional information, please contact the League office at LWVFoffice@gmail.com or Annie Betancourt at firstname.lastname@example.org
Winter 2015 Delegation Price*
Total Trip Price (if paid by check): $2,900
Total Trip Price (if paid by credit card): $3,000
* Quoted price is for a double room; single rooms may be available upon request for an additional charge.
Trip price includes:
Round-trip airfare from Miami
Hotel accommodations in Cuba for six nights
Full schedule of people-to-people educational exchanges
Some meals, including six breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners
All ground transportation aboard air-conditioned motor coach
Professional bilingual tour guide, plus League group leader
Tips for tour guide, driver and wait staff
Thought-provoking exchanges with academics and women leaders
Visits to museums and historical sites
December 8-14 (registration for this delegation is now closed)
January 12-18 (Havana-Matanzas; the registration deadline for this delegation is November 28)
February 16-22 (Havana-Cienfuegos-Trinidad)
TRAVEL FORMS AND NECESSARY STEPS
If you are joining a delegation, you must submit the following forms as they are requested from the state office. Do not staple paperwork. PLEASE BE SURE THAT YOU HAVE ALL OF THE REQUIRED FORMS BEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR PAPERWORK.
1. Application to Travel
2. Color Copy of Passport
3. League Membership (You MUST be a League member to travel with LWVFEF; click here to join.)
4. Travel Affidavit (You only need to fill out your information the 2nd page of this form)
5. Terms & Conditions
6. Final Balance (Either mail a check or pay via credit card by contacting the state office.)
USEFUL RESOURCES FOR TRAVELERS
Frequently Asked Questions
What You Need to Know About the Cuba Embargo
Podcast on the Cuban Spirit by League Members
Women's Work: Gender Equality in Cuba and the Role of Women Building Cuba's Future
"Keep doing this. It's very important to educate the American public, especially in Florida. Excellent value for the money."
"The camaraderie with the other women and the opportunities to interact in a structured way with the locals - the professors, FMC women, etc. We would not have had these opportunities without Annie arranging them in advance, and this made the trip much more productive."
"Seeing Cuba, meeting the people, learning about their fascinating culture, history, and status of women...and getting to know new dynamic League members!"
"This was the MOST exciting trip of the many all over the world that I can remember. A dream come true! Your itinerary was perfect - you covered it all for us. I want a return visit to Cuba soon!"
"Annie was a welcoming and knowledgable guide to Cuba. Viva la Liga!!!"
It's very important to understand that this trip will be unlike any other League trip.
In order to adhere to the US government requirements for travel to Cuba, this trip will not allow for the flexibility we build into other itineraries; as a guest you will be required to participate in our full-time schedule of people-to-people education exchange activities.
The educational exchanges on this trip will allow for some walking, including going up and down stairs and traversing uneven footing, so participants must be in good physical condition at the time they travel.
The quality of the hotels will not be on par with resort hotels in other destinations. And the meals, while fresh and healthy, will be quite simple.
DISCLAIMER: The League of Women Voters of Florida ("LWVF") shall not be liable for any injuries or any damage to any participant or be subject to any claim, demand, injury, or damages, whatsoever, including without limitation, those damages from acts of passive or active negligence on the part of LWVF, its officers, employees, or volunteers. Participant does hereby expressly release and discharge LWVF, its officers, employees, or volunteers from all such claims, demands, injuries, damages, actions or causes of action. Participant acknowledges that he/she has carefully read this paragraph and fully understands that this is a waiver and release of liability. Participant expressly agrees that use of LWVF services is at their sole risk.