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Gifting & volunteering sober thought

I asked a member of another forum if I could post this. This is a response to volunteering in Cuba for six months because the poster knew that Cuba need the help. The member’s take on this is so accurate and true that I thought it would help in this ‘new’ forum. I know that most of us will agree, but for the new members who are sure to come on with their idea of bringing ‘special things’ to Cuba might have an eye opener. And I’m sure to take a lot of feedback both pro & con. But this will sum it up.

"Why would you keep pursuing this when people who know Cuba inside out with a combined total of decades spent in Cuba, many of them with lots of experience with volunteer-work all tell you the very same: To forget it, it is not happening.

I am sorry, but when I see you come back with a reply like #11 after previously showing that you seemed to understand the advice, then you have lost me.

The long version of why this will never happen could take up a few heavy books. The very short version of why it will never happen is that Cuba has no interest in all in having foreigners volunteer for anything in Cuba. They want foreigners at hotels and resorts spending money, not out volunteering in Cuba.

Cuba does not even accept, and never will accept (at least under current government), any such premise that Cuba would be in any need of any volunteer-work. Never.

Do you think they can teach the children in schools all over Cuba that Cuba is the greatest country on earth, that everybody eats and gets treated by doctors and hospitals for free - and fill the television 24 hours daily with positive stories about the greatness and well-being of Cuba and all Cubans - and then at the say time welcome foreigners wanting to volunteer to help Cubans??? It should be easy to understand why volunteer-work is not requested by Cuba.

And honestly, it really is not needed. Not when comparing to so many other countries.

So, instead of thinking about yourself and what you would like and enjoy, why not think like those thousands of people volunteering in Africa, Haiti, Central- and South America in countries that are in serious need of foreigners volunteering. That would be really big of you, and in the end volunteer-work is not about self-gratification but about sacrifice and helping human beings in need. I do not have it in me, I am sorry to say, to take out months or years of my life at this point to devote to helping others while living in the slum or the middle of a jungle. If you do that is great, but then go where it’s not about you but about people needing you. And that place is not Cuba.

Good summary of the situation from DT. With rare exception Cuba doesn’t want foreigners volunteering help in any way, shape or form. I’ve been preaching this for years but of course some people refuse to listen. The last people I tried to convince that their importation of books for rural libraries was a very bad idea were finally deported. They just wouldn’t listen. They thought they knew way more than Cubans about, “what was needed.”

Cheers,
Terry