About Us

Son Dos Alas designs and executes educational and professional travel to Cuba. We are an educational travel service provider that focuses on developing custom academic, educational, and professional programming to Cuba for universities, private foundations, and arts, religious, or humanitarian delegations. Son Dos Alas also offers a monogrammed luxury line for opulent professional travelers.


Son Dos Alas was born out of a doctoral ethnography about hip-hop music between Cuba and Puerto Rico. As an extension of the ethnographic work, author and anthropologist Melisa Rivière, Ph.D. founded Son Dos Alas as an educational service provider and travel agency dedicated to building cultural and educational engagements between her fieldwork locations.

The mission of Son Dos Alas is to (1) conduct research, educational, cultural, and informational activities about relations between Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the United States; (2) create ethical educational and cultural engagements between the United States and Cuba through the development and execution of custom travel, study abroad, and professional exchanges; and (3) increase public awareness about and between the United States, Cuba, and Puerto Rico within a Latin American context.

Meet The Team

The full time Son Dos Alas Cuba Custom Academic Programs team consists of the Director, Melisa Rivière, Program Manager, Raiko Valdés, and our social media manager Liliana Montalvo. We hire additional staff for each delegation ranging from tour leaders, guides, translators, and of course speakers, lodging hosts, and transportation specialists.

Melisa Rivière, Ph.D.


Anthropologist Melisa Rivière is the founder and director of Son Dos Alas. She received her doctorate degree as a MacArthur fellow from the University of Minnesota in 2010. Her research focused on the globalization of hip-hop, civil rights, media, and popular youth culture movements in Cuba and Puerto Rico. Dr. Rivière spent years developing critical pedagogical approaches and participatory-action research to create curriculum and ethical educational engagements between the United States and Cuba.

Rivière has served as Academic Director at SIT Study Abroad and as the Havana Study Center Director for the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). Currently, Dr. Riviere proudly brings together her outstanding team to design and execute custom academic Cuba travel programs to Cuba with Son Dos Alas.


Raiko Valdés


Raiko has worked in study abroad since 2016. His first role in educational exchange was as the Study Abroad Coordinator for the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) at the Havana Study Center where he administered non-academic support services for all programs. In this role he executed the design and execution of Faculty-led custom programs as well as semester or summer session cocurricular activities.

Raiko currently serves as Program Manager for Son Dos Alas where he guides clients in the design and implementation of program itineraries. Raiko also serves as the primary liaison for health, safety and security matters and all pre-departure orientation sessions. Raiko loves to show other’s his country of Cuba from the capital of Havana to the province of Santiago.


Jorge Emilio Escala Maceo


When there is a will there's a way! So thinks Jorge Emilio Escala Maceo, English teacher, translator, and interpreter born in the eastern part of Cuba. Jorge serves as Program Manager for Son Dos Alas delegate and student programs.

He brings to the Son Dos Alas team his experience organizing university-level academic and professional events, and training new graduates with nearly two decades experience in language instruction, primarily for IT students. While managing programs for Son Dos Alas, Jorge concurrently serves as a member of the customer success team for a Cuban software development company. He is a great inter-cultural communicator, he can work well under pressure, and Jorge is also a fabulous salsa dancer!!


Sarah-Lis Muñiz-Bueno Aljovín


Graduated with a degree in Art History from the University of Havana, Sarah-Lis Muñiz-Bueno Aljovín is at the forefront of promoting and supporting the careers of young Cuban artists serving as a specialist within the circuit of Cuban contemporary art galleries.

She has worked for the Cuban youth focused Hermanos Saíz Association as well as curated exhibitions for galleries and embassies in Havana. Sarah-Lis joins the Son Dos Alas team as Hospitality Manager after serving as Student Cultural Life Coordinator for the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). In this role, Sarah-Lis curates, designs, and manages lodging, meals, and cultural-lifestyle arrangements for all Son Dos Alas professional delegations and student programs.


Liliana Montalvo


Cuban from Cienfuegos. Art and music lover. Hematology Resident Physician.

Liliana has worked on social media for various Cuban artists and produced local and online music festivals in Cuba. She is a self-taught social media enthusiast.


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