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      Join the Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade to Cuba

      By Janine Solanki

      While we may be in the midst of Canada’s winter during a pandemic, the warmth of Cuba is not so far away with the Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade!

      What is the Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade?

      The Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade has travelled to Cuba 26 times annually, bringing brigadistas from Canada to Cuba. This unique trip is a project of the Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) in Canada and the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) in Cuba. The two-week program is an opportunity to experience the Cuban Revolution and its accomplishments. There is no better way to get to know the Cuban people than working alongside them, sharing meals, and leisure time - including going to the beach! The Che Brigade’s vibrant program also includes visiting cultural sites, health and educational institutions, historical sites, workshops, concerts, dance classes, and more! This year we are all living in the unprecedented situation of the Covid-19 pandemic. As international travel has come to a halt around the world, this has included travel to Cuba, where the focus has been on keeping people safe and effectively containing the outbreak in Cuba. However, the 2021 Che Guevara Brigade to Cuba is on the not too distant horizon, and we are looking forward to a much anticipated return to Cuba, April 28 – May 11, 2021!

      Bringing Cuba’s Warmth to Your Homes!

      While it was not possible to travel to Cuba in 2020, that has not stopped the Che Guevara Brigade from hosting online events! On September 27, the Che Brigade hosted a Cuban Cultural Night and brought Cuba’s warmth and culture to distant homes. The event, facilitated by Janine Solanki, national coordinator of the Che Guevara Brigade, included speakers such as Tania López Larroque, Consul General of the Republic of Cuba in Toronto; Yamil Martínez Marrero from the Canada Desk of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP); and Marcia Krawll, an educator, Clinical Social Worker and human rights activist who developed adult literacy programs in New Zealand and Canada in collaboration with Cuban institutions. The cultural elements of the program included poetry readings of Nicolás Guillén, Cuba’s national poet and José Martí, Cuban poet and hero of Cuba’s War of Independence. Music from Trio Bembe, an incredible Latin music trio, and Obsesión, pioneers of Cuban Hip-Hop, kept everyone’s toes tapping in front of their computer screens. Some may have gotten out of their seats to dance in their living rooms, with a Cuban salsa dance lesson and demonstration from Harold Rancano, an internationally recognized Cuban dance instructor and performer!

      How Can I Join the Next Che Guevara Brigade to Cuba?

      The next Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade is scheduled for April 28 – May11, 2021. The Che Brigade is open to people of all ages and abilities, and although we are based in Canada, we welcome those wanting to join from other countries too! For more information, check out www.canadiannetworkoncuba.ca/brigade, and for any questions to receive updates on the price and program, you can call or email the National Coordinator Janine Solanki at 778-881-6156 or chevolbrigade@gmail.com. Stay tuned to your social media accounts for news and updates on the Che Brigade too! You can follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CheVolBrigade on Twitter @CheVolBrigade, or Instagram @cdnntwrkoncuba

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