Cuba Food Sovereignty/Agroecology Working Tour

Dates: 1-2 weeks in January or February, 2018 for 1-2 weeks TBD by Cubans’ and US participants schedules

Location: Rural Santiago de Cuba Province and City of Santiago de Cuba

Partners: Family Farm Defenders (FFD), BIOECO (Cuba), Universidad de Oriente (2nd largest Cuban National University)-Center for Energy Studies, Dr. Martin Luther King Center (Cuba) Popular Education Network & Representative in Santiago de Cuba Province; Chicago Cuba Coalition; and other potential partners (see below)

Focus: Farmer to Farmer (Campesino a Campesino) agricultural team work-planting, harvesting, irrigation, shade systems, weeding, etc. tours and popular education workshops of both rural and urban farming to directly exchange agroecology and food sovereignty methods, ideas and possible joint long term projects-including the integration of renewable energy (i.e. solar panel powered irrigation water pumps) as part of agroecology where appropriate; to strengthen Cuba-US Farmer to Farmer Food Sovereignty/Agroecology Solidarity Networks and Campaigns

Participants:

Cuba: Rural and Urban (Organoponicos) Campesinos-individuals, cooperatives of all types:

CCS-Cooperativas de Créditos y Servicios, Cooperatives of Credit and Services;

CPA-“Cooperativa de Produccion Agropecuaria,” or Agricultural Production Cooperative

UBPC-“Unidad Basica de Produccion Cooperativa” or Basic Units of Cooperative Production;

U.S.: Farmers, Farmworkers, Urban Farmers, Gardeners already working with individuals, groups and organizations to develop agroecology/food sovereignty food systems

Racially and geographically representative of U.S.

Trip Size: 11-19 US Participants

Travel: Arrange Visas through Maazel Travel in U.S.
Fly directly from US to Holguin (2 hours from Santiago de Cuba) or Santiago de Cuba airports or arrange air travel individually

Housing: All US Participants will stay in Cuban certified bed & breakfast homes (Casa Particulares): $15-$20/night including breakfast

Local Transport: BIOECO will provide 11 person Mini-Bus free; US participants will pay for fuel: $405/11=~$40/each; If more than 11 US persons attend fuel cost will increase as a 2nd and possibly 3rd vehicle will be needed

Culture & History: Trip will include cultural activities-Santiago music, dance, Afro-Cuban Culture & History, Visits to Locations including Tombs of Jose Marti & Fidel Castro

Meals: Lunch will be provided for a small cost most days by BIOECO; Dinners will be among tour group members

Daily Agenda: Monday-Friday:
Morning: Cooperative agricultural work on both rural and urban farms; tours of fields, compost systems, bee hives, food production, energy systems including Biogas
Lunch
Afternoon Popular Education Farmer to Farmer workshops, exchange experiences, methods, techniques, information, with a focus of developing one or more joint projects
Evening: Most Evenings will have a cultural activity/event

Cost: US Coordinators and Partners will develop a fundraising strategic plan that includes local, organizational fundraising and a national web site like GoFundMe and/or use existing donation buttons on each partner’s website to provide scholarships

Cuban Visa & Marazul: $125
Airfare: $300-$400
Housing: (8) Nights-$120-$160 including breakfast
Local Transport: $40-$50 per person
Lunch: $5 per day
Dinner: $5-$10 per day
Cultural Performances: Free or $5-$10
Phone Cards to call US or Cuba: $1/minute (minimum $10)
Internet Cards: $1.50/hour
Total: ~$950

Cuban Coordinators: Giraldo Acosta, Ecologist, Campesino Outreach Coordinator, BIOECO

US Coordinators: Howard Ehrman and Margarita Fernandez
Howard is a FFD & Chicago Cuba Coalition member, urban farmer for 50 years and grew up from age 5 years to 20 years on his Campesino Grandfather’s farm every summer with lots of animals, fruits, grains and veggies; Founder of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization; He has been to Cuba & Santiago de Cuba 3 times, visiting both rural and urban Campesinos and farms over 3 months.

Partners and Sponsors: Cuba-U.S. Agroecology Network, National Family Farm Coalition, Rural Coalition, The United States Food Sovereignty Alliance, La Via Campesina North American Secretariat (LVC-NA), Southeast African American Farmers’ Organic Network (SAAFON), Farmworker Association of Florida (FWAF) and Sustainable Urban Rural Collaborative (SURCO)

See attached pamphlet on the world wide Movement for Food Sovereignty and Agroecology: WhyHunger Agroecology

Food Sovereignty in the US: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cl-4VEw_ARg

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