Santiago de Cuba


Havana Cuba! From the beat of Afro-Cuban drums, to the sounds of jazz trumpets and dancers with their fast-moving feet and swiveling hips, to the aroma of Cuban cooking and strong coffee, Cuba will awaken your senses, revive your creativity and grab hold of your soul.

In Havana, waves crash onto the protecting walls of the Malecon, playfully splashing at those who stroll along the oceanside walkway. On the wide thoroughfares, cars from the ‘40s and ‘50s chug along leisurely carrying families, or with increasing frequency, wide-eyed tourists. Throughout Havana, pastel-colored Spanish-colonial buildings with the patina of centuries hug the streets, adding pops of color and historic elegance to this stuck-in-a-time-warp treasure of a country.

Come photograph Cuba with Cuban-Italian photographer Manuello Paganelli, who began photographing Cuba’s vibrant people and historical culture in 1989, when he was one of the few foreigners walking the streets and boulevards of Havana. Paganelli has visited the island over 50 times, captivated by Cuba’s soulful way of life and colorful people. His new photo book, Cuba A Personal Journey 1989-2016 was chosen by The Guardian newspaper as one of the top 10 travel books of Christmas 2016

Paganelli has led many small groups across Cuba, showing an insider’s perspective. Now photographers of all skill levels have the opportunity to ejoy a one-of-a-kind experience interacting with and meeting real Cuban folks, listening to live Cuban music, watching a Santeria ceremony with drums and dancers, learning about the history of the island and the politics of Cuba with a Cuban official. (Note: This is contingent to the availability of the top government official during our time there.)

Students will discover the richness of the country and gain the confidence necessary to engage with the locals and capture powerful images of the setting and in the moment. This Workshop will educate students on street photography in a foreign setting, using Cuba – the jewel of the Caribbean – the classroom.

During the Workshop the participants will have the privilege of a professional Cuban-born photographer teaching alongside Paganelli, allowing students to see the island through a Cuban artist’s eyes. Every student will have an opportunity to spend individualized time with each instructor.

Each day we will meet at a designated time and place, then go out for several hours photographing on the streets or at a chosen location. When time permits, in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere, we all will meet to go over the day’s photo work, providing feedback and offering advice for the next day.

Voyage Itinerary:

Itinerary July 17, 2018 Mia-Santiago de Cuba

Students will arrive at Santiago de Cuba Antonio Maceo Airport then head for hotel or homes where we will be staying. Late afternoon photography around Santiago and a trip to the Spanish fortress of El Morro, followed by a welcome dinner at a local restaurant in Santiago de Cuba

July 18, 2018 Santiago de Cuba

Early outing to Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre church (or Caridad del Cobre), where Pope Francis held Mass. In 1954, American author Ernest Hemingway donated his Nobel Prize in Literature medal to the people of Cuba at the shrine of Our Lady of Charity.

Visit boxing ring.

Ferry Trip to Cayo Gramma Island Dinner at a local paladar.

Santiago de Cuba Carnivals

July 19, 2018 Santiago de Cuba

In Santiago de Cuba we will visit la Finca El Dajao and go horseback riding in the Sierra de Boniato. We will also learn how to milk a cow and rope a calf while we enjoy nature, make photos of the wonderful vistas from the high points of Finca El Dajao

Ferry Trip to Cayo Gramma Island and Santiago de Cuba Carnivals

July 20, 2018 Santiago de Cuba

Observe & Participate in a Santeria Ceremony

Santiago de Cuba Carnivals

Dinner at a local restaurant

July 21, 2016

Depart for Baracoa after breakfast

Explore the town, meet locals and discover hidden gems

July 22, 2018

Trip to Rio Miel

July 23, 2018 Baracoa-Santiago de Cuba

Trip to the river

Depart for Santiago de Cuba

July 24, 2018 Baracoa-Santiago de Cuba

Return to Santiago de Cuba after lunch

Evening trip to day trips to the Spanish fortress of El Morro

Final group dinner at a local paladar

July 25, 2018

Departing for Miami

Places of Interest

El Morro y Castillo de la Havana, Museo de la Revolucion which is housed in the former Presidential Palace, factoria de tabaco Partaga.

Class Details

Workshop is limited to 8-10 students.

Due to the small size of the Workshop, students are encouraged to register as early as possible since the classes will fill up quickly. All fees MUST be paid in full 60 days in advance of departure. Payments of USA $6,000.00 can be made by PayPal or by wiring the workshop fee directly to the bank account.

For photography workshop participation: $6,000.00

You can also bring a companion who will not be joining all the activities of the workshop or any photo reviews. The cost of the companion will be $5,500.00

Any students arriving from Europe or Asia should arrive to Cuba a couple days before to minimize the effects of the jetlag.


A deposit of $2,000.00 per participant must be paid to guarantee your reservation, which will be used towards the cost of the workshop.

Fees Included:

  • Workshop fees
  • Flights from Miami-Havana-Miami: Be aware that to travel to Cuba your passport must be valid up to at least 6 months after the day of travel.
  • All paper work compliance with US Treasury Dept policies
  • Cuba Entry Visa and any airport taxes due
  • Lodging is included. For an original and substantial interactions between photo workshop participants and Cubans we will be staying at private homes in either double shared rooms or private rooms. Home accommodations will be secure and with AC and private bath with hot and cold water (due to the large influx of tourism and the lack of infrastructure in the hospitality industry, hotel rooms are currently very difficult to secure). Transportation in Cuba only related to workshops or from and to airport. All breakfast and two group dinner.
  • Local guide/translator, local Cuban assistant photographer.
  • Due to the large influx of tourism and the lack of infrastructure in the hospitality industry, hotel rooms are currently very difficult to secure.

Fees Not Included:

  • The Miami hotel room.
  • Extra luggage weight above 44 lbs.
  • Meals outside of breakfast or the three group meals.
  • Any travel and medical care insurance.
  • Any tips for guide, Cuban photographer, drivers, bellboy, mini bar or any food items or drinks consumed from your hotel/house room.
  • Medical care insurance.
  • Any optional event that requires an entry fees such as: night club, musical event, sports venue, night clubs or any additional cost not included in the itinerary.
  • Travel/cancellation insurance.

What to bring:

At least two sets of DSLR camera bodies with five or more large memory cards. Also one wide-angle lense, a 50mm or 85mm lens, a telephoto, a light tripod to shoot during low lights or at night time and any other photographic tools that you may need during the workshop. Also bring extra batteries, a charger and your laptop to download your images for review. All participants should be able to download and backup you work since each day will be very intense and the instructors won’t have the time to assist. I also encourage you to bring a back up system to save your day’s work or in the event that your memory cards fills up. It could be done in your laptop, DVD, a small external hard drive or flash drives. I can give you tips as to the best external hard drive to get.

There won’t be any spare computers, so please bring your laptops with you and PLEASE be very familiar with all your personal equipment.


Paganelli is not responsible for personal injuries or equipment lost or damage during the workshop. The signing of the enrollment form releases Manuello Paganelli from any liability. And Paganelli is not responsible for reimbursement of travel expenses in case a workshop is canceled due to an act of nature or change in political climate. I recommend you buy refundable air ticket or travel insurance.

Terms & Conditions

Books On Cuba: Lots of great travel or fiction books to read regarding Cuba. Some of my favorites are:

  1. The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway.
  2. Cuba by Walker Evans
  3. Insight Guide Cuba APA Houghton Mifflin Company
  4. Our Man in Havana by Graham Green
  5. The Reader’s Companion to Cuba by Alan Ryan
  6. Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life by Jon Lee Anderson
  7. The Che Handbook by Hilda Barrio & Gareth Jenkins
  8. Paradiso by Jose Lezama Lima
  9. The Wise Women of Havana by Jose Raul Bernardo
  10. Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia

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