FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL FAQs

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1. WHAT SERVICES DOES DIASPORA OFFER TO ITS CLIENTS? 

We provide curated travel experiences, commercial opportunities, relationships & networks, and related content for those Travelers and Traders interested in the “Americas,” all with a particular focus on Sustainable Travel, Social Enterprise, and the commercial and cultural activities of Black and Indigenous communities of this region.

We offer the following Services (click the links for further information about each service):

  1. Diaspora Signature Projects

  2. Commerce & Trade Support Services

  3. Content Creation & Presentations

  4. Diaspora Curated Programs:

    • Academic; Professional; Cultural

  5. Event Planning and Production:

    • Performances; Presentations; Conferences; Festivals; Lectures; Workshops; Videos/Movies; Webinars/Conference Calls

  6. Diaspora À La Carte Experiences

  7. Document Retrieval Services

    If you have questions about any of our services, feel free to contact us directly at INFO@DiasporaTT.com


2. WHAT ITEMS ARE INCLUDED IN DIASPORA PROJECTS, PROGRAMS, & EXPERIENCES?

Diaspora Signature Projects are priced for Single and Double Occupancy Accommodations and include the following:

  1. Assistance with Flight/Visa/Mandatory Health Insurance Arrangements

  2. U.S. Travel Affidavit

  3. Airport Transfers in Cuba

  4. Casa Accommodations

  5. Daily Breakfast/Lunch & Welcome Dinner

  6. Full Program of Scheduled Activities & Tours

  7. Transportation to Activities & Tours

  8. Bilingual Program Guide(s)

  9. Daily Photographer

  10. Gratuity for Program Food Services

Diaspora Curated Programs are created to meet client objectives and therefore may include more or less than what is listed above.

Diaspora À La Carte Experiences are designed for clients who are planning their own Programs or Projects and want assistance with only certain aspects, and therefore only include the named activity.

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3. WHAT ARE THE SUBJECTS AND THEMES OF DIASPORA PROJECTS, PROGRAMS, & EXPERIENCES?

We have developed Projects, Programs, and Experiences in a variety of subjects and themes, including:

  • Commerce, Trade, & Entrepreneurialism

  • Religion & Spirituality

  • Sustainable Development & Urban Agriculture

  • Wellness & Holistic Living

  • Fitness, Sports, & Athletics

  • Urban Design & Architecture

  • Law & Politics

  • Technology

  • Music & Dance

  • Art & Literature

  • Sustainable Travel & Eco-Tourism

    If you do not see your preferred subject or theme, please contact us directly at INFO@DiasporaTT.com

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4. IS THERE A MINIMUM OR MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS FOR DIASPORA PROJECTS, PROGRAMS, & EXPERIENCES

Diaspora Signature Projects: Yes.  Please refer to the Program Info Packets on the Projects & Programs En Cuba page.

Diaspora Curated Programs: Since these are curated to meet client objectives, the number of participants is determined based on the program.

 Diaspora À La Carte Experiences: Yes. Please refer to the Experiences page


5. HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO REGISTER FOR A DIASPORA PROJECT OR EXPERIENCE

Diaspora Signature Projects: No less than 14 Days before the Departure Date.  However, we offer Early Bird Discount Prices and suggest that you register no less than 45 Days before the Departure Date

Diaspora Curated Programs: No less than 30 Days before the Departure Date.  However, we offer Early Bird Discount Prices and suggest that you register no less than 60 Days before the Departure Date.

6. WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVE TO CANCEL MY PARTICIPATION IN A DIASPORA PROJECT, PROGRAM, OR EXPERIENCE?

Life happens.  We get it! Please send us a written Notice of your Request to Cancel.

If a client cancels their participation in a Diaspora Signature Project, À La Carte Experience, OR Curated Program 90 or more Days prior to the Departure Date, then: (1) Diaspora will refund any unused portion of their payment, minus the Deposit, and (2) if the client was going to share a room with another participant, then the cost of a single room supplement will also be deducted from any potential refund. 

No refund will be issued for cancellations that occur less than 90 days prior to the scheduled Program date. 


7. WHAT PAYMENTS METHOD DOES DIASPORA ACCEPT?

Diaspora accepts the following methods of payment: Check, Money Order, Credit/Debit/Prepaid Cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express), ACH Payments & Wire Transfers.  All transactions should be made payable to KEDavidson Consulting, LLC.  A service charge of $35.00 will be applied to any returned payment, regardless of the reason. 

Card payments require an additional 3.11% fee per transaction to cover the merchant costs associated with each transaction.  Payments sent through the mail must be sent by certified mail (return receipt requested) or another form of delivery that provides the sender with written confirmation of receipt and the ability to track the package.   

Please note the following in the Subject of all correspondence and in the Memo Section of all payment methods to ensure proper credit: “[YOUR NAME] - PROGRAM CODE AS APPEARS IN YOUR PROGRAM INFO PACKET”


8. CAN DIASPORA ACCOMMODATE DIETARY RESTRICTIONS?

We will accommodate dietary restrictions to the best of our ability considering the resources that we have access to during your Project, Program, or Experience. Prior to your trip, please list any dietary restrictions in the Registration Packet.


9. WHAT ARE THE PASSPORT EXPIRATION RULES?

Most countries require that a passport be valid for at least 6 months beyond the completion of a trip. Please visit the US Department of State website for more information about your country of interest.


10. DO I NEED ANY VACCINATIONS/IMMUNIZATIONS TO TRAVEL?

This depends on the country to which you are traveling.  Please consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (“CDC”) vaccination information.


11. WHEN SHOULD I ARRIVE AT THE AIRPORT?

Please adhere to the following check-in times unless your airline suggests otherwise:

  • Domestic Flights - no less than two (2) hours before your scheduled departure

  • International Flights - no less than three (3) hours before your scheduled departure


12. AM I EXPECTED TO TIP?

Tipping is a social practice and customs vary based on the country.  We advise clients on the standard tipping practices relevant to their Project, Program, or Experience country, and we appreciate when clients tip, but Diaspora does not require that clients tip.  


13. HOW DO I CONTACT THE US EMBASSY WHEN TRAVELING?

The method of contacting the US Embassy varies by country.  Please visit the U.S. Department of State list of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions to find the Embassy contact information in your country of interest, prior to travel.


14. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NAME DIASPORA TRAVEL & TRADE?

DIASPORA:

  1. People settled far from their ancestral homelands

  2. The place where these people live

  3. The movement, migration, or scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland    

We have a particular focus on the cultural and commercial activities of the Black and Indigenous Diasporas in North America, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. 

In this context, Black refers to folks whose ancestors come from Africa and Indigenous refers to those folks who are indigenous to this the “Americas.”  

Travel & Trade - We provide curated travel experiences, commercial opportunities, relationships & networks, and related content for those Travelers and Traders interested in the “Americas,” all with a particular focus on Sustainable Travel, Social Enterprise, and the commercial and cultural activities of Black and Indigenous communities of this region.


CUBA SPECIFIC FAQs

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15. DOES THE US STILL HAVE AN EMBARGO AGAINST CUBA?

Yes.

An embargo is an official ban on trade or other commercial activity with a particular country.  On October 19, 1960, the US Government placed an embargo (prohibition) on all exports to Cuba, except for food and medicine.  Since then, the US Embargo Against Cuba, known in Cuba as el bloqueo ("the blockade”), has grown to consist of a number of Federal statutes and associated regulations that form a commercial, economic, and financial embargo against Cuba.  The Embargo is comprehensive, detailing all prohibited activity - almost all direct or indirect financial activity by any persons or entities subject to US Jurisdiction that involves the Cuban Government, Cuban property, or Cuban nationals – and any exceptions to these restrictions.  Additionally, they are written so that the Executive Branch has the discretion to broaden or narrow certain areas. 

For more history about the US Embargo Against Cuba, check out our article HERE.


16. IS IT LEGAL FOR A US CITIZEN TO TRAVEL TO CUBA?

Pursuant to the US Embargo against Cuba, those subject to U.S. jurisdiction are not permitted to travel to Cuba for tourist activities.  However, individuals are permitted to travel to Cuba, if the travel activities qualify under one of the 12 travel categories that are authorized by “general license” by the U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”).

For additional information, please visit the U.S. Department of The Treasury Resource Center Cuba Sanctions webpage.


17. HOW CAN I CONTACT THE US EMBASSY IN CUBA

Website: https://cu.usembassy.gov/

Address: https: Calzada between L & M Streets, Vedado, Havana, Cuba (across the street from a section of el Malecón - officially Avenida de Maceo)

Outside Of Cuba: 1-888-407-4747 or 1-202-501-4444

U.S. Citizens With Emergencies: +53 7 839 4100 - Outside of Office Hours - +53 7 839 4100, dial 1 for English, then 0 to speak to an operator


18. ARE THE GENERAL LICENSE AND THE VISA TO TRAVEL TO CUBA THE SAME DOCUMENT?

No.  A “general license” and a Visa are not the same document.  

In this context, a “general license” is an authorization from OFAC (The U.S. Federal Government) that permits travel to Cuba - See Question 15 Above. 

A Visa is an authorization from a country’s government to legally enter that specific country.  


19. HOW DO I GET A CUBAN VISA

If flight costs are included in your Program Package Price, then Diaspora will distribute Cuban Visas. 

If flight costs are not included in your Program Package Price, please contact your airline directly. Most commercial airlines have an option to purchase your Cuban Visa using their services.


20. DO I NEED ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION TO TRAVEL TO CUBA IF I WAS BORN IN CUBA?

Yes.  People born in Cuba, no matter your current citizenship, require additional documentation to travel to Cuba.  Please advise Diaspora.

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21. WHAT TYPE OF ACCOMMODATIONS ARE OFFERED IN DIASPORA PROJECTS & PROGRAM IN CUBA?

Diaspora Signature Projects Accommodations are “Boutique Hotel” Casa Particulares - Example(s) Shown Here:

Diaspora Curated Programs are created to meet client objectives and therefore may include “Boutique Hotel” or “Villa” Casa Particulares - Example(s) Shown Here:

 Or a Colonial/Classic or Contemporary Hotels - Example(s) Shown Here:

If you do not see the type of Accommodation that you are interested in, please contact us at INFO@DiasporaTT.com


22. WHAT IS THE CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATE IN CUBA AND WHERE CAN I EXCHANGE MONEY?

The current fee for exchanging USD to CUC is 13%.  For example, in exchange for $100 USD you will get $87 CUC.   Please contact your bank for the current exchange rate if you are exchanging from a currency other than USD.

You can exchange USD for CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso) at any airport, hotel, and exchange bureau in town centers and some banks in Cuba.  Currency cannot be exchanged in the US.  The fee is the same no matter where you exchange your currency.  You will need your Passport to exchange money.   In Cuba, they will not accept bills that are torn or written on when exchanging into CUC. 

When exchanging money into CUC, make sure to get small denominations to make purchases and tipping easier.


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23. DO I NEED TO SPEAK SPANISH TO TRAVE TO CUBA?

It helps!  The national language in Cuba is Spanish.

All Diaspora Projects and Programs in Cuba have bilingual Cuban Tour Guides.  Also, we offer our clients a Diaspora English-Spanish Resource Guide that contains useful beginner phrases.


24. WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE IN CUBA?

Cuba has a tropical climate with warm to hot weather. December, January, and February are the coolest months in Cuba; the average maximum daily temperature is around 77°F and the nighttime average is around 65°F.  The summer months are from June through August with an average high around 85-90°F and an average low, in the low 70’s.  The rainy season typically runs from May to November and the tropical storm season is from July to November.

Natural events such as tropical storms have not generally been a risk to life in Cuba.  However, they can cause interruption to travel plans.  Cuba is very well organized and prepared for such natural events with evacuation procedures for citizens and visitors.


25. WHAT SHOULD I PACK TO PREPARE FOR CUBA?

We suggest that you bring all the items that you will need to feel comfortable on their trip.  You will not be able to go to the “corner store” to purchase items.  It can be difficult and expensive to purchase these items in Cuba.  You should bring your personal items, such as prescription and OTC drugs, washcloths, toothbrush, toothpaste, insect repellant, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, razors, soap, sunscreen, etc. 

Make sure to pack clothes and shoes that are appropriate for all aspects of your program, including walking shoes/sneakers, rain gear, a bathing suit and a beach towel.


26. WILL I HAVE ACCESS TO INTERNET IN CUBA?

Yes.  However, it is not like in the United States where you can access internet through your phone’s Data Plan.

You can purchase a WiFi card with a username and password and visit a WiFi Zone where you can access the internet.  The WiFi zones are public places in the city where you can access the internet.  Also, many hotels have a Business Center where you can purchase internet access per hour.

Connection speeds vary, and therefore you may not have video streaming and/or VoIP speeds.

27. WHAT KIND OF GIFTS CAN I BRING TO CUBA?

You are not required to bring “gifts,” but they are appreciated.  

Here is a list of potential gifts to warm someone’s heart:

  • Soap

  • Toothbrushes/Toothpaste/Floss

  • Shampoo/Conditioner

  • Deodorant

  • Sanitary Napkins/Tampons

  • Over-the-Counter Pain/Cold Medication

  • Over-the-Counter Allergy Medication

  • Vitamins

  • Nail Care Items - Clippers, Polish, Emery Boards

  • Disposable Razors Art Supplies (Canvas, Brushes, Sketch Pads, Colored Pencils)

  • School/Office Supplies (Pencils, Notepads, Pens, Envelopes, Highlighters)

  • Make-Up

  • Perfume/Cologne

  • Sunblock

  • Sunglasses

  • Batteries

  • Clothes

  • Baby Needs (baby clothes, disposable diapers, baby wipes, etc.)

  • Sewing Kits

  • Mosquito Repellent

  • Children’s Books and Small Toys


Another question on your mind? Reach out to us with the form below or at INFO@DiasporaTT.com


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