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St. Catharine College’s Cuban Studies course was Amy Riley’s opportunity to become SCC’s first student to complete a St. Catharine College study-abroad class when she visited Cuba from June 24 - July 1.
While her primary research was focused on Cuba’s education system, she also collected information on the island’s socio-economic system and took an in-depth look at how Cuba has managed an incredibly successful environmentally friendly, sustainable agricultural system. Working with a diverse group of educators from across the United States,
Riley’s site visits included Old Havana (a UNESCO World Heritage site), the National Museum of Fine Arts, Cuba’s National Art Schools, Hemmingway’s house at Finca Vigia, a working tobacco farm, and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Sierra del Rosario where environmental reclamation has resulted in the planting of over 8 million trees.
In developing her research focus, she met with prominent Cuban educators such as Professor Sonia Garcia, Director of the Angela Landa Primary School; Pedro Pulido, Director of the community outreach program Cintio Vitier; and Luisa Campos, Director of Cuba’s Literacy Museum. Rounding out her cultural experience,
Riley visited the Africuban art colony Callejon de Hamel; an art deco neighborhood decorated in tile murals by Cuban artist Jose Fuster; learned about Cuban music and dance at La Pena del Benny and tasted fresh from the tree tropical fruit at the Vinales Botanical Garden. As the capstone activity for her studies, Riley will present her findings and discuss her trip during a formal presentation at the college.