This 10 day service project worked to support the Cuban people and achieve their goal at improving the future of their children and their families, while also providing our participants with a newfound respect for the Cuban agricultural initiatives, and perhaps even bring back ideas and experiences towards urban agriculture and permaculture to a state that desperately needs its own agricultural revolution, California.
June 18th-June 25th: Sustainability, Horticulture & the Future of Cuban Agriculture
Agriculture in Cuba contributes less than 10 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP), but employs about 20 percent of the working population, and about 30 percent of the country’s land is used for crop cultivation. Cuba currently imports 80 percent of its agricultural products. In recent years, the government has promoted policies to increase domestic food production and to improve nutrition throughout the country, focusing on the most vulnerable populations. In Havana, 90 percent of the city’s fresh produce come from local urban farms and gardens. In Havana alone, more than 87,000 acres of land are being used in urban agriculture. Food production in Cuba initially collapsed in the early 1990s as a result of lost trade relations with the Soviet Bloc. The island rapidly re-oriented its agriculture to depend less on imported synthetic chemical inputs – and Cuba recovered to show the best food production performance in Latin America and the Caribbean from 1996 to 2005.
It is the goal of this 10 day service project to work to support the Cuban people and achieve their goal at improving the future of their children and their families, while also providing a contemporary backdrop for all participants via a half-day briefing and historical lesson. Participants will leave Cuba with a newfound respect for the Cuban agricultural initiatives, and perhaps even bring back ideas and experiences towards urban agriculture and permaculture to a state that desperately needs its own agricultural revolution, California.
Events and activities for this project include:
- Attend half-day briefing on history of agriculture & horticulture of Cuba, and what the future may hold
- Work alongside farmers in various farm fields and gardens (both large and small farms)
- Partner with the Antonio Nunez Foundation for Nature and Man (FANJ) and work on permaculture farms
- Farm and plant at the Latin-American School of Medicine (ELAM), while taking lunch break listening to a lecture surrounding the importance of community-based garden systems in Cuba
- Participate in Havana’s urban agricultural revolution
- Partner with Global Volunteers, an organization which seeks to bring like-minded individuals from all over the world to engage in global volunteerism
- Daily reflections guided towards the group and all participants, to engage and encourage ‘global citizenship’
To see the full itinerary, click here.
In addition to our current itineraries, customizable trips to the Cuba are available for 10-12 day travel plans for your school and area of study. Reach out to us regarding your interests, and we’ll work to pair you with one of our partners.