Volunteer in CubaBlog April 5, 2019
Volunteering in Cuba is great way to connect with Cubans in their normal environment, practise your Spanish and make a meaningful, if small, positive impact during your stay. Though many clients come with an ultruistic mission in mind, very quickly you will discover that you are the major beneficiary from what is ultimately a two way exchange/intercambio!
Whereas in many countries around the world there are NGO’s and well intentioned organisations hosting visitors to ‘make a difference’ in their host country, in Cuba volunteering is a bit more complicated. The ongoing embargo and recent political tensions mean that the authorities are wary of people offering something ‘for free’. Also, Cubans are rightly proud of what they have achieved against this backdrop and carefully protect citizens employment rights.
Part of our mission is to reach out to local people beyond the major tourist barrios and enjoy an ‘intercambio’ experience. We prepare our clients so they understand our objectives and sensitivities so that everyone can have a good time, learn, enjoy and make a small difference…
At present we have a two week Learn Spanish & Volunteer program that starts on the first Sunday of EVERY month. Volunteering tasks/objectives are determined by our local Project Co-Ordinator Juan in consultation with our local partners – every participates in the same project and we have local crew including Juan on site for the duration of every volunteering assignment. Local people are generally present to assist, see what we are up to, or just ask find out where we are from!
Past projects have involved a boxing gym that hosts kids to adults, girls and boys – we spruced up the facilities and provided an upgrade the electrics. We also made a large donation of boxing equipment (call out to Juliana Merola!). We have also worked in local junior schools – light rennovation and decoration – and sports facilities and community centres.
Our projects are modest in scope but impactful.
For more information click here