The participation in this 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 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 and assist in the various marine park environmental projects.
- The guides and marine specialists will teach you how to engage in sustainable sport activities and explore 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 preserving the natural and historical heritage of the area. You will engage in various environmental projects in multiple different protected zones. 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 and Fish Tagging 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.
Environmental Project Topics
Methods to maintain marine park biodiversity and how to provide refuge for endangered species inside the protected areas such as building and maintaining turtle nesting sites, restoring damaged coral reefs and mangrove systems, removing invasive species and more.
Understand the importance of marine park boundaries and rotation system of the utilization sites to provide an area that supports a vulnerable ecosystem’s environmental integrity.
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.
Visitors will support conservation, humanitarian, scientific monitoring and patrolling through:
- Species censuses: report estimates and counts of species abundance per site and zone to the marine biologists.
- Tagging re-sighting/recapture: report any species with a tag on to your guide, researchers, and biologists. If possible, take pictures and deliver them to the research and project directors.
- Report of unusual events such as mangrove die off, seagrass die off, species diseases (fish, coral, turtles, etc): report species and location of the event to your guide, researchers, and biologists. If possible, take pictures and document the anomalies and deliver them to the research and project directors.
- Humanitarian visitors will receive briefings to know how to carry out these activities. Your contribution is highly appreciated and complements the research entities’ efforts for conservation, scientific monitoring and patrolling that allow these natural ecosystems to flourish in their uninterrupted state.
The importance of how to help maintain the local culture, economy, and livelihood which are intricately linked to the marine environment. Understand the humanitarian impact of providing a vocational learning space for local communities further protecting the marine park and improving adult literacy through community and visitor interactions.
The general results of the marine park protection system, implemented over 28 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 and it is through this humanitarian and environmental project that this grassroots model of formal and informal educational and scientific methods coalesces.