Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba: Environmental and Social Dimensions/Antioch 2015
Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba: Environmental and Social Dimensions/Antioch University 2015
 
March 10 – 20, 2015

"Cuba is involved in the most comprehensive conversion from chemical to organic agriculture that any nation has yet attempted."
– Peter Rosset, Institute for Food and Development Policy.
 
Cuban Farmer using animal traction with screenhouses (reverse greenhouses to deal with tropical heat) in the background.
 
This Eco Cuba Network trip is being organized for students and professors of Antioch University New England.  Through meetings, site visits, service and informal interactions, participants will learn about Cuba's policy and practice in the field of sustainable agriculture, especially the integration of both the environmental and social aspects of achieving success in this field.  In addition, participants will have the opportunity to learn about related fields in environmental protection and sustainable development as well as to enjoy Cuba's vibrant cultural scene.
 
BACKGROUND:
In the early 1990's, Cuba's agricultural system and food supply were decimated by the tightening of the U.S. embargo and the collapse of the Soviet Union (which had supplied the majority of Cuba's food imports (chemical fertilizers and pesticides, fuel for transportation, feed for farm animals, and almost 60% of Cuba's food). Cubans referred to these years as the Special Period.

Due to the severe shortage of hard currency for the importation of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, Cuba was forced, in the early 1990's to begin to practice organic agriculture on a nationwide scale, with some very exciting results. There are currently thousands of organic gardens in Havana alone and over a million across the country. In the late 1990's, the Cuban Association for Organic Agriculture was granted the International Right Livelihood Award (the Alternative Nobel Prize) for its efforts.

Organic agriculture continues to be supported and expanded at government and grassroots levels. Havana now grows over half its fresh food organically, and locally. According to some agriculturists, Cuba could be self sufficient in the production of many of its basic foods within the next decade.

All Cuban young people are introduced to agriculture and food production as part of their education, spending at least one summer of their high school years, farming in the countryside.

University graduates in agronomy contribute their knowledge of research, technology and administration in both rural and urban agricultural settings. Reversing a disturbing international trend, many educated young Cuban agriculturists return to the countryside because they are now offered a stimulating and productive work environment.

Please check out our Resources page for articles, blogs and videos on Sustainable Agriculture and other fields of environmental protection and sustainable development in Cuba.

Program Highlights may include:

  • Meeting with the staff of the Antonio Núñez Jimenez Foundation for Nature and Humanity (oldest environmental NGO in Cuba)
  • City Tour of Havana with Cuban Architect/Urban Planner
  • Alamar (largest urban farm in Havana)
  • Farmers' and crafts markets
  • Urban and rural permaculture gardens
  • Rural agricultural cooperative
  • Pastures and Forages Station
  • Agrarian University
  • Cubasolar, NGO promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency
  • Environmental meetings according to interests of participants
  • Day or half day of service on rural farm
  • Day or half day of hiking in Biosphere Reserve with naturalist
  • Optional cultural activities

SAMPLE PROGRAM

Articles, videos and blogs on Cuba's environmental policy and practice.

CO-ORGANIZING ORGANIZATIONS:

Eco Cuba Network, a project of Green Cities Fund, is an association of environmentalists devoted to interchange between US citizens and Cubans involved in environmental protection and sustainable development.

Green Cities Fund is an international human and environmental rights organization with a license to arrange educational "people to people" Cuba tours.

Our licensed Cuba Travel Service Provider is Marazul Charters, an organization with 40 years experience arranging Cuba travel for US citizens.

TOUR FEES: 

Program and in-Cuba logistics:

16 – 20 participants: $2600

12 – 15 participants: $2700

Fee includes:

  • Double-room accommodations in 3-4 star hotel
  • Two meals per day
  • Full daily program
  • Experienced delegation guide / translator
  • Transportation to and from all programmed activities
  • Honoraria to all host speakers, organizations and communities
  • Preparatory educational material

Program/in-Cuba logistics fee does NOT include:

  • One meal per day
  • Bottled water and other beverages
  • Optional cultural activities
  • Expenses of a personal nature 

Charter flight fee: $550 – 575

Fee includes:

  • Round trip Miami-Havana charter flight
  • Cuban visa
  • Required Cuban health insurance
  • Assistance of Marazul Charters, licensed Cuba Travel Service Provider

 

REGISTRATION:

Please contact coordinator Pam Montanaro by email or call 510-319-4910 to be sent the registration packet for this Cuba program.

Eco Cuba Network, a project of the Green Cities Fund, is an association of environmentalists devoted to interchange between US citizens and Cubans involved in environmental protection and sustainable development.