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Busboys Plans Cuba Trip

Cultural exchange trip set for first week of July, designed around art, culture and business sustainability.

In an attempt to encourage cross-cultural communication, the restaurant chain is looking for travelers interested in taking a trip to Cuba. 

In an email today, Busyboys and Poets announced that they are planning a six day trip to the Caribbean socialist state, running from July 1-7, 2012. 

According to Pam Pinnock, marketing director for Busboys and Poets, the trip is designed to be an educational experience framed around art, culture and business sustainability. The trip takes advantage of recently loosened U.S. travel restrictions between the two nations which allow for educational trips. 

Pinnock says that the goal is to "introduce artists here in the states with people that are concerned about art and culture in Cuba."

The trip will cost $2,350. The price includes round trip airfare between Miami and Havana, hotel accommodations, all ground transportation and two meals per day. Already booked is Busboys and Poets owner Andy Schallal. 

The deadline to register is June 15.

Travelers will have opportunities to learn about the development of Havanna, take in art galleries and performances, learn about the literary culture of Cuba and visit local visual artists in their studios. 

Pinnock, who organized the trip, visited Havana this past October. She said travelers can expect to see a vibrant culture framed with amazing examples of historic architecture. 

"To me, the architecture is a combination of old San Juan and New Orleans," said Pinnock. "Clearly a lot of buildings were crumbly and needed paint, but the architecture was so phenomenal, it was like its own character."

She also said the city was remarkably clean. 

But Pinnock also noticed a lack of modern communication infrastructure, like internet access, pervasive throughout her travels in Havanna. She believes the lack of internet access is due to a combination of political and infrastructure reasons. 

"Cubans would say that it was because of the embarge, that they couldn't get the fiber optics and that they had a hard time creating the necessary architecture to make it avaiable," said Pinnock. "I don't know if that would be the whole reason. It seemed also that there was some resistance from the government to make the internet widely available."

This is the second international trip which Busboys and Poets has organized. Back it 2007, they hosted a trip to Dakar, Senegal to research the transatlantic slave trade from the point of view of Africans.

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