ELAC offers study abroad program to Cuba

by Jose Ivan Cazares

A foreign exchange program is giving Elans a chance to visit Cuba in the summer to interact with students in the University of Havana. They’ll learn about the indigenous people of the caribbean and the impact the island nation has had on modern history.

“That student to student interaction will be interesting. It will be a cultural exchange. ELAC students will be like ambassadors of  East LA,” english professor Raeanna Gleason said.

Participants will have to take English-102 or History-5 during the summer. Both courses are worth four credits.

They will take a five week course and spend nine days in Cuba. They will fly to Miami and stay in Little Havana for a day then fly to Cuba.

The trip will cost $3,400 including housing and air fare. Anyone who signs up before November will get $150 discount. The deadline is on March 1.

Financial Aid Advisor Julio alvarado will be available to answer questions during a meeting on Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. and on Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. Financial aid options include scholarships to help pay for expenses. Payment options are also available.

East Los Angeles College works with Director of University Partnerships at EF College Study Tours Juliette Vo to provide ELAC with study abroad programs.

Professor Liliana Urrutia’s History-5 class will focus on the history of the caribbean. The caribbean was ground zero for colonization after Columbus discovered the Bahamas and Cuba played a role in the Spanish American War and the Cold War.

It is inhabited by descendants of European Immigrants, Slaves, and natives of the Caribbean.

Participants will meet villagers of a Tanio community about indigenous culture and traditions.They will also participate in workshops on the social role of creative expression such as art, dance and music. They get the chance to meet artists including muralist. They will visit the Che Guevara  Mausoleum and the Plaza de la Revolution.

Raeanne’s English-102 class will focus on the literature of the caribbean. “Students will share their aspirations,” Gleason said. She explained that it will be interesting to hear what Cuban students invision for their country now that it is more open to tourism and international trade.

Both Gleason and Urrutia agreed that the interaction will be different than that between tourists and locals. They said programs such as this improve ELACS reputation. “It shows that community colleges can also offer things that universities offer, like study abroad programs.” Gleason said.



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