The sanctions imposed by the United States and the revolution have left its mark on the Cuba. Due to the lack of trade options, Cuba suffers from a low national wealth. Despite this, it is a singularly unique country, with nothing that even comes close to it anywhere else in the world. It is made up of buildings that mimic a European style, cars out of the 1950s and an undercurrent that is typically Caribbean. This is why it makes good sense to carry out volunteer work in Cuba. There are a number of programs you can participate in that benefit the society at large and allow you to truly experience the Cuban lifestyle.
Working with university and college academics, volunteers can participate in research and environmental programs in which they help to collect long term information that can be used towards the implementation of conservation management goals. One marine expedition project is based on the Isle of Youth and concentrates on reef surveys and manatee populations in collaboration with the area university. Volunteers in Cuba can spend the first week learning to dive and move on to a course in reef ecology and finally helping carry out the different surveys. Programs last from two weeks up to three months.
Another volunteer option in Cuba involves travelling in a Brigade and undertaking volunteer work. The Brigade sets up base roughly 30 minutes outside of Havana, and participate in activities like picking fruit, clearing wood from agricultural areas and building schools or painting museums. In addition to carrying out voluntary work, volunteers visit hospitals, community projects, and schools as a part of their cultural visits. In their free time volunteers can enjoy excursions to the sparkling Cuban beaches.