GAINESVILLE, FL, Nov 17, 2015 – Holbrook Travel, a pioneer in educational travel, was recognized for its role in a groundbreaking program to support breast cancer awareness in Cuba. The 8-day program was led by Dr. Alberto N. Jones. a retired veterinary pathologist who migrated from Cuba to the U.S. in 1980 and has lived in Florida since 1989.
"Holbrook Travel was instrumental in making arrangements for our unique travel itinerary”, said Dr. Jones. “Their expertise and connections within Cuba were essential to our program’s success. Cuba does not yet have the infrastructure to move about freely but thanks to Holbrook’s experience and local connections, our program went very smoothly." The group visited healthcare facilities and met with survivors in Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad. This gave them an opportunity to learn firsthand how the Cuban healthcare system works and how it is able to serve its people with limited resources.
“Through these institutions and working with Pastors for Peace, we have improved relations and understanding between the people of the United States and Cuba”, said Dr. Jones. Members of the group included breast cancer survivors, physicians and well-wishing comrades. His wife, Silvia, is a survivor and served as motivation for the trip. In homage, Jones titled the voyage: “Pink to Pink” tour.
The group visited Tarara and learned about its past teachers’ training facility and treatment facilities for Chernobyl children suffering radiation sickness. They visited two medical facilities and met with cancer survivors, delivered donations, exchanged personal experiences and explored the possibilities of future collaboration. In Cuba, cancer is the leading cause of death in the population aged 1–64 years, and the second cause of death after cardiovascular diseases in the population aged 65 and above.
The program took place from October 10-17, 2015 and also included some of the architectural, historical, cultural and social characteristics that define Cuba. The group visited the Museum of the Revolution, Revolution Square, Hemmingway Museum, Morro Castle, La Rampa, Old Havana’s Belen Convent, Literacy Museum, Cathedral Square, Palace of the Captain General and the San Jose Arts and Crafts Market.
‘Pink to Pink’ tour to Cuba, by Penny Dickerson, Daytona Times, November 12, 2015.
Palm Coast man leads trip to help area physicians and others learn more about the country’s battle against breast cancer.
Alberto Jones is founder/president of the Caribbean American Children Foundation, a board member of the Cuban American Alliance and Education Fund, the Saint Augustine Baracoa Friendship Association, Cuba Vive and other solidarity groups with Cuba. Dr. Jones is also a part of the Guantanamo Public Memory Project, for which he was interviewed: Memories of Crossing Borders: Alberto Jones and Guantanamo, Cuba, 4/13/2013.
Born on a sugar plantation in Oriente, he experienced firsthand what it meant to be Black in Cuba. Then, thanks to the Revolution, he acquired a degree in veterinary medicine, only to have party leaders attack him while he was successfully directing the province of Oriente Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and confronting incipient corruption by his co-workers, political leaders and others. He served 4 1/2 years in prison of an 8-year sentence. He left for the US after being released and built up a successful business from which he is now retired.
Holbrook Travel was founded on the mission to facilitate a true connection between our travelers and our destinations. Since 1974, we’ve taken thousands of travelers on expeditions across Latin America, Africa, and destinations beyond. We combine reliable travel support with deep knowledge to create enriching travel experiences that last a lifetime.
The Holbrook Story began in 1971 when founder Giovanna Holbrook led two University of Florida science professors and a group of naturalists to the Galápagos Islands. Spurred by memories of her pioneering voyage to the Galápagos, a lifelong love of travel, and close ties to the local academic community, Giovanna embarked on a mission to design travel programs that were both educational and affordable. More than 40 years later, Holbrook Travel continues to serve the needs of teachers, students, academic institutions, conservation organizations, and nature lovers.