Cuba is a fascinating, vibrant country with a history fraught with conflict, colonialism, and revolution. For over the past fifty years relations between Cuba and the United States has been very tense, yet recent developments between our two countries has allowed for more freedom of travel and cultural sharing between the two nations. Now is the time to take advantage of the changes taking place and become an agent for positive change.
Bright Light Volunteers works in the very calm and laid back towns of Viñales and Trinidad, where groups can come and create an experience of a lifetime while working on educational and conservation projects that will improve the lives of the community while increasing their knowledge of Cuba first hand. All projects comply fully with U.S. OFAC regulations for travel to Cuba and are community approved, ensuring that the projects we are involved with have the full support of the communities in which we serve.
Through our educational partner, Bethel University, all rising junior and senior high school students are eligible to participate in the immersive, online dual-enrollment course- Global Service Learning and Citizenship (GST 140). This virtual classroom experience not only provides program participants with an edge during college admissions because of their unique dual-enrollment university experience, it will provide them with a much richer service work experience and increased cultural understanding after they embark on the international service work component of the program.
Hands-on, immersive cultural learning opportunities include a visit to tour Ernest Hemingway’s Cuban home, a visit to explore the classic Habana Vieja zone, a tour of the Museo del la Revolución, a beach visit, horse-carriage and vintage auto excursions, exploring a cave in the Viñales Valley, a tour of a traditional tobacco farm, salsa dance lessons, and much, much more!
Program participants will work to implement sustainable improvements in the community, including educational and conservation projects that will improve the lives of the community. A key portion of the program includes a service project working on an organic farm in the famed Viñales Valley working directy alongside the farmers that tend the fields.
Program participants will exit the program having:
– Demonstrated an understanding of the definition and value of global citizenship
– Developed awareness of one’s own personal reactions to those from different cultures (personal biases, beliefs, attitudes)
– Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of local, national and/or global issues and the interconnectedness and interdependency of different countries and populations
– Developed skills for critical thinking and analysis of global issues
– Developed a sense of belonging to a common humanity, sharing values and responsibilities, based on human rights
– Developed familiarity with various cultures / cultural practices of the host country
– Acted effectively and responsibly at local, national and global levels for a more peaceful and sustainable world