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School Visits

School and Library Visits with the author




Enrique is in demand for dynamic and engaging talks or workshops in schools, libraries and historical societies throughout the country. School Visits, Book Talks, History of Cuba and the Caribbean or Creative Writing Workshops are appropriately geared for levels from 5th grade to 12th grade.

90 Miles to Havana and Raining Sardines dovetail nicely with any Latin American or Caribbean History section. Both books offer a glimpse into the social and economic conditions in Cuba from the colonial days to the beginnings of the revolution. The author offers insight into the experiences common to recent arrivals to this country.



Discussion Topics

90 Miles to Havana or Raining Sardines-related talks can lead to these lively classroom discussions:

  • Bullying
  • The Immigrant Experience
  • The History of Cuba
  • The History of Cuba and the Caribbean
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork


Author Talks

Latin American History

Hatuey, a prominent figure in the history of the Cuban Republic was the first native American to organize resistance against the Conquistadors. His story was recorded first hand by Padre de las Casas, a Spanish missionary and advocate for the indigenous people of the New World. 

The author brings an eyewitness account of the Cuban Revolution, and the events leading up to it as well as a wave of immigration that surely changed a city, Miami, and the history of two nations, the United States and Cuba.



Author’s Talk on the History Of Cuba and the Caribbean

The author cuts loose a host of colorful historical characters, as he tells the compelling stories from the Caribbean and Latin America. The cacique (chieftain) Hatuey of the Taino people, Black Caesar, the pirate, Padre De Las Casas, Jose Marti, and Teddy Roosevelt add their colorful threads to the historical tapestry. High quality PowerPoint illustrations keep the audience engaged.

Objective: After the presentation, the student will be aware of the high points of Cuban history from pre-Columbus to present day.



Author’s Talk on The Nuts and Bolts of Writing a Novel

Enrique shares the twists and turns in his life that put him on the road to the writing process. He explains how a manuscript moves from inspiration to rough draft to final manuscript and novel, including the process of working with an editor, and the surprisingly communal aspect of writing to publish.

Enrique discusses ways to create a sense of place and time, and develop the characters, while keeping the plot moving. The objective is to show how a novel goes from a twinkle in the imagination, to a book on a certain shelf of your local bookstore. It’s not as hard as you think! Questions are encouraged and an amusing PowerPoint presentation is included.

Objective: To make students aware of the stages in the process as well as the distinct pieces that make up a novel or short story, most importantly this talk will present the tools that make it all possible.



Mural, Artist Residency, California Avenue School, Uniondale, NY

Mural, Artist Residency, California Avenue School, Uniondale, NY

Creative Writing Workshop — Imagination and Creativity

Enrique engages the class with drawings and word association games. He teases out experiences, and descriptions that are then set down as single word lists, stressing the importance of editing, ordering and clarifying the information. These are used to build short stories. Tools are introduced to gain access to the wealth of information stored in our memory and then effectively sequence and finally edit. Time is allotted for students to read their work and hone presentation skills.

Objective:  After the workshop children will have a clear idea of the stages of creating a short story– the process: accessing imagination– setting it down, organizing, and editing. Most importantly they will gain awareness of the tools that make it all possible and fun. 





Imagination and Creativity

 There is a little of Ernestina the dreamer, and Enriquito the engineer in varying proportions, inside of us all. They represent two distinct human qualities: the wild, sometimes unruly imagination, and our need to bring order, create meaning and find solutions. Daily we face the task of balancing, then harnessing these powerful forces to solve problems ranging in size and importance from getting to the beach on a hot day to keeping the planet from overheating.



Class Preparation for a School Visit is Essential

Prior discussions of history and the books can generate questions to ask the author.

  • Familiarity with the author and his books increases the impact of the visit.
  • Make sure to schedule plenty of time for question and answers.
  • An assembly spreads the benefits.
  • A phone call or e-mail is all it takes to plan a forty minute presentation.
  • Schedule a book signing, parents are welcome.
  • On overnight visits, a before or after get together with parents and faculty are welcome.
  • School newspaper interviews, and video taping of presentations are always a great way to get the whole student body involved.
  • Local media coverage lets the entire community know about your school’s pro-active approach to education.

Honorarium/Fees vary depending on duration of visit and distance.

Travel and Lodging expenses outside a 50 mile radius from New york City are additional to Honorarium.

Contact for information on Fees and Scheduling