Cuba January 2017

Start Date:

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

End Date:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Primary Trip Segments

  • Havana and Trinidad, Cuba

Program Highlights

  • Visit Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in La Habana
  • Attend discussions with local experts that will introduce you to some of the most pressing social, economic and political issues that impact on the island’s development
  • Visit El Patronato, the main Havana synagogue, and meet the president of the Jewish Community
  • Enjoy a tour at a cigar factory that might uncover some of the secrets behind the best cigar in the world
  • Trip to Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its cobblestone streets and pastel colored homes
  • Relax at Ancon Beach or hike to Salto del Caburni, a beautiful waterfall in Trinidad
  • Proceeds from the donor program subsidize the significantly discounted student program

Donor Program

Trip Duration:

8 days and 7 nights


  • This winter’s Hillel at Virginia Tech Donors Program will coincide with a Hillel at Virginia Tech Alternative Break to Cuba for a group of VT Hillel students. The Donors Program will follow a separate itinerary which overlaps with the student itinerary at select points.
  • The students’ Cuba Alternative Break provides participants balanced insight into the lives of Cubans by engaging students in activities that deepen their understanding of important cultural, social and political issues. In addition to other work and activities, students will: volunteer at a community center that serves one of Havana’s poorest neighborhoods; visit El Patronato, the main Havana synagogue, to meet the president of its small yet vibrant Jewish Community; and visit Beth Shalom Temple, considered one of the main centers of the Cuban Jewish Community.

Important Deadlines

    • Before Nov 1, 2016: submit CLI’s Student Information Form
    • Before Nov 2: submit 500 USD deposit
    • Before Nov 9: submit first half of program balance
    • Before Dec 7: submit final half of program balance

Donors Program To-Do List

If you would like to enroll in this winter’s Hillel at Virginia Tech Donors Program, please complete each of the following steps in preparation for your travels. As CLI is a Hillel International partner and helps manage this program’s enrollment and logistical needs, please feel free to contact CLI anytime at 888-781-8383 or email our Director of Enrollment at if you have questions regarding the enrollment process.
  1. Complete CLI’s Student Information Form
    Please complete our Student Information Form as soon as possible, but no later than November 1, 2016. Be sure to enter information exactly as it appears on your passport. In the days and weeks after you submit this form, you will receive several important emails from CLI in preparation for your program. Please be on the lookout for these emails and stay up to date on CLI and Hillel International requests.
  2. Submit your 2017 Cuba Program deposit
    In order to secure your space in this winter’s Hillel at Virginia Tech Donors Program, please click the link below to submit your 500 USD non-refundable deposit by November 2, 2016. Please note that in order to submit your deposit, you must first complete CLI’s Student Information Form (step 1 above). Please use our secure and convenient online payment system (secured by Stripe) to submit your program deposit.

    Submit Program Deposit

  3. Stay current on important travel information
    Make sure you have thoroughly reviewed health and safety information from both the CDC and the U.S. State Department well in advance of your departure to Cuba. When traveling to any foreign country, it is important that you familiarize yourself with relevant health and safety information.
  4. Secure your passport
    If you do not have a passport, please apply for one immediately. If you do have a passport, double check that its expiration date is at least six months after the end of your upcoming Cuba Program. If your passport’s expiration date is within six months of your program’s end date, please renew your passport as soon as possible.
  5. Secure your visa (if applicable)
    Educational activities fall into the 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba. However, you are advised to review Cuba’s consular service website Cuban embassy at least two months prior to your program’s commencement date.
  6. Consider learning survival Spanish
    A great selection of free Spanish learning resources is available online. Please take time to review and familiarize yourself with the resources available online.
  7. Submit the first installment of your program balance
    The first installment of your program balance of 1,330 USD (half of the 2,660 USD remaining program fee, which is the 3,160 USD less your 500 USD deposit from step 3 above) is due by Nov 9, 2016. Please use our secure and convenient online payment system (secured by Stripe) to submit this balance. Single rooms are available for an additional 420 USD. Participants who prefer single occupancy accommodations should email Nancy Fried ( for instructions on how to make this additional payment through CLI’s PayPal site. Double occupancy is limited based on the total number of double occupancy participants.

    Submit First Installment

  8. Complete CLI’s Medical Allergies and Dietary Restrictions Form
    Please complete our medical allergies and dietary restrictions form upon reading this prompt. It’s important that your travel logistics providers have access to information regarding any medical allergies you may have or other medical considerations of which we should be aware. Please also use this opportunity to inform us of your dietary restrictions (if any).
  9. Submit your remaining program balance
    Your remaining program balance of 1,330 USD is due by December 7, 2016. Please use our secure and convenient online payment system (secured by Stripe) to submit your program balance.

    Submit Remaining Balance

  10. Review CLI’s Cuba Pre­-Departure Packet
    Carefully read through the Cuba Pre­-Departure Packet.
  11. Purchase Health Insurance
    All foreigners who travel to Cuba must have insurance that includes medical care. Upon arrival, travelers may be required to present a proof of medical coverage valid for the entire period of their stay in Cuba. This can be presented in the form of an insurance policy, insurance certificate, or medical assistance card. If you do not have this, you will have to purchase a health insurance plan with a Cuban company at the point of entry. For more information on health insurance plans, see this page.