This experiential learning program is designed to provide first hand experience in the field of Ecological Restoration. By living for three weeks in the beautiful town of Cocodrilo, Cuba we will have the opportunity to make a difference in three different ecological projects.
We will contribute to the monitoring and protection of the sea turtles nesting in the beaches of La Isla de la Juventud, we will help clean the tropical forest of invasive species and we will play an active role in the underwater restoration of the towns own coral reef. We will also take this opportunity to improve our spanish skills and inmerse into the local community to learn about interculturality and create life long bonds.
To introduce students to some of the conservation challenges faced throughout the planet and more specifically in Cuba. To understand our responsibility as humans in caring for our environment and the many ways in which we can make a positive impact.
To understand the processes surrounding the aparition of invasive species and the consequences on the loss of biodiversity.
To help local biologist in their efforts of monitoring and protecting the populations and nests of the sea turtle.
To apprehend the complexity and fragility of coral reefs, natures most endangered ecosystems and to actively collaborate in the restoration of Cocodrilo; s own reef, located less than 50 feet from the town;s shore.
To take the opportunity to bond with locals, share with them some of the conservation ideals and techniques we know today while learning from them the beauty of a much less complex life style, the cuban way, reported to be one of the most ecologically sustainable societies in the world.
Reinaldo Borrego. Marine Protected Areas expert. Host
Reinaldo Borrego Hernández has a master’s degree in Integrated Coastal Zone Management from the Marine Research Center (CIM) enrolled at the University of Havana (UH) (2011).
He has 16 years of experience on the rational use of coastal marine resources, fundamentally, in the field of Protected Areas and since 2010 in Marine Protected Areas since his incorporation to the Regional Course Training of Trainers in the Management of Marine Protected Areas of the Caribe carried out in the Dominican Republic by the CaMPAM Program of UNEP-PAC and his professional training as a diver with the Open Water and Advance categories.
He has actively participated in territorial, national and international projects, research on the subject, species monitoring and environmental education in coastal communities.
He has published articles in national and international certified journals and in books where the main results of the analyzes carried out based on the conservation of coastal marine resources of the Isla de la Juventud are evidenced, such as: “Coastal Resource Management in the Wider Caribbean: Resilence, adaptation and Community Diversity ”(2006),“ Effects of tourims activities on coral reef communities in the Punta Francés National Marine Park, Cuba ”(2007) and“ Conserve a paradise in the Caribbean Sea ”Editorial Academia Española (2012 ).
Antonio Gutiérrez. Director of Celei. Co-host
Antonio Gutiérrez is a life long learner. From a very young age he was exposed to a multitude of different cultures and that exposure defined his way of thinking. Through volunteer work and long travels he has deepened his knowledge on different ways to perceive and live life.
Antonio is director of Celei Educación Internacional for 5 years and has made his life work to widen students perspectives and re-educate in regenerative culture.
He worked at an Equine hospital in Scone, Australia. Also he carried out a volunteer project at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Participation in ecological restoration / protection projects such as AmaZOOnico (Ecuador) and Natura2000 (Cape Verde) and sociocultural animation for institutions such as The Experiment in International Living or Berkeley Carrol High School in New York are also milestones in his bias.
Alberto Morales. Enviromental expert. Co-host
Degree in environmental sciences and Ornithology.
He has worked in the Parque de las Ciencias of Granada in wildlife and vivarium management, giving informative workshops to the public such as flight exhibitions of birds of prey.
He has been coordinator of environmental education at the Sierra Nevada Ornithological Station, where he still collaborates.
Great teaching experience in training courses: both in ornithology courses taught at the University of Granada, as well as in concrete training projects taught in Guatemala.
Writer and passionate about nature in all its aspects.
We will spend 3 days getting to know the jewel of Cuban culture. Habana is a city full of energy, history and art. Walking through it’s streets we will understand the unique characteristics that define the Cuban culture and lifestyle.
In this 3 day visit to the heart of the valley we will get to know about the rural and agricultural life in Cuba. Learn about tabacco, rum, coffee or honey while taking beautiful strolls or horseback riding tours.
We will sleep in a beautiful lookout spot in the mountain and enjoy the music of Viñales night life.
Cocodrilo is the last town on the south west of la Isla de la Juventud, an island located to the south of the main island of Cuba. As one of the most remote corners of this incredible country, Cocodrilo preserves the slow and sleepy feeling of the fishing towns of the caribbean.
With its incredible location siting at the shore of the Caribbean sea, facing west you will have access to some of the most beautiful sunsets and people you could imagine. This small town offers few leisure activities so sport, music and mingling with the locals will be some of our possibilities for free time.
We will live in “Casas Particulares”, local houses adapted to receive tourism and will share meals and experiences with the cubans living there whenever possible.
Turtle Nesting 35 hours
Tropical forest activities 25 hours
Restoration of the coral reef 40 hours
Intercultural sessions 10 hours
Turtle Nesting Sessions
We will move to the beach, where turtles come out of the ocean to nest, for a few days. There, we will patrol the beaches trying to mark and protect the nests the turtles make every night during nesting season and we will try to mark as many turtles as possible for their future monitoring.
Tropical forest activities
In the tropical forest we will carry out several different activities. We will mainly help clean the coastal areas of an invasive pine tree specie that is rapidly colonizing the beaches and replacing the local biodiversity. In addition we will carry out workshops to identify and monitorize the local diversity of birds, anphibians and reptiles of the tropical forest.
Restoration of the Coral Reef
For this part of the program we will learn about the underwater techniques for the restoration of a coral reef from our local expert. To prepare for this activities a PADI Open Water Course is included for everyone, so you can become a certified diver.
We will take the opportunity to bond with the local community and learn from a much closer to nature life style. We will compare the different cultural views in conservation and expand our perspective while learning about the beautiful Cuban culture.
€3.800 per student. It will be paid online using a secure payment gateway from our partner Itinerarius.
This course requieres at least 10 students, up to 15.
Prices in $US Dollars or other currencies will be shown in the payment process.