Elsewhere Goes To Cuba
December 31 – January 8, 2017

The Elsewhere brigade traveled to Cuba over the winter holidays with NEEM, a non-profit dedicated to the Cuban agroecological organipónico model.

This special travel group explored Cuba’s experimental styles in art and agriculture by meeting with farmers, artists, and cultural leaders for in-depth access to studios, agricultural cooperatives, and arts institutions.


Salvador Gonzáles Escalona and other Cuban muralists, Callejón de Hamel, 1990-present. Image by George Scheer, 2017.


The group was based out of Havana. Stays included 8 nights / 9 days in double rooms at NEEM’s favorite Casa Particulares (bed & breakfast style home stays).



2017.01.Ensminger.ElsewhereGoesToCuba.Cuba.-2246 copy
Clint Easthood | Videographer + Artist
Emily Ensminger
| Elsewhere Program Director
Jeff Ensminger | NEEM Founder + Director
Ivan Feign | Photographer + Tech Wiz
Philip Freelon | NMAAHC Architect, President of The Freelon Group
Nneenna Freelon | 6-time Grammy nominated jazz singer
Bob Powell | Architectural Engineer, Associate Professor at NC A&T University
Mildred Powell | Organization Administrator, Fund for Democratic Communities
Kat Phillips | Phillips Foundation Trustee
George Scheer | Elsewhere Co-Founder + Executive Director



2017.01.PhilipFreelon.ElsewhereGoesToCuba.Cuba.--2 copyImage courtesy of Philip Freelon, 2017.


  1. Download Cuba phone apps for offline use. Consider:
    1. Galileo, a map helpful for getting around.
    2. Jibbigo, for verbal translation
    3. World Lens, for sign translation.
  2. Being able to stay connected in Cuba is not easy. If you need to stay in touch regularly with people in the US look into getting a prepaid phone that can be used on the island. To make occasional calls or check emails, you will need to walk to a hotel, buy a card, and use their services (like internet cafés with phone service/cabinas).  
  3. Be AT THE AIRPORT NO LATER THAN 3 hours prior to departure. Flights to Havana are notoriously chaotic, and at this historic moment especially so.


In Cuba, you are allowed 66 lbs (of which 22 can be medication). You can bring your laptop, ipad or any device of your choice. Be prepared to fill out paperwork to check in when you arrive in Cuba (standard procedure).

  • Bring comfortable shoes and clothes
  • Swimsuit + towel
  • Toiletries (soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc.)
  • Toilet paper, wipes, and hand sanitizer (public bathrooms do not have these)
  • Imodium, Pepto, pain medication  (In case of stomach issues or pain issues)


TAXIS:  Official taxis range between $7 – $12 within the Havana proper area.

MONEY:  Cash is the only way to pay for stuff in Cuba (at least for now!). When you change dollars for CUC (Cuban Convertible Pesos) the government takes a cut, which ranges about 12%. You can exchange dollars at the airport (advised you do once arrived). Once in the city, hotels, banks and places called Cadecas are all good options for exchanging currency.







2017.01.PhilipFreelon.ElsewhereGoesToCuba.Cuba.- copyImage courtesy of Philip Freelon, 2017.