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Cuba at the Crossroads

Cuba at the Crossroads is an exciting opportunity for EWU students to not only learn the history of Cuba, but to actually travel there and experience it for themselves. Scheduled next for Summer 2016 Cuba at the Crossroads will be an eight-week program where students enroll in a class that spends the initial four weeks studying on campus in Cheney, the next two in Cuba, and then the final two weeks back in class summarizing their findings and reporting them in a research paper and presentation.

The group in the famous Plaza de la Revolución (Plaza of the Revolution,) Havana.
The group in the famous Plaza de la Revolución (Plaza of the Revolution,) Havana

A message from Professor Lenti

Dear prospective cubanistas (that is, students of Cuba):

Even with monumental changes that have recently occurred in the U.S.-Cuban relationship, few things are as misunderstood by contemporary Americans as is Cuba. Today's Cuba befuddles us as it rests close to our shores yet outside of our daily consciousness. The political roots of its alienation are well known, but beyond politics, Cuba is a vastly different nation that the U.S., certainly, and is even an outlier among its Caribbean and Latin American neighbors. What makes Cuba so historically and culturally different? Why are its social, religious, musical, sporting, culinary, and environmental traditions so unique? Cuba at the Crossroads is an innovative and multi-disciplinary program that attempts to answer these and other questions via reading, discussion, research, travel, fieldwork, participant observation, and analysis.
The first component of your participation in Cuba at the Crossroads is enrollment in HIST396, a five-credit course called History of Cuba. HIST 396 - History of Cuba - will be offered in summer quarter 2014 and will last eight weeks (June 20 - August 12.) You must enroll in this course in order to travel to Cuba! You will read extensively and devise a research project on a topic of your choosing during the first half of the course, then put your knowledge to use in Cuba researching aspects of Cuban history that could include environmental adaptation, tourism, food, sport, women's rights, education and health care, visual communication, Santería, and the Cuban Revolution, among other possibilities. You will complete the program by writing a research essay and presenting your findings at a public forum, or alternatively, at the EWU Graduate and Undergraduate Research and Creative Works Symposium, scheduled for Spring 2015.

Here are some important things to know when considering this program:

•  Travel to Cuba requires one to possess a U.S. Passport or other valid migration document (green card, etc.) This document must be in the traveler's possession by March 1, 2016, the deadline for applying for a student visa from the U.S. and Cuban governments.

•  Cuba at the Crossroads is a competitive program that chooses its participants using an application process. Note: this program is not limited to history majors nor must a student speak Spanish to participate. Interested students from any major should contact Professor Lenti no later than March 1, 2016 to request the application. (

•  The price of Cuba at the Crossroads is the total of five-credits of summer tuition plus a course fee of roughly $3000 to cover airfare from Spokane to Cuba, lodging, food, and other travel and research expenses incurred while abroad. Students will pay the program's entire cost with the payment of their summer tuition. Financial aid can be requested to cover this educational expense and students may opt to work with faculty to seek scholarships and hold a fundraiser. The program's final cost will be announced in early 2014.

We sincerely hope that you consider embarking upon this eye-opening and (perhaps) life-changing experience with us.

Saludos cordiales,

EWU History Department

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