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Travel to Cuba as a Volunteer

You Can Travel to Cuba Legally

Some may believe it’s no longer legal to travel to Cuba. That’s not the case! Global Volunteers offers legal and deeply meaningful Cuba travel on carefully curated volunteer programs.

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“Global Volunteers will help us bring about the necessary changes our nation craves through friendship and support. We’re building bridges over which our governments will walk.”

Cuba with Global Volunteers was rewarding, safe, fulfilling, and fun.  It was everything I hoped for!”

“Now is the time to forge bonds with Cuba, not postpone or stop doing so.  Every Cuban I met, from the airport personnel upon arrival to host families, the Cuban Program partners, and the people we met on the streets were helpful, friendly, curious, and open.”

“When I’m in Cuba, this time I think I’m going to feel it’s even more important to show that I’m there to help – and volunteer in any way I can to show by example the better side of Americans.”

“Indeed, the trip was a remarkable opportunity to connect with the Cuban people – including the chance to stay with hosts in comfortable casas.  If you stayed in an expensive hotel, and only visited Old Havana and beaches, you’d miss out on a really valuable slice of Cuban life!”

“It was one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. Spending hours and hours with the same students, practicing English, allowed us to develop deep friendships with the people of Cuba. I was even able to visit one of my students in her home.  I highly recommend this program.”

“This was heart-to-heart service. We connected with all sectors of society – farmers, bee-keepers, maids, students, church-goers, and everyone on the street. What united us was work, laughter, and music. Regardless of governments, people will still connect.”

“I’m humbled by these all-too-brief two weeks in Ciego de Avila. There may be economic hardships here, but there is also much generosity, love, kindness, goodness, and oh yes, unbridled happiness! It has been in the volunteer work that we have really come to know and, to some degree, understand the Cuban soul.”

“Cuba has an essence that stirs the heart and soul.  We worked with our Cuban ‘brothers and sisters’ pulling weeds, carrying water, painting walls, sanding ceramics and tutoring children. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Add it to your bucket list, and then go now!” 

“I’m amazed at the generosity of the people…and the richness of their souls. It was such a privilege just to be standing among them at a church service – and to work with them every day. The trip made me realize how precious people are.”

“What a wonderful experience we had in Cuba. I’m convinced that the only way to really learn about Cuba – the old and the new – is through Global Volunteers. For Shirley and me, it was the trip of a lifetime.

“We felt part of the community. The farmers at the organic garden were a delight to work with. One of them approached us in town on Sunday morning with a big smile of recognition. Another brought us fruit for our lunch. Their openness was heart-warming.

“This trip met my expectations and even more! Experiencing the way the Cuban people live is amazing, and I felt like I learned so much in this trip. It was rewarding in so many ways. I hope I made an impact on my new friends as much as they have left an impact on me.” 

Be the Change. Be a Global Volunteer in Cuba.

Meaningful Community Service.

Based upon your skills and interests, you’re assigned to one or more service projects – ranging from practicing conversational English with youth and adults; working in community gardens;  supporting and assisting seniors; creating crafts with a local women’s cooperative; to helping with light construction and/or painting.  Everyone is needed; everyone can be meaningfully engaged.

Get Started in Cuba

Havana and Ciego de Avila.

Volunteer in Havana, Cuba

FAQs:

Groups, families and individuals – all serve and learn in Cuba.

Global Volunteers service programs fulfill the requirements of legal travel to Cuba under US law by general license because you:

  • Devote a full-time schedule (40 hours per week) of meaningful service alongside Cubans.
  • Support the Cuban people through activities to strengthen civil society in Cuba.
  • Are lodged in casa particulars and eat in privately owned restaurants (paladares).
  • Shop at privately-owned stores and visit private theaters, art museums, nonprofit foundations (during free time).
  • Keep a full and accurate record of your daily activities.

The law continues to prohibit “tourist” pursuits, for example, going to the beach, spending an afternoon at a pub, or visiting a government owned cigar shop.  Additional legal information here.

Free timeDuring non-work hours, you are free to participate in other authorized activities at your own expense.

volunteer in Cuba

Volunteer in Cuba: Overview by Community

HavanaCiego de Ávila
Flights:Commercial Commercial
LodgingB&B-style lodgingB&B-style lodging
Community  Projects
English conversationYesYes
Light laborYesYes
Sewing/knittingYesYes
Community gardensN/AYes
Senior meal preparationN/AYes
Elder supportYesN/A

Volunteer Voices: Read and Hear What Volunteers Say About Service in Cuba