Special Programs

  • Look here for upcoming Special Events, Special Tours to join, and Special Pricing





  • A great month for gardens, celebrations, and all of our tours

November 2013

  • Bi-annual International Choral Festival. Calling all choristers and music lovers – international choirs invited. Non-competitive festival.

Papier Mache Workshop

Papier Mache Workshop

Rolando, Craftsperson & Architect, Cuba

Dreamcatcher Workshops bring you to the heart of Eastern Cuba for a five day papier mache workshop.

Based in the heart of the vibrant city of Santiago de Cuba where Colonial and African cultures mix and mingle in a unique rhythm, you will absorb the religion, culture and point of view which informs all Cuban art. Your day will begin with a tour or cultural event and continue with a step by step workshop from which you will produce your own unique pieces.

Your workshop leader, Rolando, is a recognized craftsperson and architect. Bringing the two disciplines together informs the structural appearance of his work which is a unique interpretation of religious and cultural themes through the medium of papier mache and found and created objects. His work is sought after by collectors around the world.


Day 1

However you arrive in Santiago de Cuba you will be met by our friendly staff and taken directly to your homestay in the heart of the gracious city. If you prefer, we are happy to book hotel accommodations for you.



Day 2

3 hour workshop introduces the basic methods of Papier mache you will be using, and helps you design your own unique projects.

Sandwich snack lunch

For the afternoon Rolando will introduce you to the important world of Santeria.

From the time of Columbus, Spanish Catholicism with it panoply of saints and many festivals was the principal religion of Cuba. Here and there were tiny pockets of Indians, still practicing their religions, but most of their culture had been swept away by the middle of the 16th century. The influx of African slaves building to major imports by the mid-19th century changed the face of Cuba and its religions. At first allowed to practice their own religions, their sheer numbers became a threat especially during their festivals. Their religions were suppressed and Christianity imposed. However, the Yoruba transferred the attributes of their African gods to Christian saints and so found a way to stay within the law and practice their religion. This tour explores the importance of that mixture as it informs art, music and dance in Cuba.

You will visit various private altars, the Basilica of The Patron Saint of Cuba, finishing the afternoon with a demonstration of Afro-Cuban dance.



Day 3

3 hour morning workshop will give you time to start to develop your pieces, plan your decorations, and make good progress.

Sandwich snack for lunch.

Afternoon demonstration from local artisan working in paper.

Dinner in your homestay



Day 4

2 hour morning workshop to start decoration and to continue other pieces.

Morning departure for the beach. Shells, coral, seaweed, sea polished stones, glass and wood, and dune grasses all make wonderful additions to your decorations. On our way we stop at oyster beds to raid their dump of shells and learn a little about oyster production. Unfortunately samples are few and far between!

Picnic lunch at the beach.

Dinner in your homestay


Day 5

Visit to an internationally acclaimed fern and orchid garden with the most complete collection of tropical ferns in the Americas. The collection numbers some 3000 ferns and 300 exotic and indigenous orchids. This is the life work of the Director of the institute which he has created over the passed 30 years.

The Director is also an artist using ferns from his garden to create pictures of the seasons. He will explain to you his techniques for preserving, colouring and painting the ferns he grows.

Lunch in the garden

3 hour afternoon workshop to continue with your pieces and your decoration

Dinner in your homestay



Day 6

3 hour morning workshop for finishing your pieces and varnishing your pieces

Sandwich lunch

Free afternoon



Day 7

Free morning After lunch an exhibition of your work – your workshop leader will add his own work.



Day 8

Return to airport for departure from Cuba. If you prefer to spend more time at a resort or exploring this beautiful island; we are happy to make further individual arrangements for you.



Please note the following:

  • Accommodation is in homestays and includes breakfast and dinner. Lunches as specified. If you prefer we can arrange hotel accommodation which will include breakfast.
  • Workshop materials – please bring your own tempera paints – 10 small tubes of different colours, a set of brushes of various sizes, silver and gold paper, a small can of plastic transparent varnish (preferably water soluable). (Unfortunately because of the bloqueo of the US many arts materials are not available.)
  • Some walking on the tours is required
  • Companion stay or program available .