The U.S. participants will be housed in the Hotel Pasacaballos, a modern hotel with all the normal amenities, including restaurants, laundry service, a snack bar, a swimming pool, and a gift shop. The Pasacaballos is located near the Caribbean coast at the mouth of Cienfuegos Bay. Students and staff will reside in lockable double rooms, each with air conditioning, bathroom facilities, closet, television, and telephone. Our arrangement with the hotel includes linen service and daily meals at one of the hotel's restaurants. The hotel will also provide the project with extra rooms for storage and for a field laboratory. From the hotel, ferries are available twice daily into the city of Cienfuegos across the bay. Shuttle buses also run to and from the city. A second ferry makes the short trip across the ship channel to the small fishing village of El Perche, which has a market, a major historic fort, and a small, clean beach.
The city of Cienfuegos is only three and one-half miles from the hotel across the bay, and can be clearly seen from the hotel. The hotel is seven miles from the archaeological site, and only four miles from Rancho Luna, the finest beach on the south coast of Cuba. Rancho Luna is a well-known spot for reef snorkeling.
Staff and students eat together. Our arrangement with the project hotel
includes three meals per day,
covered by the tuition fee. Breakfast and dinner are served at one of the hotel's restaurants. Lunch is prepared by the hotel and is brought to the archaeological site. Meals during weekend excursions at remote locations are also covered by the tuition.
View of Cienfuegos from project hotel
Cuban food usually strikes the U. S. palate as rather bland compared to other Latin American cuisines. Spices and tangy sauces are minimal compared, for example, to Mexican food. Some combination of rice, beans, chicken, and pork is featured in almost every meal. Beef is scarce, and seafood is not as common as one would think for a coastal location, since much of the local catch is exported. Local fruits are emphasized, such as mango, guava, and papaya, as are root crops such as sweet potatoes and yuca. A simple ham sandwich is a ubiquitous menu item, sometimes prepared with a processed product similar to Spam.
Food shortages are a simple fact of life in Cuba. Despite the fact that the project is quartered in a tourist hotel, participants should expect food choices to be limited, plain, and repetitious. U. S. tastes cannot be pampered; participants should expect to eat like Cubans. Eggs, for example, are sometimes unavailable. However, the food that participants will receive will be clean, well-prepared, plentiful, and nutritious. Occasionally there will be pizza.
Daily conveyance to and from the site will be by a combination of bus, truck, and open trailer. As the roads to the site are mostly unimproved, the ride may not always be comfortable, but it is safe. To be honest, Cuban vehicles tend to be relics of previous eras, and their reliability is a persistent issue. However, the distances are short and no one will be stranded. Transportation to and from the city of Cienfuegos is easy and inexpensive. Ferries run twice daily from the hotel, and a shuttle bus is also available. Scheduled weekend excursions will be by means of comfortable, reliable buses operated by a tourist agency.