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A National Geographic expert will accompany each departure to share insights and a rare behind-the-scenes perspective. Listed below are some of the experts and the departure date(s) they will be joining.
Renowned percussionist Carol Steele has been traveling to Cuba for more than 25 years and introducing the island to fellow travelers for 15. Carol’s enthusiasm is contagious, as is her love of Cuba, its culture, its history, and its people. As a professional musician, Carol’s résumé reads like a Who’s Who of popular music. She has performed or recorded with Peter Gabriel, Steve Winwood, Joan Baez, Tears for Fears, Bette Midler, and many other well-known artists. Carol was the first American women to play with Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, one of Cuba’s iconic folkloric groups, and played and sang on tour in the United States with Lazaro Ros and Amelia Pedroso, two of Cuba’s most popular and beloved Afro-Cuban folkloric singers.
After many years of study, Carol has been initiated into the Regla de Ocha (or Santeria, as most people know it). She loves to share her knowledge about the history of this religion, of music and art as a form of prayer, and of how the faith manifests itself throughout everyday life in Cuba.
The Lowell Thomas Award 2008 ‘Travel Journalist of the Year,' photographer and writer Christopher Baker is one of the world's foremost authorities on Costa Rica and Cuba. He has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, Cuba, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Panama in the National Geographic Traveler series. He is also the author of the award-winning Mi Moto Fidel: Motorcycling Through Castro's Cuba, published by National Geographic Adventure Press. His more than 20 other books include the coffee-table book Cuba Classics: A Celebration of Vintage American Automobiles. He has written for more than 200 publications, from National Geographic Traveler to Newsweek, and has been an invited speaker at National Geographic headquarters, the National Press Club, and the World Affairs Council, among other prestigious organizations. Christopher has been profiled in USA Today and featured on the National Geographic Channel, CNN, Fox News, NPR, and dozens of other radio and TV outlets. He has currently partnered with actor/director David Soul to produce a documentary about the restoration of Ernest Hemingway’s recently rediscovered 1955 Chrysler New Yorker in Cuba.
Kitty Coley is a geologist, naturalist, and avid birder who serves as a consultant to National Geographic magazine. As a professional geologist, she has worked in remote rain forests and rugged landscapes around the world. Her love of nature has inspired her to explore through scuba diving, backpacking, white-water and sea kayaking, and biking. She has led expeditions to Antarctica, the Amazon, the Galapagos Islands, Iceland, Central and South America and many of North America's national parks. In recent years, Kitty turned her focus to Cuba and fell in love with the Cuban people and their culture. A gifted and enthusiastic teacher and a popular National Geographic Expert, Kitty wants to help you experience that same personal connection with this unique island nation.
A 28-year veteran of the National Geographic Society, Rob Hernandez began
as a senior editor for National Geographic magazine and later founded its
International Publishing division, which publishes magazines, books, and
other media in more than 35 languages. Raised in Cuba and Spain, Rob spent
his early career doing ecological field research and documenting the wildlife
and culture of the world’s more remote places. He filmed a television special on lions in
Namibia, explored the wilderness of New Guinea, journeyed to rarely visited corners of
South America, and circumnavigated the Indian and Pacific Oceans in a small sailboat
for 2 years. So far, this inveterate globetrotter has made multiple visits to nearly every
destination on our Around the World itinerary.
Fabio (Fe) Amador is a Senior Program Officer for the National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants Program, which is dedicated to funding exploratory research around the world. He has traveled and worked extensively throughout Latin America and is presently collaborating with research projects in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Peru, El Salvador, and Madagascar. He has also traveled regularly to Cuba over the past five years on educational and scientific missions for National Geographic. As a trained archaeologist, his interest in Taino Indian culture (which spanned the Greater Antilles, including Cuba) is focused on the sacred landscape and the use of caves for ritual activity. In his role at National Geographic, Fabio uses imaging and visualization technologies to provide new ways of capturing data and to document the experience of conducting research and exploration. His initiative in supporting worldwide research has resulted in a workshop titled The Art of Communicating Science. This capacity building initiative is aimed at students, scholars, explorers, government agencies, and stewards of the cultural and natural patrimony, so that they can be trained in how to develop, design and use imaging technology to document, protect, and communicate the importance of their heritage through exploration, discovery, and storytelling. Fe's continued effort in communicating science has allowed him to use photography, cinematography, and other multimedia tools to reach large audiences through his public lectures at universities, presentations at international scientific and professional symposia, publications in scholarly journals and on National Geographicâs Explorers Journal and NatGeo News Watch online blogs.