Corazon Cuba

Corazon Cuba


Corazon Cuba are based in the heart of Old Habana where we run programs combining learning Spanish, 'dance & discover' cultural excursions and meaningful volunteering to help you maximise your time in this amazing country. Cuba is a country like no other - gorgeous neo-classical buildings rubbing alongside primary coloured classic American cars, overlaid with exotic afro-Cuba music and some of the most exciting nightlife you will find anywhere.

Our programs are for 18+ but families are welcome too and there is no upper age limit to having fun in Cuba! We also offer tourism related activities across Cuba and we have programs based in Viñales and Trinidad. So... if you are interested in having a good time and learning more about Cuba please get in touch!

All programs restart from 3rd January 2021!

Cuba has taken a zero COVID approach and was completely shutdown for 8 months until mid November. Tourists have started returning and bars, restaurants, museums and other attractions are now open! We are delighted to welcome back visitors to learn Spanish and enjoy an exciting and authentic time in Cuba - in a safe and responsible way.


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Yes, I recommend this program

I couldn’t have asked for a better week! From the beginning, the organization of the program and the contact with Tim was excellent; everything went flawlessly. Every single staff member in Havana were Amazing; very warm, friendly and helpful - I was made to feel at home and supported. I opted for a private room and was very happy with the accommodation in all aspects (cleanliness, comfort, location, safety). My spanish teacher was better than I expected, and I really appreciated being put in an appropriate level with only one other student in my class. The dance classes were a dream, I couldn’t get enough! I loved that everything I needed was walking distance and I always felt safe no matter the time of day or night. All in all, I have zero complaints, and would absolutely recommend this program. I can’t wait to return for another amazing experience!

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Yes, I recommend this program

I spent three weeks with Corazon Cuba in La Habana. Having learnt Spanish only while travelling in Latin America I still made a lot of mistakes. After three weeks I felt much more confident in the use of the language. I am now really able to have a deeper conversation in Spanish and I make considerably fewer mistakes. The teaching was varied, professional and linked to life in Cuba. We watched and discussed movies, read poems and short stories and got an in-depth comprehension of Spanish grammar.

The housing was simple, clean and well kept, food was delicious. Meeting people from all over the world was great fun. I met interesting people and made friends. Dancing lessons were great, my teacher had a lot of patience with me.

Thank you very much, I shall come back!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Having spent three wekks in Cuba in 1989 it was very interesting to see how Cuba has changed towards a more open society and a mixed economy.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I had a wonderful time. Everybody was friendly and helpful.
I would definitely return. And I already have recommended this program to many of my friends.I loved the dance lessons and my Spanish teacher was wonderful. I learned so much! Havana is a wonderful city in that location was perfect. It was easy to walk to restaurants, walk to the bus station, and walk to night dances. The rooftop was a lovely place to hang out. It’s a great way to meet people from all over the world. The staff was helpful and well organized.

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Yes, I recommend this program

I spent 10 days in the school in Havana vieja. Had a great time there. All the staff is very reliable, helpful and good teachers. Learning spanish was efficient in relaxing way and funny at the same time. After one week program of spanish lessons I decided to prolong it for another week with volunteering work and was great decision. So after spanish in the morning we went to the school and in afternoon helping children in primary school with basic english. Thanks to all of the staff and participants.... Jure

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Yes, I recommend this program

Translated by Go Overseas:

I met a lot of new friends on the first day, and I was immediately accepted into the group. The lessons were great and very individual, first with a classmate, later I even had individual lessons. The teachers are very competent and speak English very well. In the evening people go out to eat together, especially if you are traveling alone, a very nice way to connect. In this way you experience a country much more intensely. I can recommend this language school and hostel to everyone.

Original Review:

Schon am ersten Tag habe ich viele neue Freunde kennengelernt, ich war sofort aufgenommen in die Gruppe. Der Unterricht war spitze und sehr individuell, zuerst mit einem Mitschüler, später hatte ich sogar Einzelunterricht. Die Lehrer sind sehr kompetent, sprechen auch sehr gut englisch. Abends wird zusammen essen gegangen, gerade wenn man alleine auf reisen ist, eine sehr schöne Möglichkeit, Anschluss zu finden. Auf diese Weise erlebt man ein Land viel intensiver. Ich kann diese Sprachenschule und das Hostel jedem empfehlen.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Martina Bednjanec

Martina Bednjanec traveled to Cuba 5th to May 31st in 2014. She is from Zagreb, Croatia, a Geomatics engineer, and 26 years old. She has a Bachelor's degree from University of Zagreb and a Master's degree from Royal Institute of technology (KTH) in Stockholm in Geodesy and Geoinformatics. She studied and worked for five years in Stockholm, Sweden. She enjoys learning new languages and likes a Latin American style of life--relaxed with lots of music and dancing.

Why did you decide to enroll with Corazon Cuba in Cuba?

I wanted to make a longer trip to South America and some Spanish speaking country to improve my Spanish. I found Corazon Cuba's program in Venezuela (called Travelling Classroom) through google.

It encompassed Spanish lessons with adventure traveling, which was a perfect match for what I was searching for.

As the situation in Venezuela is a bit unstable now, I was happy to hear that they opened the same program in Cuba and I decided to try it out.

If you could go back and do something differently, what would it be?

Hmm...difficult question. I was really satisfied with everything, so maybe I would point out that I'm sorry that I didn't do the diving trip with our guide, Joel. I didn't do it because of bad weather and rain during the two weekends. It was not possible to do it during working days because of our schedules were full with Spanish lessons.

Tell me about one person you met.

I met Joel, who was our guide and my companion for the most of my trip. It's just amazing to hear how the people of my age live in different cultures and to experience their lifestyle for a short time.

He introduced us to almost his whole family. His uncle Vianko is a renowned artist and his girlfriend Gracy is a law student.

We also met his father and others; we went out with his friends who play in a band and they told us about their work and views on life matters.

As Cubans lack lots of stuff, it's an eye-opening experience to understand what really matters in life. It makes you not take things for granted and appreciate what we have in life.

What was the best moment of the entire trip?

There were lots of them! I think I'll never forget the night when we went to the Buena Vista Social Club concert in Hotel Nacional. I really didn't expect much, but the music and atmosphere turned out to be so great and the show was just amazing.

We also spent evenings in local restaurants listening to the bands and drinking mojitos. Another great moment was our trip to the mountains of Pinar del Rio, where we watched a telenovela in the evening with the locals.

The locals that I met for the first time offered us everything (even beds in their house because of the strong rain outside). I also drank freshly brewed coffee, which they grew and it was just a delight - the best coffee I ever drank.

I also liked poetry reading and art exhibitions on Sundays in Paseo del Prado, one of the main streets in Havana. I can also never forget the way we rode in Cuban public transportation. We rode in completely full buses in Havana and old massive trucks around the country.

Any tips for future participants in general and/or tips specifically for female students?

Bring sun lotion and insect repellent. Also try to bring some things as a donation, such as shampoos, soaps, tissues, child toys, pens, or crafts because they really lack these things. No special tips for female students because it's really safe. Also, try to learn some Spanish words before you come, as not many people speak English.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Tim Poullain-Patterson

Job Title
Founder Director
Born and raised in Scotland and worked in Finance in London and Zürich before settling in Ireland and starting a new life in the world of travel. A one-time aspiring jazz trumpet player Cuba is a dream come true. Lives in Ireland with a Cuban wife but relishes trips to Cuba to reconnect with family and spend time with our amazing local team.

Keep fit doing the odd triathlon and marathon...not sure I'm ready for the Habana marathon yet but might give it a go one of these days ;)
Tim Poullain-Patterson

What is your favorite travel memory?

I had to spend 36 hours in Tokyo many years ago. I had a busy schedule and am pretty sure I didn't sleep. It was so exciting EVERYTHING was so different. Found myself in a gangsta rap club that was a bit surreal but it was the sophistication of the food that left the greatest impression.

Such an entirely different culture that has developed over centuries in parallel with our own.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Cuba has definitely changed me. I know the 'system' is not perfect but I find it reassuring that society is still trying to arrange things so that everyone has the same start in life - a good basic education - and access to healthcare. Perhaps it's not sustainable...but it makes you think that there must be a better way than our own 'rat race' and unthinking consumerism (also not sustainable!).

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

We have a least two former students who have made their lives in Cuba. That's a lot harder than it sounds! I have total respect for people who follow their dreams and despite all the odds, hardships...they make a go of it and are ultimately happier and more fulfilled than if they had just done what others told them to do. Respect!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I'd do the 4-week Learn Spanish, Culture & Adventure program BUT I'd be a bit sneaky and ask if for the first two weeks I could do the Learn Spanish & Volunteer program (its the same price and no problem doing this ;)

Two weeks in Habana doing a whole bunch of exciting stuff including meeting locals in their own barrio, volunteering...then Viñales for a change of scene/pace...then a final week in Habana. Awesome!!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

We are extremely fortunate to have an AMAZING local team. They are fun and intelligent and get a huge buzz from our clients. We're in the business of delivering uplifting, fun experiences for people so you'd like to think that we'd be happy at our work...but it still requires commitment...turning up, being patient, treating everyone with respect and having respect for yourself!

Cuba is a difficult country with many random things going on, but our team is proud to show everyone the best side of this amazing country and that's infectious.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

People...and some luck.

I know some will say that you make your own luck - sure, if you don't show up, then nothing will happen. But I know from our own experience that external factors can be difficult to respond to. For example, I wish the improving relations between Cuba and the USA that Obama started in 2016 did not go back as they recently have done. Hey - consistency... doing a great job, day after day after day... that's another factor!

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