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Travel to Cuba with CODEPINK

Join CODEPINK in Cuba this November. As President Biden fails to return to Obama's Cuban thaw and continues the Trump administration policies, it is more important than ever to lear from first hand experience the devastating impacts of the 60-year Embargo in the daily life of Cubans and learn about what you can do to develop humanitarian projects benefiting the Cuban people, influence Congress to lift the Embargo and pressure Biden to remove Cuba from the States Sponsor of Terror list. Participate in community projects with grassroots and non-governmental organizations.  Take a day trip outside of Havana to visit an agricultural cooperative to learn about food production and organic farming in Cuba. Enjoy Cuban food at privately and cooperatively run paladares while engaging alongside Cubans in specially selected cultural activities.
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"Everything was over the top great. The itinerary was unbelievably full, fascinating and generous and I loved it!" --Lynn Delaney from Oakland CA

"I honestly cannot think of a thing that could be better. The leadership was amazing and creative... We were always engaged and involved through the whole trip." --Natalie Shiras of Lee MA

"I loved the CODEPINK trip to Cuba that you planned and organized which exceeded any and all of my expectations... The trip was an eye-opener and so stimulating in every way. I so much enjoyed the guides, who were all so patient, knowledgeable, well spoken, and generous, the Cuban people we met, and all of your support team involved." --Anthony Rago of Climax NY

"When I look back I'm amazed by how much we did in a short time.  The presentations and meetings were excellent." --Molly Murdey of Porland OR

Be patient and flexible: Traveling in any group presents challenges, and this is especially true in such a large group. Number one requirement to make this a great experience is PATIENCE. Number two requirement is FLEXIBILITY. Plans change at the last minute. Speakers don’t show up. Buses break down. Make the best of these snafus by making new friends in the group, leading us in song, telling jokes. Have fun and bring up the spirits of the others, especially the grumpy ones!

Be courteous: Please be courteous to your fellow participants, our country hosts, guides, translators, waiters and hotel staff and those Cubans who choose to make presentations to our group. If a difficult situation should arise, try to think in terms of how you, as a member of the group, can contribute to a solution.

Respect and help the trip leaders: All of the trip leaders, both in the US and Cuba, have been working very hard to put this trip together, and will be working REALLY hard during the trip. Many of the US trip leaders are not only volunteers, but have actually paid their own way!!! Please give all the trip leaders thanks, encouragement and assistance. For reasons of safety or for the interest of the group, there may also be times when the group leaders will advise against a particular action. Please respect their request.

Be punctual: Please try to be at the meeting places on time. Being mindful about punctuality will ensure that the group isn’t late and/or you won’t be inadvertently left behind. If you miss an event you signed up for because you were late, take it as an opportunity to do something else, like join another group or take a stroll along the Malecon (the famous boulevard along the ocean)

Respect different political views: Please remember that you are a guest in Cuba, a country with a different culture from that of the US, with a different (although intertwined) history. It is best to approach each new situation with an open mind. You are not there to convince either the other participants or the Cubans that Cuba (or the US) are really great or really terrible. You’re there to learn, exchange ideas and have a good time. And remember: there are very different political viewpoints among Cubans, and among the trip participants. During this trip, you'll be hearing the pro-government side at many of our official visits. Some of your best information about everyday life in Cuba can come from interactions with your guides, the informal evening sessions, and conversations you might strike up with people on the street.

Do we need any special vaccinations or immunizations? What if we get sick?

A Covid-19 vaccination certificate is required for travel to Cuba. Health insurance is also required for all for tourists to Cuba. The fee for this is included with your plane ticket and this will cover you for any medical emergency. The health system is good, so you will be well taken care of in case of an emergency.

What should we wear/pack?

The temperature varies from about 66-82 degrees Fahrenheit in December, and rain is likely. Make sure to bring all toiletries and medications you may need -- because of the U.S blockade, they will be challenging to find in Cuba. There is no dress code for the trip, so bring whatever you are the most comfortable in. 

Must haves:

  • Your passport
  • A Covid-19 vaccination certificate
  • A certified proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before travel from an accredited testing center.
  • Enough U.S. cash to last you the week (we will convert to Cuban CUCs once in the country)
  • Any medication you use
  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste)
  • Sun-hat, visor, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • One set of nice clothes for high-level meetings (no need to be very professional, but bring something presentable!)
  • One pair of comfortable shoes for city walking tours

Some things to consider packing:

  • Aspirin, pepto bismol, or immodium just in case
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Day pack
  • A notebook and pen
  • Light sweater for the evenings
  • Dancing outfits if you choose to go dancing
  • Ear plugs (in case you are a light sleeper and your roommate snores)
  • Pink clothing! :)

How much money should we bring?

You will only be able to use cash in Cuba, which means you must withdraw enough for the whole trip before we leave for Havana. In Cuba you can’t use US credit cards (cards from any other country are fine). You should get your bills from the bank in the U.S. so that they are unmarked and clean. Try to bring 50s, 20s, and 10s. Money will be changed once we land in Havana. Money can be changed at the airport in Havana, as well as at most hotels in the city.

US dollars will be exchange to CUC, which is the Cuban convertible currency used for tourists. Locals will use the peso, but you will not need to do so. CUCs are generally accepted everywhere. The American dollar is not widely used.

Below is a list of items/activities that you must need money for, and might need money for. We recommend that you bring a minimum of $200 to cover the basic (meals not covered, tips and water), but depending on your spending habits and possible extra purchases, you can gauge how much to bring.

Must have money for:

  • tip for bus drivers and tour guides
  • One meal each day (breakfast and 1 additional meal is included -either lunch or dinner- so you will need money for the remaining meal)
  • Bottled water (it is not advisable to drink tap water, so we strongly encourage everyone to purchase bottled water throughout the trip)

Might need money for:

  • Other beverages
  • Private excursions / optional cultural activities separate from the group (evening shows, the ballet, museums not included in the program, etc.)
  • Transportation if you go off on your own (the public transportation is very unreliable, but taxis are easy to find and affordable)
  • Shopping! There will be lots of artwork, gifts, cigars, and rums to purchase for yourself or friends back home, so make sure to budget accordingly!

Should we bring gifts or presents for Cubans?

It's always nice to have something to give to people you meet or even for the folks in the hotels. Some suggestions are school supplies and art supplies, a thumb drive for computers, first aid over-the-counter pills (aspirin, ibuprofen), baseballs, small garden tools, and strings for musical instruments. If you would like us to give them to the Cubans, please give them to a trip leader once we arrive. If you would like to give them to the Cubans yourselves, remember to bring them along to your activities each day.

What is the electrical voltage and what plugs do they use?

The plugs are the same as American plugs! The voltage is usually 110, like in the US. Hotel Vedado is 220 volts. All iPhones, iPads, and laptops use now up to 240 volts. The only problem you will have is with hairdryers. Some of the plugs are the old-fashioned 2-prong outlets so you might want to bring an adapter plug (3-prong to 2-prong).

Will all the meetings be translated?

Yes, everything will be translated to English.

Can we drink the water?

You should drink bottled water during your stay in Cuba. It is available in stores throughout the island and in the hotels. For those of you with environmental concerns regarding the use of bottled water, an alternative is to bring with you a water purifier or tablets– the kind used for backpacking in regions where the water is impure. We encourage you to buy large bottles of water and fill up your individual bottle as needed.

Will there be documentation of the trip?

We encourage participants to share their best photos and videos.