10 Things You Will Learn Volunteering in Cuba

10 Things You Will Learn Volunteering in Cuba

Cuba, just the name counjures up exotic images of Havana, Che Guevara, salsa, rum and coffee. But what is it really like to actually visit? Check out our list of things you will learn when going to help in Cuba...


1. There Are Less Projects Here Compared to Other Countries

When looking to volunteer abroad, if you have put Cuba high on your list of destinations then you might have noticed there are limited volunteer opportunities available here. It is more difficult than other destinations due to restrictions and political issues. If you are applying from the United States you will also need to check if you will be eligible for a tourist visa. You might want to view our other Central America volunteer programs for more options in this region including countries like Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the Caribbean.


2. Not Many People Speak English

Don't expect to turn up and expect locals to be able to converse with you in English. We highly recommend you get a phrase book or actually combine experiences and learn Spanish in Cuba. You can also download language apps. Being able to speak Spanish will really help your experience here and make it easier and more enjoyable. It will also be more fun and useful if you are going to be working alongside or helping people.


3. There Are Lots of Ways to Help

You can join a range of community and conservation based projects with local charities and NGO's. Some international agencies also offer combo Cuba tours which include volunteer opportunities as a way for you to give back. These are perfect if you are short on time.


4. Low Cost of Living

Cuba is a cheap country to visit and meals out, sightseeing and accommodation are still very cheap especially if you are arriving from Europe or North America


5. The Weather is Boiling

Cuba is hot. Like really hot. Almost all year round! Suncreen and light clothing is a must so pack accordingly.


6. The Culture is Vibrant

The people and whole atmosphere with the sounds and smells will be a shock to your senses. We highly recommend you try to visit local bars and go salsa dancing. Don't be shy to speak to locals to even if you have basic Spanish.


7. The Country is More Developed Than You Might Think

You might have seen images on tv of Cuba with falling down buildings and old paintwork but there is a whole different side to the country. There are now hugh tourist resorts located on coastal areas, some of which charge hundreds of dollars per night for accommodation. Cuba is developing fast.


8. The Beaches Are Incredible

Volunteering is not all about working, one of the benefits is you will get to see more of this beautiful island. We highly recommend you try to go in search of the best beach in the country, there are so many to choose from including: Playa Ancon in Trinidad, Playa Pilar in Cayo Guillermo, Playa Paraiso in Cayo Largo del Sur and Bahia de Baracoa in Baracoa.


9. Meet People From All Over the World

You will also likely encounter other internationals who are either travelling, volunteering or even teaching English in Cuba giving private lessons. Finding paid jobs in Cuba for foreigners is tough and wages are low but there is a growning demand to learn English here and a lot of travellers are making cash in hand giving lessons.


10. You Will Love the Experience!

Going to volunteer in Cuba is an incredible experience and the most important thing is to apply in the first place. Try to enjoy every moment, you won't regret this decision.


Related Opportunities

CSC Solidarity Brigades - Volunteering in Cuba

Experience an island of incredible beauty, immense cultural diversity and unique social history. These programs are a unique opportunity to experience the Cuban Revolution firsthand and show that Cuba is not alone.

Spanish Courses in Havana, Cuba

Havana is a city that echoes the Caribbean rhythms of salsa and son, a place that inspires poets and a place where everything you see exudes poetry. 

Cuba: Spanish Lessons + Reef Conservation + Havana

Spend six weeks in Cuba and explore Havana, learn to dance cuban-style, work with local artists, conserve pristine beaches and help rebuild one of the countries oldest boxing clubs.

Rhythms of Cuba Tour

Experience the sights and sounds of Cuba on this exciting 8 day overland tour which starts and finishes in Havana.

Spanish Courses in Santiago, Cuba

The Spanish school in Santiago de Cuba is different from any other institution in that there is no physical building – lessons are held either in the host family home or in the home of your teacher. 

Spanish Courses in Trinidad, Cuba

Our Spanish school in Trinidad is unique; instead of centering classes in a physical building, our highly qualified teachers treat students to a personalised learning experience, where they will gain intimate insight into the rich culture of Cuba.

Beginners Spanish Classes with Don Quijote Language School

Ever wanted to learn Spanish? Join a classroom course in Europe, Central or South America, there are lessons for all abilities!

Cuba Cycling Tour

See a different side to Cuba by joining this overland cycle tour where you will explore cities like Havana, see the beautiful countryside and also visit some of the best beaches in the country.

ARGENTINA: Superb Group & Private Salsa Lessons in Buenos Aires

You’ll have lessons with a private Salsa teacher of Cuban origin who will tailor your programme to your individual level of expertise. Your schedule will allow plenty of time for sightseeing.

ARGENTINA: Professional Tango Lessons in Buenos Aires! THE HOME OF TANGO!

During your placement you'll have lessons with a private tango teacher, who will tailor the programme to your level. Your instructors regularly teach in various places throughout Buenos Aires.

ARGENTINA: Rare Cricket Coaching Opportunity with Youngsters in Buenos Aires!

You'll coach cricket to children in schools and clubs, working with the Argentina Cricket Association. Cricket has been played in Argentina since 1806 and you'll have a unique and varied experience!

ARGENTINA: Unforgettable Polo Sports Experience Near Buenos Aires!

A unique opportunity to learn how to play Polo and work with polo horses in an elite and exclusive Club located on a picturesque ranch just outside Buenos Aires.

Sail Cuba (8 days)

Sail on a catamaran through the beautiful turquoise waters of the Canarreos Archipelago, stop to snorkel or share a drink with friendly locals, enjoy the slow pace of life in the islands.

Childcare Work in Colombia from US$270

Colombia has a huge family-oriented culture and orphans tend to be taken in by extended families or are even sometimes taken in by neighbors, you can apply to help.

Sailing Cook & Hostess Jobs

Are you well educated, friendly and extremely service oriented? Do you know your way around the kitchen? Than we want to hear from you. 

Cuba Libre

Walk through the pincushion hills and wander amongst orchids and lush mountain coffee plantations – see another side of the island on this week-long tour through the "Garden Province" of Cuba. 





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