Cuba: the Aftermath of Hurricane Irma

After the devastation from Hurricane Irma, we want to address your concerns about the people of Cuba and how we can help and contribute to the communities while they rebuild.

Hurricane Irma caused severe damage along the northern coast of the central part of the island, especially in the resort areas of Playa Santa Lucia, Cayo Coco, and Cayo Santa Maria. Havana was also heavily flooded near the Malecon (sea wall).

The Cuban people are extremely resilient and resourceful but all contributions, be it in the local economy, material donations or through charitable organizations are always of immense help and highly appreciated.

What will happen to our Cuba tours?

Other than Havana, where the flooding has subsided, our tours do not go to these resort areas.

For our upcoming November and December tours, there will be contigency plans in place as needed and there is likely to be minor changes on the ground but our tours will be going on ahead as scheduled.

Our 2018 tour schedule will not be affected by the damage.

How can I help?

Many of our clients have approached us asking about how to help the Cuban people in need.

With continuous support from people around the globe, we hope to see Cuba restored to its intoxicatingly unique beauty. Below are just three different way you can help Cuba in its time of need:

1. Visit Cuba

Perhaps the most important way to support Cuba is to visit.

Cuba’s economy heavily relies on tourism, on both the macro and micro level. The country is up and running in the nearly all tourist areas that weren’t heavily damaged, and local businesses and their employees need tourism to help recover.

2. Make Material Donations

As many of our tours take you directly into the home of Cubans, we suggest that you provide materials donations directly to Cubans effected by the hurricane. You could do this by bringing materials to Cuba yourself, or by giving materials to someone you know who is traveling to Cuba or lives in Cuba.

Suggested material donations:

  • Household items: towels, sheets or anything useful in the home…
  • Reusable technology: old mobile phones, USB sticks…
  • Toiletries: makeup, toothpaste, personal hygiene items…
  • Children’s items: toys, balls, shoes, coloring books, school supplies…

3. Support A Charity

If you do not feel comfortable making material donations (or you do not have a way to send gifts directly to Cuba), there are many charities helping Cuba that are accepting monetary donations.

PHOTO: People line up for potable water from a government-run water tanker (not pictured) next to Cuban flags hung up to dry after Hurricane Irma caused flooding and a blackout, in Havana, Cuba September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini [source]

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