Do you go to Havana?
No. Our workshop is based in Santiago de Cuba which is a 15 hour bus ride south of Havana. It's just too far to squeeze it into the week!

Why is your workshop in Santiago instead of Havana?
Santiago de Cuba has a more intimate vibe than Havana. Santiago is a special city, full of interesting architecture, culture and history. Also:
  • in February the weather is warmer, usually 25-30 degrees celsius where in Havana it can get as low as 15-18 degrees celsius sometimes 
  • the people of Santiago are also very warm and inviting
  • the city is very active, but has a more relaxed atmosphere
  • like Havana, Santiago is also a city of music. The Lonely Planet describes Santiago de Cuba as "the New Orleans of the Caribbean" because of it deep connection to music.  The Cuban rhythm "son" originated in Santiago.
Our seven years of going back to the same place has created a unique bond with the artistic community.  We are dedicated to helping the artists of Chivirico and Santiago de Cuba in what little ways we can with our groups each year by bringing art supply donations.

Can US citizens come on your trip?
We have had US citizens participate in past workshops. US citizens interested in joining us should seek legal advice and check with the appropriate authorities.
We are a Canadian team teaching this workshop along with a Cuban art professor.  As Canadians we do not need to have special permission to travel into Cuba.  Therefore our travel workshop does not supply any US government paperwork to authorize US citizens to travel into Cuba.

Do I have to fly out of Toronto with the group in order to participate in the workshop?
No. You are welcome to pay for just the workshop component ($1095), find your own way to Cuba and meet us on the first day of the workshop at the hotel.
With that said, all of our participants who have come from places outside of the Toronto area still found it much more economical to fly into Toronto and take advantage of our excellent group travel price.

Can travel companions come and not take the workshop?
Yes!  We welcome travel companions to join our participants.
Outside of workshop times (lectures, photo shoots and critiques), travel companions are invited to join the group during our social times.

Do I need to speak Spanish?
No, you will get by just fine with English.  Plus, German will teach you a few common courtesy words "en espaƱol".

What level of photography do I need to be at to participate?
This workshop is suitable for image makers coming from different levels of photography. If you are a beginner, you will not be lost; if you are advanced you will not be held back, as each person will have their photographs personally reviewed and critiques customized to your level.
Our workshop is about storytelling and creating compositions that express something interesting.  You will have Trina available to you during photo shoot sessions to help with your camera.