The Harvard Cubans (Los cubanos de Harvard) is a documentary film produced by the Cuba Studies Program and directed by Danny González Lucena. Following the premiere screening of the film, a question-and-answer session will be held with the director. Please note the 58-minute film is in Spanish with English subtitles. Reception to follow.
In the year 1900, more than half of all Cuban public school teachers from across the island boarded five American military ships to travel to Cambridge to participate in a Summer School organized by Harvard, the largest such endeavor ever undertaken by the University. The purpose of the trip was to expose the teachers to modern methods in pedagogy and to the great advances of American society. The people of Cambridge, convinced that this Expedition would aid in the reconstruction of Cuba after the ravishing wars for independence in Cuba, contributed over $70,000 to finance the visit. In turn, Harvard offered Summer School courses free of charge to the nearly 1,300 teachers. Following six weeks at the Summer School, the teachers traveled to New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC before returning to Cuba. The educational project was not only a resounding success, but it also became the largest cultural exchange that has ever existed between the two countries, and was widely covered in the press at the time. In spring 2016, Cuban journalist and documentarian Danny González Lucena conducted archival research, interviews and filming at Harvard, culminating in the production of the documentary Los cubanos de Harvard (The Harvard Cubans). Learn More.