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Create a traditional Cuban rag doll

Rated 5.0 out of 5 from 12 reviews.La Habana, Cuba

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Experience hosted by Yilian

3 hours
Includes food, drinks, transportation, equipment
Up to 5 people
Hosted in English, Spanish

What you'll do

Under my supervision you will learn how to make a traditional Cuban rag doll, one of the oldest and famous souvenirs in Cuba, due to its links with our roots and the Afro-cuban tradition.

While creating them, you will know about the crucial role of recycling in the creation of these dolls and the relation they have with our religion, history and culture.

You don’t need any experience in sewing or in rag doll making. What’s more, you won’t use either needle or thread. I’ve designed, for you, a type of doll very easy to make.

You must let your mind run free and go deep into a magic and creative world. I can assure that you will be capable of making a work of art, in a curious way and with your own style.

When you go back to your country, you will carry with you a handmade piece, filled of incredible memories of your trip to Cuba.
Under my supervision you will learn how to make a traditional Cuban rag doll, one of the oldest and famous souvenirs in Cuba, due to its links with our roots and the Afro-cuban tradition.

While creating them, you will know about the crucial role of recycling in the creation of these dolls and the relation they have with our religion, history and culture.

You don’t need any experience in sewing or in rag doll making. What’s m…

Yilian's commitment to safety

This host committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19-related safety and cleaning guidelines—including adhering to social distancing guidelines, practicing good hygiene, and ensuring that all participants wear a mask.
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What's included

  • Food
    Crackers
  • Drinks
    Natural juice, lemonade, coffee
  • Transportation
    I could arrange a private taxi to pick you up and take you back to where yo...
  • Equipment
    I will provide the equipment you will use: black and brown panty hose fabri...
From $30
/ person
Fri, Oct 2
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
$30 per person
$30 per person
Fri, Oct 2
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
$30 per person
$30 per person
Sat, Oct 3
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
$30 per person
$30 per person

Meet your host, Yilian

Host on Airbnb since 2019
  • 12 Reviews
  • Identity verified
Hi!!! I’m Yilian.

I was born and raised in Havana, and it is exactly in this city, and surrounded by a culture rich in traditions, where I learned the art of doll making. I´ve a degree in Russian and English language from University of Havana. I work as a tour guide and foreign language teacher, but I’ve also been working as a seamstress and making rag dolls for 11 years.

Since I can remember, I’ve been interested in discovering Cuban history and culture, and trying to find different ways to tell people about our backgrounds and traditions.

I truly love teaching, art, making new friends and discovering different cultures, as well as collecting great moments and experiences. That’s why, I decided to put all these together in this workshop, that I’m excited to share with you.
Hi!!! I’m Yilian.

I was born and raised in Havana, and it is exactly in this city, and surrounded by a culture rich in traditions, where I learned the art of doll making. I´ve a degree in Russian and English language from University of Havana. I work as a tour guide and foreign language teacher, but I’ve also been working as a seamstress and making rag dolls for 11 years.

Since I can remember, I’ve been interested in discovering Cuban history and culture, and trying to fin…
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Where you'll be

We are going to be in my house-workshop in Santos Suarez, in the municipality of 10 de Octubre, a neighborhood of Havana. It is located 15 minutes from the city center.

It is not a tourist place, but for sure it is one of the areas where you can appreciate the real daily life of a Cuban.

Rated 5.0 out of 5 from 12 reviews.

Chynell
March 2020
Yilian and her mom was amazing! Yilian took her time to teach me, my sister and niece how to make traditional rag dolls and we got to tell each other about our lives which was interesting and personable. Yilians mom kept my daughter entertained while we made the dolls which was a plus because my daughter is only 2 years old. They also made sure we had refreshments which was awesome. I would DEFINITELY book this experience the next time we are in Cuba.
Yilian and her mom was amazing! Yilian took her time to teach me, my sister and niece how to make traditional rag dolls and we got to tell each other about our lives which was inte…
Sheay
March 2020
I absolutely lovedddddddd this experience I had so much fun and so did my 6 year old daughter she loves her doll. Yillian and her mother are the sweetest ever. Definitely brought out my creative side such a wonderful souvenir and also a great doll for the kids. Thank you so much Yillian I definitely want to do this again!
I absolutely lovedddddddd this experience I had so much fun and so did my 6 year old daughter she loves her doll. Yillian and her mother are the sweetest ever. Definitely brought…
Ryan
February 2020
This was a wonderful experience. I really felt immersed in the culture and I really made the best souvenir ever from any country have been. It was so enjoyable to spend time with Yilian her mom. I felt like I made a forever friend. I only wished I had met her on the beginning of my trip. Her English is excellent. She’s such a smart and unique woman.
This was a wonderful experience. I really felt immersed in the culture and I really made the best souvenir ever from any country have been. It was so enjoyable to spend time with Y…
Christy
January 2020
This experience was EXCELLENT! I went with two of my children 4 and 6 year olds, and we absolutely loved it. She was so patient with us, and expertly helped us create beautiful dolls, we were never rushed and during the experience we learned a lot about her and her family and the tradition of the doll making which in my opinion was some of the best parts. Yilian is wonderful with children and we loved her home and her studio space. This is a must do if you're going to Havana, and such a nice break from all of the hustle and bustle. She helped us arrange a cab to and from her studio as well. We loved this and would do it again if we come back to Cuba!
This experience was EXCELLENT! I went with two of my children 4 and 6 year olds, and we absolutely loved it. She was so patient with us, and expertly helped us create beautiful d…
Donna
January 2020
Yilian has a beautiful soul. She and her mother made us feel very welcome. They shared stories about their neighborhood, religious traditions, and guided us through the doll making process with ease and kind support. We heard about how Yilian learned to sew from her grandmother and the passion that she has for the process was evident in every stitch. I look forward to a time when I can spend time with her again - and so should you! :)
Yilian has a beautiful soul. She and her mother made us feel very welcome. They shared stories about their neighborhood, religious traditions, and guided us through the doll making…
Joseph
December 2019
AWESOME experience! My wife and daughter did this class. They said it was fantastic!! They were welcomed into Yilian's home which made the whole experience more fun and interesting. She shared her life story and Cuban culture. She arranged transportation. Fantastic value! A definite highlight during our trip to Cuba.
AWESOME experience! My wife and daughter did this class. They said it was fantastic!! They were welcomed into Yilian's home which made the whole experience more fun and interesting…

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Things to know

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

Guest requirements

Up to 5 guests ages 5 and up can attend.

More tips

You can message me and send me the address of the place where you are staying at. I could arrange a private taxi to pick you up 30 min before the experience starts, and take you back when the experience ends.

What to bring

As an option you can bring donations of some of the materials needed to make the dolls. Things that may be hard to find in Cuba.