Cuba, San Lazarus


December 11-19

Havana, San Lazarus & Trinidad

Each year, on December 17th, thousands of believers from all over Cuba arrive in the small town of El Rincón, 25 kilometers south of the capitol, to visit the Sanctuary of San Lázaro and to bring offerings to the Saint of the Sick.

Once the followers reach the town of Santiago de las Vegas, many start the pilgrimage to El Rincon as a personal form of punishment, in hopes it will bring a miracle or a cure to a family member. Many walk barefoot the few kilometers to El Rincón. Others crawl on their knees or drag their bodies across the hard pavement.

Some wear clothes made of jute sack and pull large heavy rocks or a cement block chained to their legs. Some even carry a small child on their shoulders. After days of suffering, they fulfill their promises at the shrine by lighting candles to the deity.

When Pope John Paul II made his historical trip to Cuba in 1998 he expressed his desired to have “an encounter with pain” he chose Rincon. There His Holiness celebrated mass and blessed the sick and the suffering. Paganelli was the only foreign photographer that was permitted inside the small church by the Cuban government.

Voyage Itinerary:

Day 1, Miami-Havana:

  • Arrive at Havana Jose Marti Airport then head for hotel or homes where we will be staying. Once settled, we will walk around taking photos and discovering parts of El Malecon.
  • Welcome dinner at a restaurant in Havana.

Day 2, Havana:

  • After breakfast, an early outing to old Havana to capture the morning light and the vibrancy of the waking city and its people. After that we'll make a trip to Cojimar where Hemingway used to have his boat, Pilar to meet and photograph fishermen. This small village was the home of Gregorio Fuentes who was Hemingway’s captain and his inspiration for the Old Man and the Sea.
  • Dinner at a local paladar.

Day 3, Havana:

  • Morning trip to the San Lazarus festivals. In the afternoon we will visit Finca la Vigia in San Francisco de Paula which was Ernest Hemingway's home from 1940-1960.
  • Visit the bustling markets at Mercado Cuatro Caminos.

Day 4, Havana-Trinidad- Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site:

  • Leave for Trinidad after breakfast
  • Arrive at hotel and have a quick refresh and meet local photographer and author Julio Muñoz who will be our instructor there. To make it easier for everybody each morning his home will be our meeting & departure point.
  • Walk around the town's pebble covered streets while discovering fascinating faces and places.
  • Sunset photography walk through Trindad’s wonderful colonial streets, then welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 5, Trinidad:

  • Early rise to capture the beauty of the place which is the most preserved colonial city in America.
  • Lunch at an organic farm.
  • Visit a unique place chosen by my co-instructor Julio, followed by a visit to a dance school.
  • Dinner at a local paladar.

Day 6, Trinidad-Havana:

  • Discover other unknown parts of the city, then after lunch we will travel back to Havana.

Day 7, Havana:

  • Walk around the train station and Old Havana.
  • A visit to La Fototeca, Havana Museum of Photograph in Old Havana to meet with the director Nelson Ramírez de Arellano Conde. If he is available will give us a short lecture on the history of photography in Cuba.
  • Dinner at local paladar.

Day 8 Havana:

  • Morning on your own to Visit El Cristo, The Christ, while taking a boat across the bay.
  • Afternoon a trip to El Cementerio Colon then a final group dinner at chosen paladar to mark the end of our workshop.

Day 9, Havana:

  • Departure to airport and to Miami


Terms & Conditions

To hold your space, we require a non-refundable deposit of $1,000.00 USD

Fees Included:

  • Workshop fees
  • All Lodging is included.  A single room is subject to availability for an additional fee.
  • All breakfast and two group dinners with one alcoholic drink per participants
  • All transportation in the host country related to the itinerary.
  • Local guide/translator or assistant photographer.

Fees Not Included:

  • Flights to the workshops host country.
  • All paperwork/doc/visa compliance with the nation we are traveling to (Cuba trips all docs are included)
  • Any airport taxes due
  • Extra luggage weight
  • Meals outside of breakfast or the two group meals.
  • Travel/cancellation insurance
  • Any medical insurance.
  • Any tips for an assistant photographer, translators drivers, bellboy, mini bar or any food items or drinks consumed from your hotel/house room.
  • Any optional event that requires entry fees such as: night club, musical event, sports venue, night clubs or any additional cost not included in the itinerary.

What to bring

At least two sets of DSLR camera bodies with five or more large memory cards. Also one wide-angle lens, a 50mm or 85mm lens, a telephoto, a light tripod to shoot during low light or at night and any other photographic tools that you may need during the workshop, including extra batteries, a charger and your laptop to download your images for review & critique. All participants must be able to download and backup you work since each day will be very intense and the instructors won’t have the time for that. I also encourage you to bring a backup system to save your work. External hard drives or flash drives work great. I can give you tips as to the best external hard drive to get. There won’t be any spare computers to be used, so please bring your own with you and PLEASE be very familiar with all your personal equipment.

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