Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Austin Chamber of Commerce organizes trips to Cuba

by Gene Davis

March 21, 2013

In an effort to promote education and connection, the Austin Chamber of

Commerce and Chamber Explorations are hosting two organized trips to Cuba.

"Rediscover Cuba–A Cultural Exploration," which is scheduled for April

26–May 4 and June 14–22, will include visits to historical sites such as

the Cathedral de la Havana, the Museo Fine Arts and author Ernest

Hemingway's farm. At night, attendees will be able to see the nightlife

with dancing, dining and drinking.

"It's an opportunity that is something different and outside the box,"

said Jan Riepen, Austin Chamber of Commerce senior vice president. "Your

whole world opens up beyond what you usually experience."

Since 2011, U.S. cultural tourism groups have been allowed to travel to

Cuba as long as the trip is organized through a licensed operator as a

"people-to-people exchange" and meets certain educational or cultural

requirements. The chamber-organized Cuba trip meets those requirements,

providing a rare opportunity for exploration in the nation, Riepen said.

Riepen said Cuba is especially interesting because it is a step back in

time, with cars, culture and infrastructure from decades past.

The Cuba trips are part of the chamber's Global Connections Program.

Previous trips have gone to China and Tuscany, and all provide

opportunities for people from different backgrounds and occupations to

connect with each other in a meaningful and lasting way, Riepen said.

"I feel like when I got back, I had 200 new good friends," Riepen said.

The Austin chamber is having an information session on the trip March 26

at 5:30 p.m. at its office at 535 E. Fifth St. The session will have

registration information, details about the trip and tips for global travel.

People can RSVP for the information session by contacting Riepen at

512-322-5640 or

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