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      Solidarity, Adventure & Fun in Cuba with
      the Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade!

      By Janine Solanki

      The island of Cuba is famous around the world for many things, from Cuban salsa dancing and music to its exemplary healthcare and education systems. While many people travel to Cuba to enjoy the extraordinary beaches, resorts, and sun, there is much more to experience on this dynamic island with the Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade!

      The Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade is a unique opportunity to know Cuba through people-to-people solidarity and on-the-ground experiences. There is no better way to get to know the Cuban people than working alongside them, sharing meals and leisure time, and there is no better way to learn about the Cuban Revolution than by seeing its accomplishments firsthand!

      The Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade, based in Canada, is a project of the Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) and the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) in Cuba. While based in Canada, the trip welcomes participants from other countries too!

      Che Guevara Brigade in a Time of the Pandemic

      While the Che Guevara Brigade is an annual trip, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the brigade was unable to travel as originally planned in spring 2020. From June 2020 to March 2022, the Che Guevara Brigade held 9 webinars that celebrated Cuban culture with music, dance, and poetry, marking Cuban historical dates like the 60th anniversary of Cuba's successful literacy campaign. To watch paste events check out https://www.canadiannetworkoncuba.ca/brigade/events.html

      Returning to Cuba with the Che Guevara Brigade!

      After a long wait through the pandemic, in fall 2022, the 27th Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade traveled to Cuba with an enthusiastic group of brigadistas from across Canada and the U.S., many visiting Cuba for the first time. As Cuba was restarting tourism and its economy, the Che Guevara Brigade was on the ground in Cuba with support and solidarity! The group also brought suitcases of medical aid since the brutal U.S. blockade, severely tightened by Trump and compounded by the pandemic, has made medical supplies and many other goods difficult to obtain in Cuba.

      While traveling through Havana, Pinar del Rio, Varadero, and Playa Giron, brigadistas visited schools and hospitals, met with Cuban community organizations, and learned about Cuba's revolutionary history and how Cuba's dynamic political system works today. At every meeting, whether on a campesino's farm or in the Capitol Building, brigadistas promised to transmit the truth about Cuba and their own first-hand experiences through social media, events, and conversations back home.

      Less than six months since the 27th Che Guevara Brigade, the 28th Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade is ready to return to Cuba with more brigadistas from Canada and beyond! Again, brigadistas are also bringing support and solidarity in suitcases full of medical aid destined for Cuban hospitals. This year the Che Guevara Brigade will stay in Havana and participate in the International Worker's Day parade. This massive and inspiring event will be the first May Day parade after two years of the pandemic. Brigadistas will also stay in Santa Clara, known as the “City of Che,” where Che Guevara led the final battle marking the victory of the Cuban revolution and where Che Guevara's mausoleum now stands. The brigade will also visit the historic Playa Giron, where Cuban revolutionary fighters defeated the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of U.S. mercenaries in less than 72 hours. The exciting full program can be viewed online at https://www.canadiannetworkoncuba.ca/brigade/program1.html

      Want to join the Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade to Cuba?

      The Che Guevara Brigade is open to everyone of all physical abilities and ages. Brigadistas have ranged in age from 7 to 86 years! Join the 28th Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade in Cuba from April 26 to May 10, 2022. For questions or to receive updates, please contact the Che Brigade national coordinator Janine Solanki at (778) 881–6156 or by e-mail at chevolbrigade@gmail.com

      To register or for more information, visit: ww.canadiannetworkoncuba.ca/brigade

      If you can't join the Che Guevara Brigade, you can track their day-by-day activities in Cuba on social media! Follow @chevolbrigade on Facebook and Twitter and @cdnntwrkoncuba on Instagram for updates and reports from Cuba!

      Follow Janine on Twitter: @janinesolanki

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