“I knew I wanted to experience Cuba as a volunteer, ” said Sue Surma – long-time Global Volunteer team member and leader.  “As soon as my best friend Holly signed up for the first team, I told her I’d go with her.”  Sue and Holly try to volunteer together as often as Holly’s work schedule […]

Snapshots of Cuba – It has been five days since we landed in Cuba.  This country has been so close to Miami and so far from the United States for my entire life. Here we are. There are so many snapshots or images that we have experienced that seem to POP our eyes and minds wide open […]

Global Volunteers assists local farmers in our partner community of Ciego de Avila.  On our inaugural service program in May, 2015, volunteers worked alongside paid community laborers on weeding and harvesting produce at “Garden Number 2.”  (Read “Being a Farmer In Cuba” on one volunteer’s blog.)  The vegetables are provided to childcare centers and sold to community […]

Pennsylvania nurse Holly Doll said volunteering in Cuba was greatly preferred over a standard cultural tour. Sewing with senior women and gardening beside a local farmer revealed the “soul” of Cuba, she said, and allowed her to “share and trust her heart to the Cuban people.”  Doll manages a program at a residential center for seniors at home in Hanover.  She greatly valued the […]

Both the gardening and maintenance teams set out for their work locations at 8:00AM, and the English teaching volunteers were off by 9:30AM for the Community Center. Sandy and Bill hoisted buckets of sand, gravel and concrete by means of a rope to the rooftop of the Church  – where their project manager applied a second […]

Our inaugural conversational English classes in Cuba were tremendously successful for volunteers and students alike!  Working with a Cuba English language teacher and his students, we provided their first opportunity to work in small groups with native English speakers. The number of students varied from 15 to 45 – more in the evening than the morning.  Their ages […]

Our first destination this morning was ICAP: Cuban Institute of Friendship with People. Tears immediately sprang to my eyes as I saw a group of beautiful Cuban students in their identical red school uniforms. After we gathered, we were each approached by an individual child and given a hand-colored picture of the Cuban flag. Songs […]

After a quick one-hour flight to Santa Clara, we’re off to Ciego de Avila with our gracious hosts, Eduardo and Ramon. We arrived at our wonderful hotel (Hotel Ciego De Avila), got our room assignments and had dinner at a nearby restaurant. On Sunday, we had the privilege of joining Eduardo for his Church service. […]

In December, President Obama announced a series of actions aimed at easing travel and trade restrictions between the United States and Cuba. With these changes, Global Volunteers is prepared to begin a new relationship with our community partners in Ciego de Ávila. Highlights of the changes being made in U.S.-Cuba relations include: Once relations are re-established, […]

I checked Cuba off my “bucket list” in 2013 when Global Volunteers (an organization I’ve been passionate about since 1989) asked me to lead a People-to-People program in Cuba.  I was so there.  I loved the people, the history, the sights, the music, the food, and the mojitos.  My biggest take-away was, “what does my government have against […]