In order to secure your space in the February 2019 Educene and Solstice trip to Havana and Viñales, please complete each of the following steps at your earliest convenience. Please feel free to contact Solstice anytime at 888-781-8383 or email your Solstice Program Manager, Lea Simmons, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions regarding the enrollment process.
1. Complete Solstice's Enrollment Form
If you haven't already, please complete Solstice's Enrollment Form, available at this link, by September 1, 2018. Your Program Name is “Cuba w Educene: Feb 2019”. Be sure to enter information exactly as it appears on your passport.
2. Submit your program deposit
In order to secure your space in this program, please mail a personal check in the amount of 500 USD by September 1, 2018 to Solstice Education, 25 Long Bow Circle, Monument, CO 80132.
Please note that as the start date for you program approaches, this 500 USD deposit amount will be used to begin booking various travel provisions on your behalf. If you need to cancel your enrollment for any reason, Solstice will refund to you any amount of your 500 USD deposit which we ourselves can receive as a refund from committed funds, and/or any amount of your 500 USD deposit which we have not yet utilized for your various travel arrangements (e.g., hotels, buses, deposits for local guides, etc.).
3. (Optional) Submit extra balance for single occupancy accommodations
If you wish to reserve a private room throughout your stay in Cuba, please send an additional personal check for 490 USD, made out to Solstice Education, to 25 Long Bow Circle, Monument, CO 80132 by September 1, 2018.
Relatedly, if you will be traveling to Cuba with a significant other or have a specific roommate request, please notify your Program Manager, Lea Simmons, when she emails you to request this information. Ms. Simmons will inquire with all program participants about roommate preferences in October of this year. Roommate pairings are, of course, free of charge. The 490 USD amount noted in the above paragraph is for participants who wish to have a single room to themselves throughout the duration of our travels in Havana and Viñales.
4. Share your flight info with Solstice
5. Submit your remaining program balance
Your remaining program balance of 2,450 USD is due by February 1, 2019. Please submit this program amount by mailing a personal check to Solstice Education at 25 Long Bow Circle, Monument, CO 80132.
6. Secure your passport
If you do not have a passport, please apply for one immediately. If you do have a passport, double check that its expiration date is at least six months after the end of your upcoming program. If your passport’s expiration date is within six months of your program's end date, please renew your passport as soon as possible.
7. Review important visa information
Educational activities fall into the 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba, and you will receive your Cuban "People-to-People Travel" visa at the airline ticketing counter in the United States upon retrieving your airline ticket. Upon check-in to your flight to Havana, please request a visa form. When completing your visa form, please select “Education Activities and People-to-People” for your reason for visiting Cuba. You will not need to include Solstice's name on the form, but you can present the itinerary as a supporting document if needed. Your Cuban visa will cost approximately 100 USD. This amount is not included in your Solstice program fee.
8. Exchanging money
Please bring cash to exchange into local currency (CUC) once you arrive, as American credit cards do not work in Cuba. The ratio of USD to CUC is 1:1. Due to currency exchange fees, 100 USD exchanges to roughly 87 CUC. All accommodations, transportation, activities, meals listed in the itinerary are included in your program fee — any personal purchases such as shopping will require cash in CUC. Feel free to carry cash in the amount that suits your needs outside of the itinerary activities.
9. Travel & Medical insurance
Passengers travelling to Cuba are required to have temporary medical insurance by the Cuban government. All passengers arriving on flights direct from the US are automatically covered by Asistur (Cuban insurance company) medical insurance for 30 days. Any additional travel insurance should be secured by participants through their current health plans or services such as iNext. Solstice Education does not issue travel insurance directly.
10. important travel information & Survival spanish
Please thoroughly review Cuba travel health and safety information on the U.S. State Department Cuba webpage well in advance of your departure. When traveling to any foreign country, it is important that you familiarize yourself with relevant health and safety information.
Additionally, a great selection of free Spanish learning resources is available online. Please take time to review and familiarize yourself with the resources available online.