Our upcoming projects are always a dynamic mix. Here’s a table that shows where we’re headed. Check back often to see what’s been added.
|2023 Dates||Location||Activity||Second Week|
|April 7-14||Santiago de Cuba||Support for the Cuban People – teaching English, helping coffee farmers, etc., staying and eating in private venues.||Back Home|
|May 13-27||Timor-Leste||Helping to teach in a Trade School about building electrical generators for extremely rural homes||Japan – Tokyo, Nara, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, and more, via the bullet trains|
See below for more information about each project.
Next Up: A New Project!
Although it’s certainly not gone, the effects of the pandemic have begun to diminish, and we’re learning how to function more normally in its presence. Our successful project in July 2022 (to Iquitos, Peru) is a good example. That project marked our official return to service, and we learned a lot more about how to travel internationally again. Now we’re expanding our horizons and finding more people that need our help. For our next excursion, we won’t have to venture far from our shores to find an incredibly fulfilling and fascinating project. Try this on for size:
New Information as of January 10, 2023
Many people have expressed some difficulty fitting our February Cuba Project into their busy schedules. The short notice of the project was a big obstacle. So, because of that inconvenience and a variety of other reasons, we’ve decided to change the dates of our project to make it easier for many of you. Our new dates for our Cuban Project to Support the Cuban People will be, APRIL 7-14, 2023. Everything else will remain the same, so contact us as soon as you determine that these new dates will fit into your schedule. This is one you don’t want to miss.
It’s a good-sized island, not far from our Florida Coastline, and the people there have plenty of need for our assistance. We’ll be working in Santiago de Cuba, which is on the very southeastern part of the island. Before I go on any further in the project description, though, let me take a moment and clarify the legal issues that surround a project like this.
I’m sure you aware of the longstanding problems between our US government and the Cuban government. Those problems have been going on for years, and I don’t see any signs that they’ll go away very soon. I do see, however, that there have been improvements within the last decade, and that’s what will allow us to help the people there. The US Treasury Department and the US State Department, among other offices, have a clearly defined list of “General Licenses” that allow American citizens to visit Cuba. We will be going under the General License of, “Support for the Cuban people.” When you read that license, it looks like it was written specifically with Volunteer Voyages in mind. We can go to Cuba and do what our programs are designed to do – support the people there. There is also a list of things that we are forbidden to do, and we’ll be careful to not run afoul of those.
So, here’s what we are cooking up with our local collaborators there. When we arrive in Santiago de Cuba, we will be taken to our accommodations – family homestays! That will be such a great opportunity to get to know our hosts and to begin to understand what life is like for them. Each day we will be involved in activities that will allow us to meet more people and share skills and ideas that can make their lives even better. One of our main activities will be to teach English to a group of adult students who are studying in the hospitality industry. We’ll have a whole curriculum that we will use that is designed so that they can get the best possible result. We are also exploring ways that we can work with coffee farmers and other producers of goods that are in high demand.
Our meals will be at small, private restaurants that will give us an incomparable experience with every bite. And our attendance at their establishment will help to support them more fully, as well.
Actually, our whole time in Cuba, is being designed around the needs of the Cuban people. Everything, from our transportation to teach classes in the mornings (remember the classic American cars you’ve seen pictures of… that’s what we’re planning) to gathering with our groups of hosts in the evenings, is planned for their benefit. We’ll be in Cuba for seven days, every one of which will be precious.
Here’s what our schedule looks like right now for this project:
- Depart the USA (or wherever your home is) in time to arrive in Cuba on February 10, 2023. Yes, that’s coming soon.
- Work in Cuba daily until February 17, 2023, when we will return to our homes. Yes, that’s just 7 days, but it will be a week you’ll treasure forever! I hope you’re up to it.
Keep checking back here to get updates on these plans. I’ll be doing a lot of work on ironing out all the details on the work, the costs, the legal stuff, the travel issues, etc. I’ll post it here to keep everyone up to date.
You can also email me at any time to reserve a space for yourself (by the way, this is a great trip for couples) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to put the code CU-2301 in the subject line so I won’t miss it. Since this is our first project in Cuba, I’d like to limit the group size to only 10 people. Maybe future groups will be bigger – we’ll see.
We’ll be going to this young country (5th newest on the planet – look up their incredible history) on May 13th, 2023. Our task is to work with their local Trade School, the Dili Institute of Technology, to help their mechanical engineering students design, build, and understand small electrical generators that can be used in rural homes. Since there are so many homes in locations so remote that they have no hope of getting onto a power grid for several decades, a simple, inexpensive, and reliable source of power will likely change their lives in a most dramatic way. In addition, we will be interacting and working with some coffee, cocoa, and spice farmers there to determine the best ways that we can help them on an ongoing basis. It looks as if this will be a wildly productive week – and very satisfying, to boot.
The last time we worked there we spent our second week in Bali. In an effort to change things up a bit, this time we plan to spend a week in Japan on our way home. After a couple days exploring Tokyo, we’ll hop on a bullet train and zip down to Osaka. From there we can take day trips to the ancient Capitals of Nara and Kyoto. Then we’ll continue south to Hiroshima, where we’ll spend some time exploring the museums and parks. Then it will be back to Tokyo for a little more shopping and sightseeing and then off to home.
We’ll put more details up here as they evolve. You can save a spot on this project any time, though – just call or email us.