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Gifts, Tips and New Items Needed V.2012


#21

Stainless steel hooks and tackle so they don’t rust away in a day or two.
7Lb test floating line is a nice touch too.


#22

I have been taking shoes for my friend’s 14-year old son since he was 4 years old. When he went from a size 8 to a size 13 shoe in less than two years. I can assure you that she was EXTREMELY grateful for the new shoes I take him every year! I told him that once his feet stop growing, I’ll buy him a name brand pair (eg Nike). In the meantime, I have been getting reasonable quality new shoes every year at Walmart on sale.

Last year he outgrew a pair so quickly that I was worried that they barely got broken in - then his Dad came in , proudly wearing them! His younger cousins also show me the “new” shoes they have had handed down over the years.

No matter what we may think, our “gifts” are generally appreciated and will make someone very happy.


#23

I fail to see why anyone going on, a week or 2 holiday once a year, would be concerned with taking gifts to strangers? ???

Just go, enjoy, take cash to tip for good service. :sunglasses:

ps; I have it on good authority that if one feels a need to gift, canned salmon is appreciated ;D


#24

The best thing about giving is how it feels. The worst thing about giving is someone telling me I did it wrong. Give me some suggestions first so I can ignore them or try them.
In the mean time, tell me about local shortages and who best to give stuff or cash to.


#25

[quote=@spunky]The best thing about giving is how it feels. The worst thing about giving is someone telling me I did it wrong. Give me some suggestions first so I can ignore them or try them.
In the mean time, tell me about local shortages and who best to give stuff or cash to.
[/quote]

When you go on vacation in Canada do you take gifts?


#26

Spunky knows the “gifting” drill…he is on Trip Advisor, so don’t waste your time. He knows everything you are going to say.

“tip for good service, not to get service; gifts to good friends; donations to charity”

Tourists are turning Cubans into a nation of beggars, at least that is the perceived wisdom. Not everyone agrees. So be it.


#27

agree 100% with eeeefarm.

Tossing gifts ‘out the window’ to strangers (sometimes literally) leads to real corruption to any culture. Anyone who has been to DR on the Jeep Safari can see how bad it can get.

Many years ago (40 ish) our family did a tour around old Quebec City . Back then there was a tour you could take that the tour guide wore a red jacket drove your car around and gave you a historical experience of the city. As we rounded from the lower city around an old wall…as I remember it… a bunch of children came running to the car. The tour guide said that they were looking for candies that often the tourists gave them. I have never in my life felt so ashamed being Canadian as to see these kids begging in the streets.

This is a situation that often re-surfaces is in my mind when I see people , well meaning or not, being irresponsible … IMHO giving gifts to strangers…especially when there are so many experience Cuban travelers sharing with then how poor a practice it can be.

Charity is good but with organizations that can focus on the people in need.


#28

[quote=@spunky]The best thing about giving is how it feels. The worst thing about giving is someone telling me I did it wrong. Give me some suggestions first so I can ignore them or try them.
In the mean time, tell me about local shortages and who best to give stuff or cash to.
[/quote]

Spunky, stincky canned fish is needed in Havana.
A TNR for “Gatos sin Hogares” is taking place in October.
It will be used as bait and to feed the cats overnighting in recovery.
Believe it of not canned fish can be less expensive than cat food.


#29

What about the local shortages? Anyone have some recent reports?
Hey Cat, 2nd visit, yes!
eeee, good quote and thanks for your help as always.
Hey Radar, I live in the land of “Tainted Tuna”


#30

Talk is easy. Just make 15-25CUC a month and come back to write about that.


#31

What you make is only relevant if you also know what your cost of living is. Free housing, education, and heath care change the equation somewhat. Bottom line is that most tourist gifts go to the people who are already making the most money, not to those who most need it. That is why directing gifts to charity is generally the best way to go if you want them to reach the neediest folks.

Giving a gift to someone with whom you have developed a relationship or who has done you a particular service is another topic.

And yes, for sure there are shortages of specific things in Cuba from time to time. I would never begrudge a person basic necessities if I have extras with me, but I am not able to lug enough stuff down to make a significant difference in anyone’s life.


#32

Here we go.

For anyone that has a basic lack of understanding of the Cuban economy and thinks that the fact that the average salary of 15-25 CUC per month is a reason to hand out gifts to resort workers, throw trinkets to kids from a car, and similar practices, I would direct you to Trip Advisor, to have a look at the excellent article there entitled “Think Before You Gift.”


#33

The day the tourists still bring erasers, pencils, baby tylenol, aspirin, bandaids (just named a few) and you do your own conclusion.


#34

??


#35

My thoughts exactly! ???


#36

[quote=@spunky]What about the local shortages? Anyone have some recent reports?
Hey Cat, 2nd visit, yes!
eeee, good quote and thanks for your help as always.
Hey Radar, I live in the land of "Tainted Tuna"[/quote]

Snarky question gets the answer it deserves. Nada.

Reason I asked about gifting in Canada (which was ignored) is I find it hard to reconcile gifting to the high end of the economic ladder in Cuba while ignoring the low end at home. ???

To each their own.


#37

That was my answer for Canada. 2nd visit. :slight_smile:


#38

I will be visiting up North and have made enquiries about taking up donations. I figure I do it for Cuba, I should do it here. Trust me, it’s a lot cheaper and easier to get to Cuba than it is to get up North.

I encourage the people who can do so, after making their donation to Radar or Dubois, to check out:
http://www.nameres.org/
or any other First Nations groups that deserve our support.


#39

Charity begins at home, eh? I hope we all get involved with charities and good causes here, at home.
For those who want to bring things to Cuba, I’m hoping some thoughts about local shortages may give us some ideas about what is “really” needed in a certain area.
Many of us would bring a boxcar of Dollar Store stuff if we had a chance, but once we know better would search out items, charities, churches and local aid groups where we might get a better bang for our bucks.
The Spanky Project is a personal favourite with the new Cat Cafe concept is a super future project.
In DR we support the Beyond the Beach Children’s Foundation where orphanages and schools are directly supported.
Dubois had a hitch when Cuba didn’t want those donations and I’d love to hear how that was resolved.
Someone mentioned throwing candy at the kids … In DR there is no dental health care so kids die from heart disease caused by tooth decay and abscesses.
There’s a “No Candy” rule for visitor-gifts in the Dominican Republic.
eeeefarm mentioned cash as the best type of tip or, when appropriate, gift and I’d have to agree … but it’s hard for us to not take some stuff too. Sort of like giving cash for Christmas presents isn’t for everyone.
Thanks everyone so far and thanks for the PM’s from new members … welcome any time.


#40

Imho and in my limited experience, the more ‘practical’ the gifts the better.

Just to relate a couple of incidents, for the newbies joining in…

When we were at a Cuban wedding in April in Matanzas, we of course gave money gifts to the happy couple as well as shopping bags full of useful items for the family. Our querida amiga later told me that of all the gifts they received (including the $), the set of butcher knives and the 2 packs of DIAPERS for the family were the most appreciated (oh yeah and the porto for her dad :P).
And last November in Holguin (Playa Pesquero), another Cuban friend flat out REFUSED our money gift and asked that we leave him some clothes AND that we tell our friends to bring clothes, as his wife worked in a clinica in the mountains (Holguin area) where the majority of people were in dire need of clothes and footwear… . Unreal. We insisted he take the $ for medicine at the clinica and we left him some children’s clothing. He cried like a baby, very touching…

I’m just saying that it pays to get to know these people to REALLY understand what the needs are.

I agree with Spunky that perhaps some contact info or links would be of help. Radar, maybe you could add some here, particularly for the newbies who do NOT know about the fantastic work you and your Cuban collaborators are doing to protect the animal population (Spunky Project). And if others have any direct contact info for specific needs such as orphanages, clinicas, church organizations, this would be a good time to put this info up. Or even tips on HOW to go about making direct donations.