The participation in this workshop program is the method in which both international visitors and Cubans are able to actively engage in this humanitarian and environmental project. The final goal is supporting the conservation programs in the protected Cuban marine parks while returning the benefits of this participatory program to the environment and local communities.
Upon completion of the workshop program, each traveler will receive a certificate that validates their participation and completion of the program. This documentation also certifies that the participant has actively supported an ongoing humanitarian effort which has deeply rooted foundations and far reaching effects on the environment worldwide; all the while bringing new and sustainable opportunities to local Cuban communities.
• Travel to Cuba from International locations
• Meet and greet with local representatives and transfer to your destination
• Introductory talk about marine park management, hosted by a team of marine specialists
• Dinner and overnight at your accommodation
• 7am Wake up call and 7:30am breakfast
• During the day, your group will interact with your Cuban guide for a full day of activities on the reef and mangrove system
• The guides will teach you how to engage in sustainable sport activities and enjoy the interactions with flora and fauna within the marine park using stress free low impact techniques and you will also learn about the importance of the rotation system of the utilization areas within the protected marine park. This will ensure that the fish and coral species remain unchanged in their natural ecosystem. You will engage in sustainable sport activities at multiple different protected zones each day and your local guides will show all the marine park scenarios. You will also learn about the areas where fish are able to reproduce, spawn and grow to their adult size and take a population survey with the Fish Counting Project.
• Breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight on your boat or land based accommodation
• Morning transfer to port of departure or transfer within Cuba to next location to prepare for flight home. Return home in the following days depending on flight schedules and logistics.
Participatory discussions and workshop topics
In the evening, there will be discussions hosted by Cuban marine biologists, head Cuban guides, and your group, here are some of the in-depth discussions you will enjoy and be an active participant in:
• Ways to maintain marine park biodiversity and how to provide refuge for endangered species inside the protected areas
• Marine park boundaries and rotation system of the utilization sites
• Unique ecological aspects of the marine park and why it is essential to the reef and mangrove system creating edge and spawning habitat for the entire spectrum of marine species in the Caribbean
• Sustainable management and marine park law enforcement
• Monitor and record different species behaviors adding to the informational database maintained by biologists and improved upon through citizen science participatory methods
• The importance of participating in fish counting and species biodiversity surveys within the marine park to further scientific research and effectiveness strategies for the marine park system
• The importance of how to help maintain the local culture, economy, and livelihood which are intricately linked to the marine environment
• The general results of the marine park protection system, implemented over 25 years ago in Cuba.
• You will understand why it is internationally recognized as an effective tool to manage resources and biodiversity, resulting in the improvements of ecosystems and habitats with healthy natural balances restored. This model can be utilized worldwide, therefore we encourage the active participation of travelers from all countries across the planet including those in Cuba.