“Visiting Cuba in the company of a group of LC alumni and with Professor Freddy Vilches shifted what I had been taught to see. This trip opened up the narrative.”
- Sara Rothert
In your mind, which aspects of the LC Travel program are unique?
The rich heritage of Cuba’s music and arts despite (or perhaps because of) the pared down living conditions show a singular resistance and resilience. In Cuba, talking about art and music didn’t feel pointless or self-indulgent. That to me is the ongoing learning process that Lewis & Clark encourages in all its students – encouraging conversations about perspective, agency and representation with a more global view.
What was a highlight from your trip?
Several moments of the trip stand out; an all-female orchestra playing gorgeous compositions in the knave of a church; watching a morning ballet rehearsal with all those graceful limbs flying within inches of our seats on the sidelines; Professor Vilches giving us passionate talks on Cuban music genres (HINT: it is not all salsa-inspired Pop!) as he demonstrated the instrumentation with a live group in an abandoned roofless theatre space…then another time getting us in the back door of a recording studio. Horseback riding in the countryside too! And buying hand roasted coffee beans packaged in a re-purposed Nestle brand plastic water bottle from a local farm.
Do you keep in touch with any of your fellow travelers?
Yes, we made connections with several of the people on our trip. It was a small enough group to circulate over the days, particularly at the shared meals. But a particular surprise was hitting it off with a same year alumnus who I never really crossed paths with when we studied at LC – and has the four of us (spouses included) already signed up to hit Antarctica in 2022!