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Taking mother's ashes to Cuba


#1

We are planning to take some of my mother’s ashes to Cuba to put in the water at the beach. Our travel agent has suggested that we shouldn’t let the authorities know we are doing this. Is it going to be a problem to do this? Is there some sort of Government approval we should try to get first? We are hoping to meet our Cuban friends on the beach in Varadero for a short celebration of life and it would be better if we could be up front about what we are doing. Any ideas?
thanks


#2

That’s a unique idea. I agree with your travel agent that it would be best not to try and do this legally. I don’t know what Cuban regulations are but I can’t imagine that it would be simple. I’d proceed without notifying any authorities and if questioned at or after the beach celebration, just say you had no idea that you were doing anything that required permission.
The following is from Air Canada:
"Cremated remains may be carried on board provided they are stored in an urn, or a cardboard or wooden box (with a tight-fitting lid to ensure no spillage) that can be security screened. The remains must be accompanied by a certificate of cremation or a death certificate. "


#3

Thanks Cuba visitor. I will have to contact the airline we are flying with to check on their regulations.


#4

You should contact your local Cuban Embassy or Consulate if you want the right answer.

I remember somewhere a post about remains being spread.
They had to be in waters moving away from shore.
I think you may require a boat.


#5

:slight_smile: Great question and I’m glad you asked. We have told our kids that our last wishes are that they take our ashes to Cayo Largo as our final resting place. Hopefully it’s many years down the road but better to be prepared than not. :-*


#6

Nice thought SUJ
I want to be stuffed and nailed to the beach bar at Paraiso.
,with a rum of course


#7

When my father passed away, the family took some of his ashes and divided them amongst the kids and my mother (approx. 2 ozs each). The remaining ashes were spread as per his request. I then split mine in two. Some went into a lovely, small urn and the rest into a “memorial pendent”. My husband purchased it from a local funeral home and, when I wear it, I have my father close to my heart. Paulamac, to be discreet, you might consider these memorial pendants (google them to see what they look like…they come in many designs and prices) to each wear to take down the ashes. You say you are only taking “some” of the ashes so these would fit the bill and leave you with a lovely keepsake and memories when you wear it. You could save some ashes, back at home, to use to refill the pendants upon your return.
By the way, people don’t know what they are. I’ve received numerous compliments on my “unique” silver pendant. :slight_smile:


#8

What a lovely idea Steffiej. I’m not sure if my sisters would go for it though, they are a bit squeamish-I had to leave the room to remove the bit of ashes to take to Cuba. I have e-mailed the Cuban Consulate to try to get some info, without leaving my whole name and date of travel. Thanks for all the ideas and advice.


#9

Good luck. Let us know what the Consulate has to say.


#10

I can relate; my brothers looked after distributing some of the ashes. Perhaps you could get a friend to help out.


#11

i have taken ashes to cuba 4 times this year - i just have them in a baggie and don’t say a word


#12

:slight_smile: Good to know, wnorman. :-*


#13

To officially distribute the ashes in Cuba we would have to get a funeral home involved in Canada and one in Cuba, plus there would be lots of forms to fill out and fees to pay. We have decided to just quietly take the ashes into the country and distribute them on a beach away from the resorts with our friends. Thanks everyone for all the advice. This is a great group.


#14

That sounds like a good plan. I hope all goes smoothly for you.


#15

Paulamac, how did this go for you? I want to take my grandmother’s ashes to Cuba. Did everything go smoothly for you? Did you only take pendants?


#16

I have been there and done that. Took some of my husband’s ashes to his favourite resort. I did not tell anyone or inquire if I could, I just did it. IMO, you open up a whole can of worms when you try to do it “officially”. I had no problems. Transported the ashes in a plastic bag inside a steel bubba. I spread some on the beach and went out on the Hobie to spread the rest.