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'Trip of a lifetime:' SMU inviting public on Cuban archaeological dig (10 photos)

The school is looking for 12 people with a sense of adventure and an interest in archaeology; no experience is necessary

If you've ever dreamed of being Indiana Jones or Lara Croft, Saint Mary's University has the trip for you.

They want to bring 12 people with them to participate in an archaeological dig in Cuba.

"No experience is necessary, just an interest in archaeology ... people with a bit of a sense of adventure wanting to be part of a project that's bigger than themselves," explained the program's instructor Aaron Taylor.

The group will participate in ongoing excavations at Cafetal Angerona, about 80 km west of Havana.

Taylor told NEWS 95.7's The Sheldon MacLeod Show the 19th century coffee plantation was one of the largest in the Caribbean, operating from 1813-1886.

"There are hundreds and hundreds who spent their entire lives there," he said. "They were born on the plantation and they died as slaves on the plantation."

"I think it's really important to try and give voice to these people. We'll be doing that through excavations and the recovery of their material culture -- things they used, created and modified -- telling their story."

This expedition will examine ruins of a previously unknown building behind the plantation's mansion house, along with a walled barracks compound.

Listen to Sheldon MacLeod's conversation with Aaron Taylor

Taylor said there are thousands of Canadians who visit Cuba every year who don't leave the resort and he thinks they're missing out.  

"As beautiful as the crystal clean water and the pristine beaches are, the real beauty of Cuba is its people," he said. "Getting to see another side of Cuba is a really special part of this project."

There are still a few spots available on the trip from Feb. 17 to March 3, 2019.

The $2199 price tag covers all transportation in Cuba, meals and accommodations. Flights from Halifax to Havana are not included.

Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for
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