Cuba expert Joseph Scarpaci, professor of geography in Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources, will be leading his 39h tour to the Caribbean island, Dec. 5 to Dec. 12. This particular trip, limited to 24 non-students, will explore the built environments of Havana and include the UNESCO World Heritage sites as well as the Pinar del Rio. His license for this kind of travel expires at the end of the year.

Scarpaci has just received his license renewal from the U.S. Treasury that allows him to take students to Cuba through 2005, despite the U.S. government announcing last week it was tightening American travel there. Few of these licenses are given out.

In addition to touring major architectural sites, participants will hear presentations by Cuba's leading architects, planners and other scholars as well as meet with diplomats at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. Scarpaci says the trip "transforms everyone. People come back with a new understanding and appreciation of the Cuban culture."

Persons interested in the trip need to sign up immediately and can get an application from the following web site: http://www.arch.vt.edu/CAUS/CAUSalumni/cuba.htm.

The basic trip with double room occupancy will cost $2,890; single rooms are an additional $420. Participants depart from Miami but must provide their own transportation to that city.

A board member of the Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers, Scarpaci has authored several works on Cuba, including Havana: Two Faces of the Antillean Metropolis (with Roberto Segre, Mario Coyula).

Questions may be directed to Scarpaci at 231-7504, or scarp@vt.edu.