As part of SUNY’s initiation to partner with Cuba’s Ministry of Higher Education (MES), a group of six SUNY Old Westbury Students participated in a Study Abroad program to Cuba this January 2018. The course, proposed and led by Professor Zenaida Madurka, won the Chancellor’s Grant for Innovative Study Abroad Programs 2017-2018. Afro-Cuban Cultures (ML 4750) is structured around pertinent readings and presentations by guest speakers and museum curators. The group traveled through Cuban cities with considerable African traditions as are Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Havana.
Visits to sites such as the Museum of the Slave Route, Manaca Iznaga Ingenio Azucarero (an 18th Century sugar mill), the 17th century Fortress of Jagua, the Municipality of Regla, Casa Africa Museum and The Museum of Contemporary Art among many other sites, introduced students to Cuba’s rich African heritage as presented in the nation’s visual arts, religions, music, dance and philosophy of life. The group stayed in casas particulares making the experience personal, and the interaction with the Cuban community profound.
Contact Dr. Zenaida Madurka at madurkaz [at] oldwestbury.edu for more information.