Creative Retirement Center to Offer First Course on Cuba

Learn more about Florida’s neighbor to the South when the Creative Retirement Center (CRC) offers “Cuba – History and Culture,” its first course on Cuba, from November 6 through December 4 at International College. The course is part of the fall curriculum for CRC members.

There are four sessions to the class, running from 1 to 2:30 p.m., on November 6th, 13th, and 20th and December 4th. Liz Rozwat, former instructor at the Older Adult Institute, College of DuPage in Illinois, will teach the first session.

“The class will give people an opportunity to study Cuba, demystify the island, and celebrate the culture of Cubans and Cuban Americans,” Rozwat said.

The second session will be lead by Daniel Bumstead, formerly of the CIA Directorate of Operations and director of the Naples Council on World Affairs. Bumstead will share insight on the politics of Cuba, which he visited last October. The third session will explore Cuba in art, architecture, literature and music. The last session will include a panel of Cuba Americans who will share their experiences of exile as well as how they maintain their cultural identity in South Florida.

Interest in this class is particularly high, said CRC Director Marianne Varney.

“In Florida, Cuba is our closest international neighbor, so it should be important to us,” Varney said, adding that 50 CRC members have signed up for the course.

CRC member Nancy Sena, of Naples, wants more insight on the culture she once immersed herself in. while living in Miami in the 1960s.

“In the 60s in Miami, we were concerned because there were mounting missions to bomb the United States. That was the atmosphere we lived in then because of Fidel Castro,” Sena said. “The Cuban culture is a vital and rich part of our lives. The more we know about it, the better. I think this is a very current, compelling subject.”

CRC member Nelia Howard has personal interest in the course. Howard was born and raised in Cuba and moved with her family to the United States in 1956.

“I didn’t experience the revolution, but some of my relatives did. Cuba is still very much a part of me, so I’m interested in anything regarding it,” Howard, of Naples, said. “I think this course will be of interest to many people. A lot of us are waiting for change in Cuba. The Cuba I remember will never return, but it’s definitely a time for change.”

The CRC, an Elderhostel affiliate now in its seventh year, offers classes, programs and events year-round for older adults. Annual CRC membership is $95, which includes entry to all courses. To register or for more information, call Marianne Varney at 513-1122, Ext. 133.
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