Social Welfare in Cuba: A Holistic View of Human and Environmental Sustainability
April 28 – May 6, 2018
Sample Program Highlights
Visits will be made to the following organizations as they can be arranged and others will be added and substituted as need be depending on schedule and unique interests of the participants who enroll in the program.
Welcome dinner with Cuban hosts and guests in neighborhood restaurant or paladar (restaurant in Cuban home). Orientation meeting with Cuban guides.
Walking tour of Old Havana with a community planner, focusing on Community Arts and Development Projects, including a visit to “Arte Corte” a model community development project which includes educational, entrepreneurial, service and social components to enhance the social and economic development of the community
Meeting with Marc Frank author of Cuban Revelations and Reuters journalist in Cuba to provide an overview of Cuban political history and context for current social welfare planning and policy
Panel presentation at the Antonio Nunez Jimenez Foundation for Nature and Humanity – “Sustainable Community Development and Social Welfare”
Tronces grassroots community development project – visit to community where arts are being used for community organizing and development among residents to solve community problems and strengthen community
Visit to the Center for Psychological and Sociological Research (CIPS), a center for research, education, and clinical work with communities. A panel of researchers will share their research model of community engagement and describe several of their projects related to their mission which includes families in community, the change process within people and communities, and social structure and inequality.
Visit to the National Center for Sex Education and Research (CENESEX), which is funded by the Ministry of Public Health. This organization, headed by Mariella Castro, daughter of Raul Castro, President of Cuba, engages in activities to enhance sexual health from a public as well as clinical perspective. They have organized Nationally for LGBT rights and have been the spearhead for major cultural as well as legal change regarding LGBT issues. They have also been instrumental in changing policy and laws regarding domestic violence and child abuse. They operate both from a macro and micro level.
Attend “La Colmenita” (Little Bees) Children’s Theater Troupe performance and discussion. La Colmenita is both Nationally and Internationally known as a model for providing children, without “gifted” talent in theater arts, an opportunity to learn creativity, cooperation, and discipline. Children with special needs are integrated into this normalized environment as a therapeutic tool. They perform musical plays as children’s theater in their communities and serve the participants as well.
· Visit to the Union of Cuban Jurists (UNJC) where Association of Family and Civil Law representatives will discuss legal rights of families, women and children in Cuba. They are working on the new Family Code addressing anew issues of divorce, and child welfare in child testimony. They will discuss their educational and advocacy role in the passage of family focused laws..
· Visit Guanabacoa Community Mental Health Center which serves as a day hospital for chronically mentally ill adults and outpatient treatment for the same population. Meet with the staff to discuss their treatment approaches and their connection back to the community health provider for their patients.
· Visit a Consultario, a neighborhood family clinic, which provides family care to a specific neighborhood or community, depending on the size of the population. The family doctor and nurse will talk about community based medical care and primary and secondary prevention efforts.
Visit a Policlinic, which serves as a regional specialty center with services referred by the family doctor. Everything from X-ray and lab testing to psychological testing and specialty treatment are provided here. Meet with the Director at the Policlinic. The visits to the three medical locations provided a full spectrum look at the structure of the Cuban medical system that includes a strong social component to both “cause and cure”.
Payasos Terapeuticos (therapeutic clowns), demonstration of use of this modality for intervention with children
Dance performance and lessons, including the history, roots and evolution of Cuban music and dance as a way of understanding Cuban social history
Visit to a farmers market to initiate a discussion of food security in Cuba and learn about herbs and other foods used for healing in Afro-Cuban culture
Commitee to Defend the Revolution (CDR) that is neighborhood and community based and serves as a social service support agency, a Neighborhood Watch, and a resource in each community for everything from street cleaning to personal support for community members, in need.
Visit the home and studio of artist Jose Fuster who lives in the community of Jalmanitas where the community is decorated with art tiles that Fuster has created with the help of local neighbors, as a part of a community revitalization project. The themes of Fuster’s work are connected to cultural and political identity.
Visit to Comesgendra Hogar de Ancianos, a home and day center for seniors. Provides an opportunity to talk with Seniors and staff about the planning for and care of elders in Cuba.
Presentation and meeting with Odalys Gonzalez Juban, President of the Cuban Society of Social Workers in Health.
Saturday Artisans Market where local artists display and sell their works and children’s art stations are set up for children in the community who are encouraged to participate in artistic projects
Farewell dinner with our group to include presenters from the various visits during the 9 days in Cuba to participate in closing discussion about learning and take ways from the trip