April 19, 2001
Director of Media

AMHERST, Mass.—During their Spring Break in March, 18 Amherst College students, two professors and two staff members traveled to Cuba as part of an educational delegation. The group will discuss their 10-day visit, the trade embargo against Cuba and economic globalization on Tuesday, April 24, at 7 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Karin Weyland, assistant professor of American Studies and sociology and anthropology, and several students will show the video documentary about their trip they have been preparing. The event is free and open to the public; refreshments will be served.

The members of the delegation, co-sponsored by Witness for Peace, a politically independent grassroots organization that works for social justice in Latin America, wanted to broaden their classroom perspective on Cuba by observing and engaging with a world radically different in its culture, economy and political system. In the months before the trip, they read extensively to familiarize themselves with the island, meeting weekly in a Special Topics class to discuss the questions raised by their studies.

In Cuba, the delegation met with Cuban citizens and visited schools, health clinics, agricultural cooperatives, factories, museums and government ministries, adding first-hand knowledge to the factual and theoretical base. A goal of the journey was to return and share the knowledge and personal growth gained with the Amherst community, promoting social engagement with issues of international relations, public health, public education and Cuban culture.