I cannot say enough wonderful things about [Dr. Scarpaci and the Center]. I taught for over 40 years at elite and highly private selective schools...and I know gifted teaching. He is a warm, thoughtful, well-informed and balanced communicator. He handled the 'difficult students' with tact and firmness.
- Carol F., January 2013.
Heartfelt thanks to you for making the trip a wonderful experience. We appreciate how much you shared of your knowledge of Cuban culture and people. We learned so much!
- Bev and Frank C., Cambridge, MA March 2013.
Beyond Cuba, generally, [Dr. Scarpaci] was quite simply the highlight of the trip! Well informed; balanced; enthusiastic; intrepid; and much more. It's hard to imagine a trip of this type without him.
- David F., Boston. January 2013.
It was an incredible learning experience!
- Sylvia L., Chicago, January 2013.
Outstanding! So knowledgeable of Cuba and Cuban culture. Inspiring! Gave us great insight into the history and the future of the Cuban culture and economy.
- Joe and Mary T., Richmond, VA January 2013.
Outstanding. Just great. Informative, dedicated, energetic, and enthusiastic!
- Richard and Sheila H., Los Angeles, January 2013.
I picked this trip not knowing who [Dr. Scarpaci] was and it was a stroke of luck to get his trip. He is nice to all, very bright, fun, full of energy and enthusiasm and his people-to-people skills made the trip not just good, but outstanding. The people connections are what will stay with me. He is not just a leader but a scholar. Absolutely made the trip great.
- Mary H., New York.
My visit to Cuba was a treasured and unexpected chance to get to know a country full of beauty, history and contradictions. I can't imagine a better group leader than Professor Joe Scarpaci, who has such perspective and deep roots there that we met people and experienced the culture in a way open to very few Americans.
- Judi Feniger, Cleveland, Ohio.
The memories are very vivid because Dr. Scarpaci knows the country as well as the citizens there. He speaks their language so well and blends in with the culture and the people, so visitors traveling with him likewise get immersed.
-Lynn Davis, Virginia Tech
My trip to Cuba in 2002 was greatly enhanced by having Joe Scarpaci as a guide. His breadth and depth of knowledge about Cuba's history, culture and language, and his collegiality served to make my trip a valuable experience.
- Kay F. Edge, Associate Professor of Architecture, Virginia Tech
We had the pleasure of touring Cuba with Professor Scarpaci who had planned a thoughtfully informative itinerary. He is an excellent lecturer who knows the island and its people well. ...“Joe” was always accessible for questions or comments.
- Arleen Glickbarg, California
"Our man" in Havana, Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Viñales, knew exactly what was outside the window of the tour bus and behind the many facades in Old Havana. His wealth of knowledge added an intellectual richness to our faculty/staff trip that no other U.S. academic or Cuban tour guide could.
Joe has a knack for finding varied voices from within the country — dancers & filmmakers, entrepreneurs & state shopkeepers. He encourages them to clearly offer their personal views of a lovely land, its life and its politics, and he reflects from his own perspective as a highly experienced and educated outsider as well. It would be silly to hope that Joe or that any personal guide could deliver ‘the real Cuba’, for the place is complex, contested and rapidly changing. In place of that false hope, Joe finds voices (and some amazing restaurants, too) that he knits together into a unique and evolving experience of a changing Cuba.
-Allegheny College Mellon Internationalization Grant Faculty/Staff Tour, Jan 3-13, 2016.
The portions of the trip in which you were in attendance were the most informative parts of the trip. Your love for what you do showed in all the discussions you led, including the video you produced of the Cuban women's musical group. Your interest in, and your love of the Cuban people and their culture is so evident. You had great anecdotes to share in so many situations. I am sure you will have taken a few stories from the trip of April 2-9, 2016.
All our best to you. Thanks for a great trip.
-Bob Dickson and Terry McCarthy
I'm certain that our school trip to Cuba would have been significantly less successful without Professor Scarpaci as our scholar. He was extremely organized and knowledgeable, and he had everything running like clockwork. His congenial competence put everyone at ease instantly and allowed us to get the most out of our time in Cuba. He quickly became like a friend and colleague to the faculty, and with the students, he struck the right tone and interacted with them like their fun Uncle Joe, who's always up for a laugh while commanding their respect and attention. If I am ever part of another trip to Cuba, either professionally or personally, Joe is the first person I will call.
- Jim Miller, Philadelphia, March 2016.
Thank you so much for your enthusiastic and informative input during our tour in Cuba. I so enjoyed your information as well as your engaging personality.
- Leonora Horwin, Los Angeles, May 2016.
We wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed traveling to Cuba with you recently. It was such an incredible trip. The experience we had would not have been available to us without your prior established relationship and insight...and your understanding of the culture and people...The trip was one of our most enlightened and rewarding ones.
- Pat and Rod T., Pittsburgh, Jan. 2014.
We had the pleasure of having Dr. Scarpaci speak to us our first evening. He is very dynamic speaker and has as marvelous insight into Cuba, its people, its economy, and its culture. On our walking tour of Havana, he explained the facades of the many buildings and told of some of the joint ventures of the foreign investors and Cuba. We learned of the demise of the sugar cane farming and the cigar manufacturing as well as so much more. We felt we were very fortunate to have Dr. Scarpaci for the morning.
- Pat P. Houston, TX, November 2012.