Bone by Dawn
We can’t think of a more creative place to be inspired than Havana. The city is pulsing with art, music, dance, and movement. We’ve chosen Cuba to explore our creative side with Dawn Dafgek of Bone by Dawn. The week includes vinyasa yoga classes, hat making workshop, jewelry making, and other creative activities like photo shoots, painting, and writing. Explore this incredible city like a local, visit art studios where our friends are painting and creating amazing artwork, dance all night long, enjoy amazing food in the city’s best new private restaurants, relax on the breathtaking Caribbean, and enjoy all the fresh mojitos you can drink on our spectacular Yoga + ART retreat with BONE!
Our Creative Expression retreat in Cuba takes place in the artistically thriving city of Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We have carefully woven our activities to include creative workshops with the mastermind behind BONE x DAWN, Dawn Dafgek, paired with our most creative exploration of Havana and beyond.
This week our senses are stimulated by the architectural eye candy of the city at every turn, Cuban music pulsing through the streets, artistic expression via sculpture, painting, ballet, and yes, even culinary. Together we create pieces inspired by our time together in Cuba.
About Dawn :
Bone is a contemporary lifestyle brand based in Los Angeles, California specializing in high-quality, handcrafted jewelry designs using pavé diamonds, fine metals, and semiprecious stones. Each piece of the line reflects the accessible yet elevated style of its creator Dawn Dafgek.
Dawn is a new jersey native who moved to California over 15 years ago, chasing the siren call of better weather. After finishing her degree at Fashion Institute in New York, she started her fashion career working in wholesale for a clothing line where she learned the ins and outs of merchandising and design. She then went on to be a buyer for a boutique in Manhattan Beach, California. It was during this time that she began designing and crafting jewelry for herself.
Soon she started receiving more and more requests to make pieces for friends and clients alike. Dawn realized she was on to something and got busy creating her first collection. Bone now includes a full-fledged line of necklaces, chokers bracelets, and earrings that can be worn solo or layered to your heart’s desire, depending on your mood.
Dawn’s frequent travels, both stateside and international, inspire her designs. She infuses her personality into the line – a mix of east coast edge with a touch of west coast bohemian. She knows better than anyone that the modern woman is complex – she’s got a lot going on, and she can’t be easily defined. This is where bone really stands out, in the simplicity and versatility of the pieces, allowing you to play with many different looks that suit a range of styles.
The guiding force behind Bone has always been to support and inspire women to be independent and go after their dreams. Having been raised by a single mom and experiencing strong female connections throughout her life; empowering women is a cause close to Dawn’s heart. She recognizes fashion as a powerful agent in helping women access their inner strength and confidence but men are more than welcome to join us and make their own pieces. Bone has recently expanded to include custom designed hats and men’s jewelry.
RETREAT PACKAGE INCLUDES :
– 5 nights in 1940s style Casa Particular
– Breakfast daily and all dinners together as a group
– Workshops with Dawn : make your own jewelry and hat as per itinerary
– Grounding circle with mojitos
– Optional Vinyasa Yoga classes as per itinerary
– Donation offerings for families and working artists
– Museo Bella Artes visit
– Salsa Dancing class at local dance school
– Beach day on a gorgeous deserted beach
– Hemingway Tour around the city
– Classic Car ride along the Malecon
– Optional create your own scent at Havana’s oldest perfumerie
– Night out to the hippest gallery and performance space in town, Fabrica de Arte Cubano
– Roundtrip airport transfers from Havana International Airport on scheduled retreat days
– $50usd donation to our Gives Global charity of the month
Direct flights into Havana are available from several airports in the USA as well as most hubs abroad. Health insurance and a tourist visa is required by Cuba to enter the country and is available with the airline directly. Please let us know if you have any questions about travel details. Our retreat falls under the general license of Support for the Cuban People for legal group travel for US citizens. You will be provided with everything you need for this prior to the retreat.
What’s not included :
– Airfare, tourist visa, and health insurance
– Travel insurance
– Staff Gratuities
Cuba Creative retreat pricing :
PRIVATE ROOM #1
Double Bed $2,600usd private; $2,285usd shared bed per person
Private bathroom located just outside the room.
PRIVATE ROOMS #2 & #3
Larger Room : Double Bed $2,575usd private; $2,265usd shared bed per person
Smaller Room : Double Bed $2,475usd private; $2,215usd shared bed per person
Shared bathroom for these 2 rooms
SHARED DOUBLE ROOMS
Room #1 (1 double & 1 twin)
(this is the double bed in the shared room, twin bed no photographed yet)
$2,325usd Double bed; $2,250usd Twin bed
Shared bathroom just outside room with room #2
SHARED DOUBLE ROOM
Room #2 (2 twins)
$2,250usd Twin bed per person
Shared bathroom just outside room with room #1
All rooms are part of a beautiful 1940s home in the neighborhood called Playa. Bathrooms are ample and shared amongst the rooms.
CREATIVE RETREAT IN CUBA ITINERARY*
DAY ONE : Arrival & Ground
Arrival Transportation from Havana International Airport
3:00pm Casa Particular check-in
5pm Organizing donations for distribution
6:30-8pm Welcome circle & happy hour
8pm Dinner together as a group at our Casa Particular
DAY TWO : Photography & Art
8am Coffee, tea & fruit available
9-10am Optional Group Yoga Practice
11:30am To the streets of Old Havana with local photographer & tour guide
2:30pm Lunch (not included in pack) together
4pm Museo Bella Artes visit
5:30pm Classic Car rides home
8:30pm Dinner out together
DAY THREE : Salsa & Hat Making
10:30-12:30pm Hat Making Workshop with Dawn
2pm Lunch (not included in pack) together
5-7pm Salsa Dancing at local school
8:30pm Dinner together at our Casa Particular
DAY FOUR : Beach & Nightlife
8am Coffee, tea & fruit available
9-10am Group Yoga Practice
10:15am Breakfast at Casa Particular
12-5pm Secluded beach day with lunch by local fishermen
6:30-8pm Jewelry Making Workshop with Dawn
9pm Dinner and gallery visit at La Fabrica de Arte Cubano (FAC)
DAY FIVE : Perfume & Hemingway
9am Breakfast at Casa Particular
11am Donations drop
12pm Old Havana Perfumerie to create your own scent
2:30-4pm Lunch together (not included in package)
4:30-6:30pm Hemingway Excursion around Havana
7:30-9pm Gentle Yoga & Closing Circle
9pm Dinner together at Casa Particular
DAY SIX : Departure
8am Coffee, tea, fruit & breakfast available
Leave for Havana International Airport
*Please note that our Itinerary is subject to change as necessary according to circumstances and any unforeseen changes in our plans. Our intention is to keep as close to this schedule as possible but this is Cuba and at times we could find ourselves at the mercy of the powers that be. We will adjust and accommodate as best as possible if this occurs.
AMAZING CASA PARTICULAR JUST FOR OUR RETREAT!
Casa Particulares are private homes that rent out a few rooms to travelers. Staying in a Cuban home is an incredible way to get a real taste of the culture and to experience this Caribbean lifestyle. Our homes for the retreat are particularly charming and hosted by some amazing families. Our newest accommodations are in a charming 1940s style home surrounded by green and located in the neighborhood called Miramar/Playa just far enough away from the hustle of the city but close enough to enjoy tons of amazing restaurants and nightlife nearby.
Deposits* of $500usd are due to secure your space in the retreat.
The balance of your retreat (minus your $500usd initial deposit*) is due 60 days prior to arrival. All details for this will be emailed to the group two months before the retreat.
You may pay with a credit card via PayPal or you may choose a bank wire transfer or deposit to settle your balance. We also accept Bitcoin.
MAKE YOUR DEPOSIT HERE :
Please check availability with us for accommodations before making your $500usd deposit*
Roommates should book together. If you would like to share a room and do not have a roommate we will provide one for you if possible. In the case that there is no one to share a room we ask that you take a private economy room instead.
To make your deposit, please click the link below. You will be directed to Paypal.com
Travel Tips Guide
What to expect on your cuban adventure
Travel to Cuba for US Citizens is legal with our yoga retreat programs. We operate under the US Department of the Treasury, Division of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) People to People (non-educational) general license 515.565(b). This license allows us to travel as a group to Cuba and participate in a full schedule as outlined by the US government while we are in Cuba.
What exactly does ‘People to People’ mean? P2P is a category of license set up by the US gov’t that encourages connection between the people of Cuba and the people of the US (and beyond so don’t worry if you are from another place! It is really for everyone). This means we will only be directly supporting the Cuban people with our activities and plans while on the island.
Flights are available directly from the USA to Havana and are very affordable. We send you with all the legal documents you need to travel in and out of Cuba as required by US law.
Once travel plans have been made, regardless of any future changes in regulations you are still allowed to follow through with your original plans as they were when set in motion. That said, we do not anticipate any further setbacks in this area of the government.
You will travel to Havana with your own tourist visa just like any country. You purchase this on your own through your airline at the airport in the city in which you are flying into Havana from. Your airline can offer further guidance in this area. The visa costs between $30-50usd in addition to your flight (note that flying through Miami you’ll see a visa rate of $100usd so try to avoid that if at all possible). There is also a way to obtain your travel visa in advance online but shipping costs apply so it might not be cost effective to order in advance. Please contact your airline directly for options and pricing once you have your flights.
You are required to hold onto this visa throughout the duration of your time in Cuba as they ask for it on your departure from the country. There are no departure taxes leaving Cuba.
Please feel free to contact us with any other specific questions or concerns you have regarding travel. We are here to set your mind at ease and help you in any way possible. We have been running retreats in Cuba for more than three years now with much consistency and have not had any problems thus far whatsoever and do not anticipate any to come.
DONATIONS AND WHAT TO BRING FOR OFFERINGS
Please plan to bring a duffle or suitcase full of items to be donated to children, women, men, and families in need in Havana. Plan to bring a variety of items of clothing (remember the climate is hot and hotter but chilly in winter so a hoodie and long pants also could serve especially this time of year), toys, books (in Spanish if you can find them or basic workbooks in English), hygiene products, underclothes, and any other items you feel appropriate or that you have to offer. Sizes can range from babies to teens, both boy and girl please as well as adult clothing and other items that you may have around. If you have items in your own closet that you can forego feel free to add those in. Think basics as those tend to be the most treasured. Last time I was there white sheets and towels were being suggested as they are hard to come by as well as clothes hangers and wax for marble! It’s the little things I guess…so if any of those are overflowing from your cabinets feel free to toss them into your bags!
We also will be supporting local artists with hard to get supplies so please drop by your local art store or your own studio and pick up oil paint tubes. A variety of brushes, palettes, and canvas rolls if you can fit them into your suitcase (you could roll up some canvas and fit it inside your yoga mat or fold up both when packing. They can iron out the creases later!) These are a few suggestions. We will separate them out on opening night and distribute them throughout our stay. We are very close with a leader in the Cuban art community who will accept our offerings and distribute them as needed throughout the city and beyond.
Thank you so much in advance for your generosity. Keeping in mind the recent hurricane that pummeled the island, Caritas Cubana the organization we work with on the ground distributes their accumulated donations across the island far and wide to reach those most in need.
COMMUNICATION AND WHERE TO FIND YOU IN CUBA
Getting online in Cuba is tricky. If you need to check in there is a place you can do so a couple blocks away at a hotel. You need to get a scratch off card from a guy on the corner (hopefully he is around) and enter it into your phone or computer. Bringing a laptop seems excessive so I think it’s best to embrace the idea that you are literally ‘offline’ and enjoy that. It’s kind of fabulous and freeing!
In case of any emergency have your people send an email to us with URGENT in the subject and we will get the message to you. Also we have a Cuban cell phone if you or your people need to reach me directly there.
MONEY : HOW MUCH AND WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING
Cuba operates on 2 currencies: CUC, the Cuban Convertible Peso which is for tourists and the Cuban Peso which is for national use only (though this is slowly changing to one currency and we will update you in the group email a few weeks prior to the trip with any changes to this).
You should bring USD or if you can get EUROS from your local bank it might be a better exchange rate as they take 10% of US Dollars when exchanging. There is an exchange desk at the airport in Havana (one inside upstairs and one outside when you exit from customs) and also a place to exchange cash a few blocks away from the host house in Vedado if the airport lines are long. Upon arrival at the host house, we can point you in the right direction to exchange your money if they have not closed. You will need your passport to make these transactions.
Your airport transfer is included in the package so you won’t need any cash until later. If the line is short at the airport and you want to exchange cash just let your driver know and he will wait for you to do so!
Please keep in mind that exchanging money bit by bit is ideal so you don’t have to change it back when we leave.
For Americans, your bank card will not work in Cuba (and shouldn’t be used anyway) so you want to make sure to bring enough money with you. Cuba is not as inexpensive as you might think so plan to spend what you would in say Manhattan or San Francisco daily for food and other purchases. With that in mind you’ll have enough and likely go home with some cash.
Our unique People to People Yoga Retreat in Cuba as captured by Anna Fishkin and edited by Reed Rickert of Modern Maya : Nomadic Media Collective
Some of our ‘intermediate’ salsa dancers showing their moves after a retreat.
An adorable short film about our adventures in Havana and beyond as created by our friends and local artists.
BONE By Dawn is an accessory line that literally any girl can wear. From her hats to her jewelry everything is so beautiful and unique. Her line is always changing offering so much diversity in every style. As an individual she’s so inspiring, always pushing herself to new limits, and giving herself new goals. Dawn offers amazing customer service such as repairs and will customize anything to best suit your needs. She’s amazing to work with! I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
I first encountered Christina and Yoga & Adventures Worldwide in October 2015 when I attended the retreat in Morocco. Leading up the retreat I had a million questions and requests and Christina never hesitated to answer them and assist where she could, always with a friendly and enthusiastic mail (even though I think I must have been driving her crazy). I had an amazing time in Morocco, Christina planned everything to perfection. The accommodation was magnificent, the day trips where well thought out and well organized. And of course the yoga was incredible! After the retreat I knew I would definitely see her again and now my next adventure with Yoga & Adventures Worldwide is in Cuba. Again Christina has effortlessly assisted with every request, concern and travel arrangements.
I highly recommend booking your next yoga retreat with Yoga & Adventures Worldwide and have no doubt that you will find Christina the perfect host.
Elise V. Johannesburg, South Africa
Yoga & Adventures Worldwide – Havana, Cuba is a life-changing experience. From the beginning, Christina provided everything we needed to stay informed and prepared for this trip. Christina cares so much, and it truly comes out in the way she runs her programs. She arranged our travel and accommodations in Cuba as well as offered a diverse travel itinerary – allowing for a truly relaxing and inspiring experience.
Our hosts were incredibly helpful and warm and contributed to our local Cuba experience. Nina, as always, offered a grounding and spiritual yoga environment for us to practice in – which really balanced our other time exploring the city, the culture, swimming in the ocean, enjoying the nightlife, and even learning how to salsa dance.
This trip is a gift that keeps giving. It has opened my eyes and heart to a new beautiful country and culture all while cultivating a seamless experience that combines yoga, life-long friendships, , food and music, and memories I will always hold close to my heart. Thank you, Christina and Nina, for an extraordinary experience. I so look forward to future adventures with you!
Julia K. Portland, OR USA
I’ve been lucky enough to watch the BBD brand grow from the beginning. Dawn has always had an eye for fashion and an amazing sense of style which is reflected in all of her pieces. Just being around her has inspired me to be more creative with my own style and BBD creations are a perfect way to do that. I’ve always been a hat girl, and with a custom BONEhead, I’ve taken my hat game to a whole new level.
As per usual– thank you for envisioning, coordinating and executing such an amazing experience. Cuba remains mostly untouched by the corporate arm that sustains and controls most of the world. To immerse in a city (Havana) of nearly 2 million people who never ask, “where’s Starbucks?” or “what’s the wifi code?” (A personal favorite and somewhat shameful question of mine) and to see them operate by interpersonal connection in a way we used to before text and constant access, was refreshing and offered me perspective while reminding me— there is always another way.
Kiran’s story in relation to his son about experience over objects really stuck with me this trip– as I’m sure it did you. Sure, we are fortunate to have many nice things, but the experiences and the relationships we have built are what truly touch us deeply. Being in Cuba and utilizing the connections you developed and allowed us to share gave me the opportunity to see, understand, question, and learn about Cuban culture in a way I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I am so grateful that you have facilitated this type of unique experience in places around the world. You model a way for people to get to know the people who ARE the cities we visit. Also, being part of The Y&AWW family has allowed me to make lifelong friends out of strangers again and again. I feel like the richest woman in the world! I’m a #Y&AWW woman loud and proud! Where to next??
Aimee M. Los Angeles, CA USA
Cuba was just what I needed and I was so refreshed and full of life when I got back! I can’t thank you enough for everything! It was absolutely amazing and the best time!
–Jenny G., Tampa FL, USA