See the bottom of this post for the subject we started a year ago about taking school supplies to Cuba. We’ve seen from this posting that people have been taking school supplies to many areas in Cuba. Those who can, deliver them directly to schools (which can, at times, be difficult if you are a stranger) or to churches. Others give them to resort workers such as maids and gardiners. All the school supplies are useful and will certainly find their way into the hands of students and teachers.
In early March, 2005, Cheryl and I spent a day with Ceidel delivering school supplies to two rural schools. My wife, a teacher, gave her students the opportunity to contribute and Air Canada allowed us to take the school supplies - 50 lbs of them - with us at no charge.
Ceidel’s schools are in pretty good shape for the next few months, thanks to the many donations he has received from guests worldwide. However, there are other schools and churches that cannot say the same things right now.
Ceidel wants to thank everyone who helped and encourages visitors to Cuba to assist where possible. For those who might like to take a large quantity (like us, who took a full suitcase and got questioned by the airport guards) it might be better to get “official permission” if you are trying to bring a lot of supplies. Perhaps you could contact the resort several months before leaving to see what the best process is. However, any amount - big or small - of school supplies is greatly appreciated.
Ceidel is an incredible individual and there are “Ceidel’s” all over Cuba. They still need our help.
PS The kindergarten children were very proud of their colouring books so those + crayons are things to think about.
My wife, Cheryl, and I just got back from Cuba. A lot of Canadians take items to leave with the staff - cosmetics, toiletries, school supplies, etc. In some cases, people bring school supplies to take
on an excursion and leave at a school or home.
We learned from one of the hotel managers that an employee at the resort we stayed at (Ceidel, a bellman, at the Iberostar Daiquiri in Cayo Guillermo) actually sponsors a small school (22 students - Grades 1, 2 + 3) in his village using his tip money. Cheryl, being a
teacher, sought him out and had quite a discussion with him about what he was doing.
He told Cheryl that, at many resorts in Cuba (and, I suspect, the Dominican Republic) there are individuals doing what he is doing (ie. using tip money to sponsor schools). He asked her to publicize this and ask guests who bring school supplies to see if such a person
exists at their resort. Then they would know for sure that their gift actually got to students.
Ceidel said not to mail things to Cuba because it was unlikely the contents would arrive. He said if a tourist wants to ensure that school supplies get to the school, they should try and give them to someone actually connected to a school - or the school directly.