Venue & Travel

The International Prader-Willi Syndrome Organisation (IPWSO) warmly welcomes you to our 2019 conference in Havana, Cuba.

Havana is the capital city of Cuba, the largest island of the Caribbean. With a population of over 2 million people, Havana is famed for its history, culture and architecture. The area of Old Havana was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. A beautiful city with a mixture of Spanish and Caribbean influences, the city makes a fascinating tourist destination.

The conference is taking place at the Cojimar Conference Centre, Havana, Cuba. Our venue is situated on the outskirts of Havana. Built in the 1960s to facilitate scientific events, the centre is now part of the Medical University of Havana and situated on the campus.

Travel and Accommodation

Visitors to Cuba will need a Visa and there are restrictions in place for some travellers. Please check the Visa requirements for travellers from your own country.

A reduced accommodation rate for delegates with free transfers will be available through our partner organisation Solways. Details to follow very soon. Please do not book your travel and accommodation until your registration has been confirmed. Please ensure you book adequate insurance for your trip.

IPWSO cannot be held responsible for unforeseen events which may result in the cancellation of this event.

Advice to those attending the IPWSO Conference in Cuba – 13th to 17th November 2019: updated 8 June 2019

There has been much in the news about Cuba and the fact that President Trump has increased the restrictions on US citizens travelling to Cuba. This also applies to non-US citizens travelling to Cuba from the USA. The IPWSO Board has been regularly monitoring the situation and have been in contact with David Gordon, IPWSO legal adviser, in the USA, as well as with others. As you will know the IPWSO General Assembly took the decision to award the 2019 Conference to Cuba in Toronto 2016 and we as the IPWSO Board elected at that meeting have been working, in collaboration with the Cuban organisers, to discharge the wishes of the General Assembly.

This will be the first time the International Conference will have been held in a Spanish speaking country that is part of the Central and South America group of countries and it has already resulted in service developments and new interest in PWS in many of these countries. We have a venue just outside of Havana (the Cojimar conference Centre), registration will open very soon, the programmes are in place and submissions for talks and posters are now requested.

This is an international conference and we welcome parents, professionals, and people with PWS from all over the world. Families, researchers and professionals from the USA have always been very strong supporters of the international conference and the USA PWSA have been extremely supportive of IPWSO. We very much hope that Americans will come and will be able to come together with people from many other countries. The issues are primarily between Cuba and the Trump administration in the USA and not with any other countries.  As things stand at present our understanding is that it will still be possible for US citizens and people travelling via the USA to come to Cuba for this conference – it is primarily Cruise ships and tourism that are affected.  Our recommendations are as follows:

For US citizens use the link given to ensure that you have up-to-date information on who is allowed to travel and for what reasons https://www.state.gov/united-states-restricts-travel-and-vessels-to-cuba/

For non-US citizens we advise, if at all possible, to travel to Cuba without going through the US. There are regular direct flights from Madrid and Amsterdam and flights also from Mexico and Canada to Cuba, and many other places.

If, as a non-US citizen, you have to travel through the USA we recommend you follow the link above to check on changes in rules and regulations.

Citizens from the vast majority of countries must have a visa for entry into Cuba. If you are travelling through the USA this is obtained via the airline you are travelling with from the USA to Cuba. For those travelling from the outside of the USA there will be local arrangements for obtaining visas in your own country.

All people travelling to Cuba must have evidence of health insurance. We also very strongly recommend that you have comprehensive travel insurance just in case the conference has to be cancelled at the last minute for whatever reasons. IPWSO cannot be responsible for refunding travel or other costs.

We have an excellent programme arranged and we are already receiving abstracts. Our hosts, the Cuban Genetics Society, are very keen to welcome us all to their country and we believe this will be, as always, an informative and stimulating conference for all concerned. Do contact us at office@ipwso.org if you have any questions.

Cojimar