International Educator - January/February 2017 - 49

DAIRO MORENO

restrictions on communication have been lifted; however,
communication still has its limitations. Obtaining reliable
access to the Internet can be difficult, often causing lengthy
delays as institutions try to coordinate program details.
She adds, "We've had similar experiences with financial
transactions and other regulatory processes."
There are also considerations related to dealing with
restrictions on the types of activities that U.S. citizens are
allowed to engage in in Cuba. According to Dan Kellerd,
vice president of operations for World Strides, "We have
to work within the rules of the Office of Foreign Assets
Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury,
and with Cuban government agencies. The program requirements are mandated by OFAC, not by the Cuban
government, to ensure that American students engage
in meaningful 'People-to-People' activities with Cubans,
with a guideline of six hours per day of such activities,
that is, no tourism. Arranging these activities with Cuban
government agencies requires much coordination."
"One of the challenges we faced was developing a community engagement program," says Laux. "Traditionally,
there have been restrictions on the type of volunteer work
that students could do in Cuba. Over the past few years,
those restrictions have relaxed a bit, but there is still some
ambiguity in how the new policy guidance is enforced and
interpreted. We resolved that issue by allowing students to
engage in indirect service while we continue to assess the
evolving interpretations of U.S. and Cuban policy."
It is not always easy to obtain accurate academic
content for the courses, Laux says. "This is an exciting
time to teach a course on Cuba. The rate of change in the
country is incredible, and that fosters very interesting and

engaging class discussions. But several of our faculty have
indicated that this dynamic can make it difficult to find
scholarly materials for the course. As soon as materials
are published, they seem to be out of date. It is a constant
battle for professors to make sure that the course content
is accurate and reflective of current conditions in Cuba."
According to Garcia, another effect of the surge in U.S.
visitors is that resources are being diverted from Cubans
to the tourist sector. "For example, in the heat of summer,
many public offices are asked not to use their air conditioners-to make sure there is enough energy fueling the
tourist sector. ... Also, few Cubans have access to fish and
seafood, although it is widely available to those eating in
hotels and private restaurants." She adds, "As educators,
we need to be conscientious of this situation, and examine
how we can contribute to solutions."
Ruth Behar, professor of anthropology at the University
of Michigan, and coauthor, with Richard Blanco, of the blog
Bridges to Cuba, created and taught several semester-long
programs in Cuba starting in 2010. "Cuba offers students the
opportunity to immerse themselves in a vibrant and evolving culture that is as complex as it is contradictory, refusing
easy explanations," she says. "At the same time, it shouldn't
be looked upon as a bottomless pit from which to extract
'raw materials' to be processed by sophisticated American
students. Opportunities need to be created for American
students to interact with Cuban students and for them to
work together on research projects and creative pursuits.
Bridges to and from Cuba need to be sincere and real, to
create lasting exchanges for people in Cuba and the U.S."
"The identification of common interests for cooperation constitutes one of the basic elements for achieving

On the campus of
the University of
Cienfuegos

J A N + F E B .17 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

49  



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - January/February 2017

From the Editor
In Brief
Voices
Act Globally
Tradition and History
Health and Insurance
Education Abroad
International Enrollment
View From Out Here
In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover1
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover2
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 1
International Educator - January/February 2017 - From the Editor
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 3
International Educator - January/February 2017 - In Brief
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 5
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 6
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 7
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 8
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 9
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 10
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 11
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Voices
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 13
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 14
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 15
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Act Globally
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 17
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 18
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 19
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 20
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 21
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 22
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 23
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 24
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 25
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Tradition and History
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 27
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 28
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 29
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 30
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 31
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 32
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 33
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 34
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 35
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Health and Insurance
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 37
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 38
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 39
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 40
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 41
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Education Abroad
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 43
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 44
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 45
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 46
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 47
International Educator - January/February 2017 - International Enrollment
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 49
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 50
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 51
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 52
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 53
International Educator - January/February 2017 - View From Out Here
International Educator - January/February 2017 - 55
International Educator - January/February 2017 - In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover3
International Educator - January/February 2017 - Cover4
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