In 2015, over 1.3 million people from Canada went to Cuba as tourists. Most go to Cuba for the islands beautiful beaches and vibrant culture. But, did you know that each year there is also the opportunity to go to Cuba on a volunteer work brigade?
Really, what better way to learn about Cuba and the Cuban Revolution, then to go there and see it for yourself! Each year, dozens of people from Canada are given this opportunity by joining the Ernesto Ché Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade, organized by the Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC). This year was no different.
In order to encourage people in Vancouver to join in this year’s 25th annual Ché Brigade, Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) organized an information night on Saturday April 8. Through a lively program of multimedia, music, poetry and trivia, VCSC brought a bit of Havana into East Vancouver.
The evening was emceed by Alison Bodine and Azza Rojbi, executive committee members of Friends of Cuba Against the US Blockade – Vancouver. Throughout the event, they both shared their favorite experiences as participants in past Ché Brigades, often with a fact about Cuba’s international solidarity or world-renowned universal healthcare system inter-woven.
Other past ‘Brigadistas’ were also invited to join in the program, all giving the audience a piece of what to expect from this life-changing experience. Depending on who you ask, the highlight of the event was either the game of trivia, which had everyone debating and discussing answers to questions about Cuba and the Cuban Revolution, or the raffle, in which people won books, t-shirts, and even a bottle of Havana Club rum!
By the end of the night, everyone in the room, of many ages and backgrounds, was ready to get on an airplane and join the 2017 Ché Brigade! This year, the Brigade goes from April 28 – May 12, and will visit the eastern provinces of Cuba: Holguin, Santiago and Guantanamo.
Visit www.vancubasolidarity.com to find out about the Ché Brigade report-back and other actions for Cuba that Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba will be organizing in the coming months!
Fire This Time Newspaper - Correspondent in Cuba!
Fire This Time Newspaper Editorial Board member Janine Solanki is
in Cuba with the 25th Annual Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade!
Look forward to upcoming reports from Janine’s experiences this
year in revolutionary Cuba. With the Brigade she will particiapte in
May 1st International Workers Day events in Holguin and the 5th
International Conference to End Foreign Military Bases in the city of
Guantanamo, as well as visit Cuba’s hospitals, schools and cultural
Follow Alison Bodine on Twitter: @alisoncolette
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