This is a new exciting Cuba workshop with homestay lodging and new low package price.
Our daily search for the soul of Cuba will take you to places where few people have been before. Cuba has wonderful people, but it is a poor country! Although we are not looking for misery, it is inevitable that we will meet poor families in their everyday environment. Expect to be invited into their homes by people you have never met before in your life. Learn that poverty can also be portrayed with a certain beauty and aesthetics without taking away people’s pride and dignity.
For those who do not wish to participate in the daily photo walks, an alternative photo program is usually offered.
The workshop will be limited to 7 guests only which all stay in a wonderful “casa particular” in Havana, with breakfast, wi-fi, each single room with a bathroom and hot shower and air conditioning, large comfortable double bed, and the possibility of supplemental lunch and dinner. The minimum number of participants is four.
The program is legal under U.S. OFAC Travel regulations, for all participants under the “Support for the Cuban People” category of legal travel to Cuba. It is organized and operated exclusively by SENSES of CUBA a European travel agency licensed in Cuba with more than 20 years of experience in Cuba.
You are probably interested in this photo workshop because you have discovered the photos of FIGUEREDO. Therefore, before you decide on this workshop, you should also look at the offers of other Cuba photo tour providers and compare both, prices and services.
However, all other offers have one thing in common: the tour guide is always a tourist – just like you – and not a Cuba insider like FIGUEREDO.
VOLKER FIGUEREDO VÉLIZ was born Volker Büffel in 1953. He worked for nearly forty years for a large computer manufacturer and, having accepted an offer of early retirement, he headed for Cuba where he met the woman who is now his wife. As a photographer, FIGUEREDO has built up a worldwide reputation with his images on Cuba. He lived for a number of years in Havana, where he found the inspiration for his own personal photography and led photo workshops for people from all over the world. He uses his Leica to capture everything that is typically Cuban but that is seldom seen by holidaymakers or other visitors to the island. His family connections have enabled him to gain his subjects’ trust and have given him access to the everyday world of local customs and traditions, as well as the joys and worries that otherwise remain hidden behind the scenes of the touristfriendly Cuba that the rest of the world gets to see. His »Cuba Inside« collection has been shown in multiple galleries across Germany. Figueredo relocated to Germany with his wife Somaida and their daughter Yoana, but he still visits Cuba as often as he can. His book “LOS CUBANOS – Searching for Cuba’s Soul” (ENG/GER) had been published by dPunkt Verlag in Heidelberg in 2021.
What is included?
Package includes lodging in a wonderful “casa particular” each room with bathroom, air conditioning in a home with a gorgeous architecture located in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana. With breakfast, wifi, and a beautiful authentic atmosphere. All participants will be provided with a wonderful 7-night, 8-day itinerary in Havana, with day trips to Viñales, Cojimar and countryside, local photographer guides, daily transportation in Cuba, several group meals, exciting daily photographic itinerary, photographic workshop, a daily photo critique session led by FIGUEREDO on request only.
In Havana the eight-day program will include photographing boxing, ballet, dance, markets, Santería religious ceremonies, walks through many exciting neighborhoods of the city, including Havana vieja, the community of Regla, Centro Havana, the oceanside Malecón, the famous Prado, and other neighborhood of Havana.
Participants will have plenty time to explore Havana on their own with an English-speaking Cuban guide and FIGUEREDO. The group will spend a day in the wonderful tobacco region of Viñales and will make a trip to the fisher village Cojimar where Ernest Hemingway wrote his Nobel prize winning novel “The Old Man and The Sea”. The group will enjoy a delicious dinner at a tobacco farm with the possibility to learn how the world-famous Cuban tobacco is produced and harvested.
Our daily search for the soul of Cuba will take you to places where few people have been before. Cuba has wonderful people, but it is a poor country! Although we are not looking for misery, it is inevitable that we will meet poor families in their everyday environment. Expect to be invited into their homes by people you have never met before in your life. Learn that poverty can also be portrayed with a certain beauty and aesthetics without taking away people’s, daily transportation in Havana, pride and dignity.
What is not included?
Airfare to Havana, Cuba. All participants will need to book their airfare to and from Havana on March 23 and March 30. Direct airfare prices to Havana roundtrip from the U.S. are very low and reasonable at this time of the year. All participants will be met at the airport of Havana by a driver and will be taken by car to the casa particular where the group will be staying. Participants will be expected to cover several non-group lunches and dinners during the eight days.
U.S.-based airlines will distribute Cuban Visas at the airport. A Cuban Visa costs $50 – $100 depending on the airline.
What to expect
FIGUEREDO’S book “LOS CUBANOS – Searching for Cuba’s Soul” gives a first impression of what participants of his photo workshop can expect. A hand-signed book can be ordered for the prize of € 34,90 plus shipping cost here:Los Cubanos – Book
Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times journalist Anthony DePalma described the photos in FIGUEREDO’s book as follows:
“These pages show a Cuba that the world does not know. It is not the Cuba of the Varadero tourists, nor the restored Habana vieja that accommodates hotel guests for 700 dollars a night. The Cuba FIGUEREDO sees when he roams the crippled streets of Old Havana has nothing of false reverence.
He spends most of his time knocking on doors, sneaking into courtyards, climbing rickety staircases, waiting hours for the right light or the best mood, or sometimes just capturing the perfect confluence of people, places and ideas. He’s not a Banana Republic voyeur, strolling around in a khaki waistcoat taking snapshots without permission. To get his photos, he approaches his subject directly, explains his assignment and only starts clicking when he has received permission. The Cubans he photographs open themselves fully to his Leica and hold nothing back. And through his lens, they reveal themselves in an equally intimate way to those who view his photos.”
This photo workshop is a combination between Havana Street Life and a Vintage Cuba
The small group size will allow the participants to interact with the Cuban people and experience under the guidance of FIGUEREDO how to capture the Cuban Soul.
A one-day excursion to the famous Vallé de Viñales and a visit to a tobacco farmers family
Participants have also the opportunity to photograph professional dancers from the “Ballet Nacional de Cuba” and other pretty Cuban models.
An excursion to “Finca la Vigia” and the fishing village of Cojimar will bring you closer to the time when Ernest Hemingway wrote his Nobel prize winning novel “The Old Man and the Sea”
Friends of FIGUEREDO, which are also believers of the Yoruba religion, organize exclusively a Santeria celebration for the participants in their private home.
On a guided tour with American Classic cars, you will discover the Havana of the 1950s including Revolution Square, Vedado, Miramar and the legendary Mafia hotels
A visit at the famous boxing studio “Rafael Trejo” in Old Havana and a rustic gym (cámara de tortura)*) subject to be changed
Camera Gear and Technology
Participants will need to bring a digital SLR or rangefinder camera, a laptop computer, and a thumb drive. Two camera bodies are recommended, with a minimum of at least one wide angle lens. FIGUEREDO’s preferred lens is 35mm which allows a sense of context, environment and intimacy. It is recommended that participants bring extra memory cards, extra camera batteries, and all necessary battery chargers for their equipment. Students will need to know how to transfer the photographs they make each day onto their laptop computer. Each day, participants will bring a selection of their favorite photographs, or those they’d like to discuss, in a folder on a thumb drive, to the daily photo review and critique sessions. Students are encouraged to use image management software for this selection process.
Companions or spouses
If participants would like to bring along a companion or spouse and share a double occupancy room with them, the package cost for the companion will also be € 3.950. All the rooms in the casa particular have only one large size double bed. Companions or spouses that want to share a room should expect to share a large size bed. Companions or spouses will need to participate in all group activities, and may attend and participate in all photographic review sessions, group dinners and lunches.
Although there is a high level of interest, it cannot be ruled out that, for various reasons, too few participants are registered to be able to organize and execute this workshop. This workshop can only take place if there are at least four participants, the maximum number is seven.
The agency Senses of Cuba – by Tourcom residing in Havana, Cuba together with FIGUEREDO, handles all registration and payment. If you would like to hold a spot, it is recommended that you send an email along with your registration form to [email protected] and a copy to [email protected] as soon as possible. To register for this trip, send the completed registration form (attached) to [email protected] and a copy to [email protected] as soon as possible. You then will receive the payment information and the preliminary workshop agenda.
Registrations are accepted on a first-come first-serve basis and your spot is held only once a payment has been received. Please be advised, for travel to Cuba, your passport must be valid up to at least 6 months AFTER the dates of travel.
Note: Participants will be required to make their own travel arrangements to Havana and will be met by a driver at the Havana airport to take them to the casa particular where everyone will be staying. On the final day of the workshop, participants will be taken by a car and driver to the airport for their departure flight.
Journey to Cuba with Figueredo
People to People Cultural Exchange Havana, Viñales, Cojimar
This program is organized and operated by in consultation with, Senses of Cuba – by Tourcom and escorted by FIGUEREDO.
Full Package Prize: € 3.950
Once registered, and each participant has made their air travel arrangements to Cuba, they will want to provide [email protected] their flight number and arrival date and time, so they can be met at the airport by a driver that will take them to the casa particular where everyone will be staying.
Please be sure to indicate in your email the date of the workshop that you are interested in attending.