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Janine Solanki
Brigade Coordinator
+1 (778) 881-6156

The Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade is a project of the
Canadian Network on Cuba


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"El trabajo voluntario es una escuela creadora de conciencia"
"Volunteer work is a school for building consciousness"
~ Ernesto Che Guevara


Suggested Readings About Cuba

A lot has been written about Cuba, but you have to be selective because many books and articles are biased against Cuba. Avoid those. You will see the real Cuba for yourself and it is a great idea to be prepared for what you will see.

About Cuba as a tourist destination it is worthwhile to consider a copy of the latest travel guidebook by Lonely Planet. Also, check out the Cuban Government Tourism website at:

If you want to get truthful information about Cuba check out the following:

A Revolution in Motion by Canadian author Isaac Saney. An extremely well informed and comprehensive review of Cuban revolution and society. Check book reviews and ordering information at:

Democracy in Cuba and the 1997-98 Elections by Canadian author Arnold August Everything you want to know about the electoral system in Cuba (Editorial José Mart?, ISBN: 0-968-5084-0-5) Canada-Cuba Distribution and Publishing, P.O. Box 55025, Fairmount Station. Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H2T 3E2. email:

If you want to learn the true history of Cuba, you can get the following book in Cuba: HISTORY OF CUBA by José Canton Navarro.

Basic Spanish

The experiences gained on the brigade are unique and leave a lasting impression. They are heightened by your ability to interact with a wide range of people. Obviously, an ability to understand and speak Spanish is a major factor in this. Learning Spanish is highly recommended. Many books are available at your local book store or library. There are also some websites. We suggest trying:

Things to bring

This is just a guideline - use your judgment according to your personal needs and preference. Whatever you don't use you can leave behind. In fact, if you can, bring extra to share with our Cuban co-workers and friends.

Some ideas of what to bring:

  • medication you normally take or need
  • vitamins (if you require nutritional supplement)
  • aspirin or equivalent
  • kaopectate or imodium (we all react differently to a new place and food)
  • sanitary napkins
  • toilet paper (for length of stay, 4 rolls would be good)
  • insect/mosquito repellent
  • mosquito net
  • suntan lotion/sunscreen
  • laundry soap (we do our own washing by hand)
  • clothes pegs, rope, wash bucket (a screw-top container with detergent and clothes pins combines these two)
  • toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.)
  • hand wipes
  • bathing suit (don't leave without it)
  • hat
  • bath towel
  • flashlight + batteries
  • film, camera batteries
  • water bottle
  • snacks, dried fruits, nuts (might come handy when food is not readily available)
  • radio/music player w/earphones
  • ear plugs
  • small rain poncho packet
  • sunglasses
  • waterproof sandals (for rain, shower, beach)
  • Gatorade powder (good for keeping you hydrated)
  • work clothes (in hot climate, light colored loose clothing covering arms and legs is recommended)
  • boots or work shoes
  • hat
  • work gloves (rubber or latex, leather gloves don't work as well)
  • trowel and/or small pruning shears (if you bring gardening tools the experience of veteran Brigadistas is that cheap tools will break right away so please bring good tools)
  • water kettle if you like to boil tea