Above: Dr. Dave Donathan poses in front of a mural during a visit to the headquarters of the National Teachers Union in Havana, Cuba last month.
Dr. David Donathan, Professor of Management and Chair of the Business, Management and CIS Department at St. Catharine College, recently returned from a week traveling in Cuba on an Educator Orientation tour full of adventures stories, many of which he shared at a presentation titled “Impresiones de Cuba.” His stories reiterated his belief that travel should be an adventure and many of his in-country experiences reinforced the concept.
“Cuba is like a time capsule from 40 years ago,” he stated. “It is a country marked by contrast, a people full of energy focused on day-to-day successes, and a spirit of national solidarity not common in modern societies.”
While the focus of the trip was to prepare for a class which he will offer at in the Summer of 2012, he found the exposure to the diverse island culture provided a unique perspective on social evolution.
“Even though the United States has essentially embargoed trade and travel with Cuba since 1960, the U.S. influence on Cubans is very evident in the enormous numbers of antique cars still being driven, the old locomotives around the island which were imported from the U.S. to support the sugar cane industry, and the close familial ties with Cuban-American relatives.”
SCC’s Summer 2012 class will provide an opportunity to experience first-hand a small island which is poised to make a large impact on the U.S. politically, economically and culturally as new legislation on the U.S. embargo is debated. The class will require students to work with their academic advisor to develop a discipline-specific project incorporating one week of researching in Cuba.
You can see all the tour details at http://www.authenticubatours.com/cuba-education-tours/st-catharine-college.htm and using the password CubaBusiness to log in.