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A Look at Cuban NGOs

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The following summaries describe some of the organizations that Executive Director John McAuliff and Bela August Walker, former Program Officer for the US-Cuba Reconciliation Initiative, met during trips to Cuba.  The information was gathered from the meetings in Cuba, as well as taken from various descriptive materials received there, both from the organizations themselves and produced by the Centro de Estudios Europeos.  This directory continues to be a work in progress.  We will continue to add more organizations from our list.  To include your association, please email all pertinent information to cuba@ffrd.org.  Groups are listed alphabetically by name.  

A

Asociación Cubana de Producción Animal: Founded in 1974, the Cuban Association of Animal Production, (ACPA), services the producers, researchers, teachers and technicians dealing with animal science and husbandry. ACPA encourages sustainable development programs in animal production and industrial processing, working to improve community living standards, strengthen food security, and environmental protection. To further these goals, their activities include both technological and academic research on improving animal production, and practical programs to develop animal production. ACPA's 400 grassroots organizations disseminate technological research, run training programs and other projects such as breeding centers which provide start-up materials for families to become small animal producers for family consumption, as well as on a cooperative and collective level. Their events include agricultural and livestock fairs and rodeos as well as scientific and technological conferences such as the combined International Commercial Agropastoral Fair and Pan-American Milk Congress held this March, which focused on feeding, reproduction and handling of calves, buffaloes, rabbits, birds, and pigs. ACPA's projects go beyond animal production, as it strives to addresses the problems in food production brought about by the US embargo and the Special Period on various fronts: urban gardening, organic agriculture, soil management, reforestation, water supply, and even housing construction. In the past ten years, ACPA has developed over 42 projects with NGOs from Europe and Canada. Contact Information: Teresita Lambrana Alvarez, Secretary of Projects and International Relations, Asociación Cubana de Producción Animal, Calle 10 #351, e/ 15 y 17 Plaza, Vedado, Cuidad de Habana, Código Postal 12300; telephone: 53.7.37.802, 38.159, 30.2375, 30.1482; fax: 53.7.33.5366; e-mail: dwhhacpa@ip.etecsa.cu.

Asociación Nacional de Agricultores Pequeños: The National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP) was founded in 1961 as a mass organization to represent the interests of small agriculturists. ANAP works in cooperation with numerous government ministries, including sugar, education, foreign trade, and culture, but has not received any government funding for over ten years. The organization has 232,000 members, of which 162,000 are private property owners who use its collective services and credit programs. The rest are small producers who work on agropastoral cooperatives. In addition to lobbying assembly and other government offices to obtain polices that benefit their constituencies, ANAP provides numerous resources to its farmers, from social security and retirement funds to various forms of technological assistance and equipment. Since its initiation, ANAP has worked in cooperation with international NGOs, mainly from Canada and Europe. In 1995, they began the Cuban Organic Agriculture Exchange Program with the US organization, the Institute for Food and Development Policy. Contact Information: Mavis Alverez, Director of International Cooperation, Asociación Nacional de Agricultores Pequeños, Calle 13, esq. 1 No. 206 Vedado; telephone/fax 32 8586; telephone: 53.7.33.4244; fax: 53.7.24.0591; e-mail: proyecto@anap.org.cu.

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Centro de Estudios Europeos: The Center for European Studies (CEE) was founded in 1974 as an academic institution designed to strength relations between Cuba and Europe in both academic and political arenas. In 1996, they received consultative status in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. CEE's studies are focused in five program areas: European integration and European-Latin American relations; Eastern Europe; post-soviet studies; political forces and alternatives; and relations with European NGOs. CEE works with over 200 institutions worldwide, while maintaining a library of 14,500 books and 400 publications. While CEE began as an academic center, it has grown to play an important role in facilitating relations between European and Cuban NGOs. Their bilingual monthly journal, Mensaje de Cuba, or Message from Cuba, documents programs of European NGOs and their work in Cuba. The 2nd International Meeting on Cooperation with Cuba, facilitated by CEE in association with other groups, held in December 1999 was attended by 145 organizations. This October, CEE will convoke their 8th International Conference on European Studies on "Europe facing the challenges of the 21st century." Contact Information: Marla Muñoz, NGO Program Coordinator, Centro de Estudios Europeos, Ave 3 #1805, e/ 18 y 20, Miramar; telephone: 53.7.22.5793, 22.6767; fax: 53.7.24.1435; e-mail: cee@ceniai.inf.cu.

Centro de Estudios Sobre Asia y Oceania: The Center of Asian and Oceanic Studies (CEAO) is an academic institution promoting the study of Asia and Oceania, as well as exploring the interconnections between Cuba and this region. CEAO also has consult status in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. The investigations undertaken by CEAO focus on four areas: globalization and integration; governance; military and economic security; and sustainable development. CEAO does academic research along with facilitating the flow of information between Cuba and the Asia-Pacific, in order to educate both the Cuban public about Asia and Oceania and increase knowledge of Cuba in the Asia-Pacific region. The Center pays particular attention to exploring the effects of capitalism, socialism, and globalization on this third world region, to discover what lessons can be learned for the Cuban situation. CEAO has relations with non-governmental and governmental organizations in Asia, as well as with research institutions worldwide.Contact Information: Freya Matos Martínez, Director of International Relations, Centro de Estudios Sobre Asia y Oceania, Calle 20 #512, e/ 5 y 7, Miramar, Playa, Ciudad de Havana, Código Postal 10300; telephone: 53.7.22.6038, 22.8392, 22.8393; fax: 53.7.24.0591; e-mail: asia@infomed.sld.cu.

Centro Félix Varela: The Félix Varela Center (CFV) was founded in 1990 to educate about the necessity of responsible ethics for a model of sustainable development and promote the development of a society with participatory politics, inclusive economy, cultural solidarity, and sustainable technology. They also have consultative status in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. CFV organizes workshops, courses, competitions, and seminars, around issues of human rights, development rights, conflict resolution, health, sustainable development and the environment, as well as producing publications and videos. Its researchers work with collaborators and other volunteers from fields such as journalism, philosophy, sociology, psychology, and medicine. Some previous publications included The Ecology of Comerce, Bioethics from a Cuban Prespective, and the videos, Looking for Happiness and Gay Cuba. They have also hosted delegations of foreign students and professionals. CFV is financed by their own fundraising efforts and support from international NGOs, primarily OXFAM, Arquitectos sin Fronteras and ACSUR (Spain). Contact Information: Marlén Moleón Borodowsky, General Director, Centro Félix Varela, Calle 5 #720, esq. a 10, El Vedado, Cuidad de Habana; telephone: 53.7.33.7731; fax: 53.7.33.3328; e-mail: cfv@ceniai.inf.cu.

Centro Memorial Martin Luther King : The Martin Luther King Memorial Center (CMMLK) was founded in 1987 as a macro-ecumenical organization of Christian origin to promote socio-theological reflection, popular education, service to the community and the promotion of international solidarity. The Center organizes around the areas of social justice, peace, solidarity, and natural rights. Their community service projects center on housing, the elderly, popular communication and community development. The program of popular education seminars, workshops, and classes emphasize community organizing and development. In the religious community, the Center's activities strengthen cooperation within Cuban and with the greater international community, and encourage a greater commitment to the social responsibility of the bible. CMMLK has worked with international organizations since its founding,, advancing relations with other centers, religious groups and NGOs from Latin America and the rest of the world, encouraging cooperation for development and ecumenical aid for the people and churches of Cuba. The Center also promotes international solidarity, collaborating with IFCO/Pastors for Peace against the US embargo, and hosting solidarity delegations from the US. Contact Information: Daisy Rojas, Centro Memorial Martin Luther King, Ave. 53 No. 9609 e/ 96 y 98 Marianao, Cuidad de Havana, Código Postal 11400; telephone: 53.7.20.3940, 20.9741; fax: 53.7.27.2959, rinternac@mlking.sld.cu.

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Federación de Mujeres Cubanas: Founded in 1960, the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) is a mass organization, with a membership consisting of 82% of all Cuban women over the age of fourteen, or over 3.6 million. In 1996, they received consultative status in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. FMC works to promote the participation of women in all realms and levels of society, and to raise the standard of living for Cuban women and their families. Functioning out of 14 provincial offices with 76,000 grassroots organizations, FMC is active in all parts of Cuban life, from increasing representation of women in the National Assembly to promoting breast-feeding and sex education. Their neighborhood Casas de Orientación a la Mujer y la Familia, or Orientation House for Women and Family provide a variety of services, including AIDS education, psychiatric assistance, domestic violence services, self-esteem workshops, as well as various training programs designed to facilitate economic independence for women, classes which range from hairdressing and French to computing and marketing. FMC also has an investigation center, that conducts academic studies of the position of women in Cuban society. FMC continues to look for additional support from international NGOs, for program assistance. They have worked primarily with European organizations and UN departments. Contact Information: Tamera Columbié Matos, International Cooperation, Federación de Mujeres Cubanas, Calle Paseo #260, Vedado; telephone: 53.7.66.2245, 55.3540; fax: 53.7.33.3019; e-mail: fmccu@ceniai.inf.cu.

G

Grupo para el Desarrollo Integral de la Capital: Founded in 1988, the Group for the Integral Development of the Capital (GDIC) addresses foremost issues of urbanity, working to preserve the historic patrimony of the city, address urban problems and promote responsible community and urban development. Their work centers on the economic, cultural, and social development of the Cuban capital, Havana. La Maqueta de la Habana, created and maintained by GDIC, is a city model with a surface area of 144 m2 representing 144 k m2 and took 12 years to produce. The model includes every building in Havana and serves as a reference tool, available to tours of students and senior citizens as well as to commercial and state urban developers. GDIC also conducts investigations on housing and urban development and plays an integral part in advising on new construction and urban projects within the city. Their upcoming International Seminar Toward A Sustainable Habitat: Challenges for the New Millennium, held in May, will address experiences in sustainable habitat around the world, their successes and failures as well as ways to facilitate implementation and possible alternatives for the future, focusing on built environment & social housing, community development, and local development. Contact Information: Migul Coyula, Grupo para el Desarrollo Integral de la Capital, Calle 28 #113 entre 1 y 3, Miramar, Playa, Ciudad de la Habana; telephone: 53.7.22.7303, 22.2621; fax: 53.7.24.2661; e-mail: gdic@ceniai.inf.cu.

H

Hábitat Cuba: Founded in 1974, Habitat-Cuba works on issues of self-help housing, urbanity, the environment, and other problem associated with the habitat. Currently 800,000 to 1,000,000 Cubans lack adequate housing, living either with family or in substandard construction. Habitat looks for alternative, sustainable, participatory solutions with equitable criteria though demonstrative practices of research development, training, documentation, communication, and technical advisory services. Habitat works with communities to create new housing while eradicating preexisting hazardous conditions and neighborhoods. While Cuba has sufficient labor resources, the embargo has resulted in a lack of building materials and other resources. Habitat-Cuba has relations with 50 international NGOs and not-for-profit organizations, which have provided financial and material aid. Habitat looks to these outside resources for assistance, but focuses its efforts on the production and use of local materials and adequate technologies. One recent initiative explored bamboo as an alternative to wood - a material in scarce supply, but needed in housing construction for windows and doors - developing the appropriate technology and planting bamboo groves for harvesting. Contact Information: Selma Díaz, President, Hábitat-Cuba, Ave. 7 #701, esq. a 41 Miramar, Playa; telephone: 53.7.22.7349, 24.0105; fax: 53.7.24.0105; e-mail: selma@habitat.get.cma.net.

I

Instituto Cubano de Amistad con Los Pueblos: The Cuban Institute for Friendship Between People (ICAP) was founded in 1960 to strengthen the bonds of friendship and solidarity between the peoples of the world. From the beginning, ICAP helped coordinate the International Brigades which came from around the world to support Cuba through aid in agriculture, construction and other parts of the economy. Now they continue to facilitate visits and exchanges between friendship organizations. The Institute organizes delegations for international groups to visit Cuba. The Casa de la Amistad, or Friendship House, run by ICAP, organizes social and cultural events and exchanges. ICAP also receives and distributes humanitarian aid from international solidarity groups. Contact Information: Javier Dominquez Martínez, Head of United States Desk, Instituto Cubano de Amistad con Los Pueblos, Calle 17 #301, e/ H y I, El Vedado, Cuidad de Habana; telephone: 53.7.55.2420, 55.2421; fax: 53.7.33.3185; e-mail: icap@ceniai.inf.cu; http://www3.cuba.cu/ICAP.

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Please email the Cuba Program Office at cuba@ffrd.org
with your Cuban NGO's information to be included in this directory

This page last updated in November 2002