Environmental Justice 2015 Program

Environmental Justice in Cuba:
A Study of Cuba's Environmental and Social Policy and Practice

April 20 – 29, 2015
Havana and Pinar del Rio, Cuba


Monday, April 20:

Noon:  Arrival at Jose Marti International Airport, Transfer to Hotel Park View or Hotel Plaza on the border of Old and Central Havana, Check in

Lunch at hotel.

Afternoon:  Orientation and Informational Meeting with tour leaders;  City Tour of Havana and Old Havana with focus on sites of environmental, historical and cultural interest with sustainable urbanist and historian Miguel Coyula

Welcome Dinner with Cuban guest speakers from variety of environmental fields

Evening:  Optional cultural activity

Tuesday, April 21: 

Breakfast at the hotel

Morning:  Meeting with staff of the Antonio Núñez Jimenez Foundation for Nature and Humanity (FANJ), the oldest and most respected environmental NGO in Cuba.  FANJ leads the way in Cuba's permaculture movement and specializes in environmental education and the cultural aspects of environmental protection and sustainable development.

Lunch at a Cuban paladar with FANJ staff

Afternoon:  Site visits to projects of urban permaculture and sustainable urban renewal

Dinner at the hotel

Evening:  Presentation on Cuban social, economic and political systems, historically and currently with Reuters journalist Marc Frank and member of Cuban National Assembly

Wednesday, April 22: 

Breakfast at the hotel

Morning:  Meeting with Director Gisella Alonzo and other staff of the Cuban Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment for an overview of Cuba's policy and practice in environmental protection and sustainable development

Lunch in Central Havana

Afternoon: Meet with NGO Cuba Solar staff to learn of Cuba's many renewable energy projects, especially in rural areas; Meet with Mario Arrasita Avila of Cubaenergía and learn about Cuba's extraordinary energy effiiciency campaign, that began in earnest in 2006

Evening:  Special session with Cuban experts on issues of race, gender and gender identity and population control from CENESEX, the Federation of Cuban Women and the Center for the Study of Cuban Society

Thursday, April 23:

Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Visit the Center for Marine Research for presentation by Center staff and a representative of the Ministry of Fishing on Cuba's marine policy and practice, struggle and successes, current and historical issues.   Then group will drive to the beaches west of Havana to participate in beach clean up project, sponsored by the Center.

Late lunch in neighborhood of Miramar

Mid-Afternoon: Visit Metropolitan Park with chemical engineer and hydrologist Yociel Moreno to learn about Cuba's projects in constructed wetlands for restoration of polluted waterways as well as Cuba's water and sewage issues in general.  This is an area where there is a great deal of community involvement in prevention and clean up of litter, but international assistance is required for clean up of heavy metals and other agricultural-industial pollutants in the nation's waterways.

Evening: Panel discussion on issues of climate change / disaster prevention and management

Friday, April 24:  

Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Visit the largest farmers market in Havana.  Then visit Alamar, the largest urban farm in Havana, with Director Miguel Salcines.  Meet with community workers; visit with them in their homes and learn about their lives and the evolution of their community.

Lunch at the vegetarian restaurant in Alamar

Afternoon: Visit "Vida Sana Aire Pura," a project initiated by Vilma Grace y Pepe Stallone,a community food and conservation project

Evening:  Panel discussion on issues of biodiversity and ecosystem protection

Saturday, April 25: 

Early breakfast at the hotel

Morning:  Drive to Las Terrazas in province of Pinar del Rio, an intentional sustainable community to visit reforestation projects, organic garden and restaurant, artists' studios, school, family doctor clinic, museum

Lunch at vegetarian restaurant with Cuba's foremost vegetarian pioneer, Tito Nunez

Afternoon:  Hike in Biosphere Reserve in Sierra Los Rosarios with Cuban naturalist

Evening:  Drive to Viñales Valley; check into cabins at Rancho San Vicente

Dinner at the Rancho

Evening: Optional cultural activities

Sunday, April 26: 

Breakfast at the Rancho

Morning: Hike with Cuban naturalist in Viñales Valley; explore the mojotes (limestone hills) as well as the caves and underground rivers formed by the nature of karstlands.

Lunch in Viñales Valley

Afternoon: Meet with Cuban speleologist and karstlands expert, Evelio Balado and Angel Graña, of the Cuban Speleological Society, to learn about special needs of the karstlands that comprise western Cuban and Cuban policy on development and agriculture and offsetting industrial pollution of the aquifirs in this region of porous, limestone terrain or visit to rural cooperative organic farm Finca Wilfredo.

Dinner at the Rancho

Evening: CDR (Committee for the Defense of the Revolution): Meeting with CDR leaders to learn about role they play meeting community needs and serving as liaisons between communities and municipal, provincial and national government agencies and ministries. Informal gathering with community: visiting with Cubans in their homes, music, refreshments and dancing

Monday, April 27: 

Early Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Return to Havana, possibly stopping at rural community arts and ecology project, Amor y Esperanza, and /or renewable energy project.

Lunch "on the road"

Afternoon: Free time in Havana for individual study and other pursuits and/or follow up meetings with Cuban environmentalists, as requested

Evening:  Optional cultural activities

Tuesday, April 28: 

Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Visit community arts and ecology project La Murealando

Lunch in neighborhood of Cuban artist extraordinaire Jose Fuster; visit his studios and neighborhood installations

Afternoon: Visit to the Museum of the Revolution with guide, and/or other museums

Late Afternoon:  Re-entry and evaluation meeting with Cuban guides

Farewell Dinner with Cuban hosts and guests in Old Havana or the Hotel Nacional

Evening: Buena Vista Social Club or similar Cuban dance band

Wednesday, April 29:

Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Group departs for the US;

*Cultural options may include:

  • Salsa Music Clubs
  • Afro Cuban Music, Dance and Art
  • La Colmenita Childrens Theater musical performance
  • Classical concerts (music, dance)
  • Museums (art, literacy, historical, others)

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