When in Cuba we encourage everyone to learn about the country, the culture of the local people and the places being visited. Our tour leaders hold briefing meetings to inform about and discuss with clients all aspects of local life. This helps to have a better understanding of the area and a deeper appreciation of the people who live there.
It is our policy to carefully dispose of all waste whilst we are hiking in national parks and on visits and tours too. We encourage our clients to explore the natural environment in Cuba, and to learn about the wide range of flora, fauna and wildlife whilst they are there. The Cuban government is a firm supporter of sustainable development, re-forestation projects and conservation and Cuba has one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world - we aim to help keep it this way during our visit.
In the cities, we encourage our clients to think about the amount of water they use for showering and washing and the use of air-conditioning units in their rooms.
We encourage everyone to stay in local homes whilst we are in Cuba so that our clients have an opportunity to meet and spend time with local people to learn something of local life. It also enables them to use their Spanish language skills, even at a basic level. Importantly, this also ensures that monies are spent at a very local level and go into the pockets of Cuban households. All our dance/music/language tutors and specialist guides are professionally trained Cubans and they are treated and paid fairly.
We support local Cuban businesses in every aspect of our trips - accommodation, transport, meals, drinks and activities - thus contributing directly to the local economy and community. We also regularly organise donations for local schools and educational projects. We recommend that clients consider donations of items such as toiletries, baby and childrens clothing, some medicines and luxuries such as soap to the families they visit and projects we support.
We also regularly provide donations to two youth theatre and drama companies in Santiago de Cuba, bringing material for costumes and stage make from the UK or buying essential items locally such as paint for props.
On our dance and music vacations, we recommend that clients bring with them any musical or dance items which they can leave for their tutors, such as shoes, strings, instruments or dancewear. On our hiking trips, we encourage the donation of appropriate items such as hiking shoes or boots, small rucksacks, water bottles, penknives and other such items for the specialist guides accompanying the tour.