Cuba Dec 10-19, 2017 (San Lazarus Festival)

Havana Cuba! From the beat of Afro-Cuban drums…to the sounds of jazz trumpets….to the 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 onto your soul. In Havana, waves crash onto the protecting walls of the Malecon, playfully splashing those who stroll the ocean-side walkway. On the wide boulevards, without hurry, cars from the ‘40s and ‘50s chug along, carrying families…or, with increasing frequency, wide-eyed tourists. Throughout Havana, pastel-colored Spanish-colonial buildings (albeit fading and often in need of repair) 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 foreigner walking in Havana. Captivated by Cuba’s soulful way of life and colorful people, Paganelli has visited the island over 50 times. His new photo book Cuba A Personal Journey 1989-2016 was chosen by The Guardian newspaper as one of the top 10 travel books to get for Christmas 2016

Paganelli has led many small groups across Cuba, showing an insider’s perspective and now photographers from all levels of expertise will have the opportunity to have a one-of-a-kind experience interacting 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 its 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 will gain the confidence necessary to engage with the locals and capture powerful images of the setting and the moment. This Workshop will educate students on street photography in a foreign setting, using Cuba – the jewel of the Caribbean – as its lab.

During the Workshop the participants will have the privilege of having a professional Cuban born photographer instructor along side 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 & place in the home and from there we will 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. We will provide feedback, and offer tips for you to try out the next day.

Class Details

Workshop is limited to 8-10 students.

Due to the small size of the Workshop I encourage you 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. * 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 memory cards of 2GB-4GB or larger. Also one wide-angle lenses, 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 & positive criticism. All participants must be able to download and backup you work since each day will be very intense and the instructors won’t have the time for that. I also encourage you to bring a back up system to safe 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 HD or flash drives. I can give you tips as to the best external HD to get.

There won’t be any spare computers to be used, 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

Voyage Itinerary:

Day 1, Havana- Miami:

  • Arrive at Havana Jose Marti Airport then head for hotel or homes where we will be staying. Once settle we will walk around taking photos and discovering parts of El Malecon.
  • Welcome dinner at a chosen restaurant in Holguin

Day 2, Havana:

  • After breakfast early outing to old Havana to capture the morning light and the vibrancy of the waking city and its people then trip to Cojimar where Hemingway used to have his boat the Pilar and to meet and photograph fishermen. This small village was the home of Gregorio Fuentes who was Hemingway’s captain and his model for the Old Man and the Sea. a visit to La Fototeca, Havana Museum of Photograph in old Havana to meet with Nelson Ramírez de Arellano Conde who is the director and if he is available will give us a short lecture on the history of photography in Cuba.
  • Dinner at chosen paladar

Day 3, Havana:

  • Morning trip to the San Lazarus festivals. In the afternoon we will visit Finca la Vigia in San Francisco de Paula which was Ernest Hemingway home from 1940-1960.
  • Visit the Mercado Cuatro Caminos a bustling market

Day 4, Havana-Trinidad- Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site:

  • Leave for Trinidad after breakfast
  • Arrive at hotel and have a quick refresh Meet local photographer and author Julio Muñoz who will be our instructor there and to make it easier for everybody each morning his home will be our meeting & departure point. All participants must be pront and respectful so we can all be out on the street shooting at the chosen time
  • Walk around the town pebble covered streets while discovering fascinating faces and places.
  • Sunset photography walk through Trindad’s wonderful colonial streets then welcome dinner at a local restaurant

Day 5, Trinidad:

  • Early rise to capture the beauty of the place which is the most preserved colonial city in America. Lunch at an organic Farm.
  • Visit a unique place chosen by my co-instructor Julio follow by a visti to a dance school
  • Dinner at a chosen paladar

Day 6, Trinidad-Havana:

  • Discover other unknown parts of the city then after lunch we wil travel back to Havana

Day 7, Havana:

    • Walk around old the train station and Old Havana.
    • A visit to La Fototeca, Havana Museum of Photograph in old Havana to meet with Nelson Ramírez de Arellano Conde who is the director and if he is available will give us a short lecture on the history of photography in Cuba.

Dinner at chosen paladar.

Day 8 Havana:

    Morning on your own Visit El Cristo, The Christ, while taking a boat across the bay.

  • Afternoon a trip to el Cementerio Colon then a final group dinner at chosen paladar to mark the end of our workshop.

Day 9, Havana:

  • Departure to airport and to 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.

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