How It Works

How it Works

What are you looking for in your applicants?

We’re looking for diverse groups of young Cuban Americans (ages 22-35) who are genuinely committed to building lifelong relationships with the Cuban people.

My Spanish isn’t that great and I don’t know much about Cuba. Can I still apply?

Absolutely.

What is Tu Cuba?

Tu Cuba is a program by CubaOne Foundation that takes groups of young Cuban Americans to Cuba to experience the island, meet the Cuban people, and explore their heritage. In 2016, we will be making four trips, each with 10 participants. We’ve developed the trips to provide you with authentic experiences and the opportunity to build lifelong, meaningful relationships with Cuba and its people—the itineraries are great. We’ve also found that it’s special to go through the experience with a group of peers.

Is it really a free trip? What’s the catch?

Yes! You should bring some cash for additional expenses, but if you’re selected, we’ll handle your airfare from Miami to Havana, most meals, and lodging. There’s no catch. All we ask is that you use your visit as an opportunity to meet and form meaningful relationships with the Cuban people.

What kind of people will I meet in Cuba?

Our itineraries are curated around the interests of you and your peer group. For example, if you’re interested in art and business, we’ll take you to the Instituto Superior de Arte where you’ll meet some of Cuba’s most talented artists or organize a lunch with a group of cuenta-propistas (self-employed entrepreneurs).

I want to see the real Cuba and not a touristy concoction. Is this program for me?

Totally. You’ll stay in Cuban homes (casas particulares) and we work hard to create authentic experiences for our participants by facilitating connections with ordinary Cubans from all walks of life who will speak candidly with you about life on the island. Our program includes time for you to explore and get to know Cuban peers.

Is the program only for Cuban Americans?

Yes—for now. We’re passionate about helping all people forge meaningful, lifelong relationships with Cuba and its people. A good starting point for those ties is the Cuban American community, but we’re working on expanding our program.

While in Cuba, will I be able to check my email and post photos on social media?

In theory, yes. There are wi-fi spots in Havana and other cities, but connecting to the internet can sometimes be a challenge. You should anticipate being off the grid for a few days.

Who’s paying for all of this?

We were founded on the idea that every young Cuban American should have the opportunity to visit Cuba, meet its people, and explore their culture. Our four founders have committed to financing that gift for 40 young Cuban Americans this year. We’re actively looking to bring additional groups to Cuba by partnering with companies, foundations, and individuals who share our mission. We have no plans to accept government or public funding.

Is CubaOne Foundation affiliated with Birthright Israel or any other organization?

Nope. We were inspired by the Birthright Israel concept and how it could be applied to the Cuban American community. CubaOne Foundation is an independent organization.

My family is uneasy about me going to Cuba. What should I do?

We have all shared similar experiences and understand that for many Cuban American families, a visit to Cuba can be a profoundly emotional experience. The best advice that we can give you is to listen to both your heart and your family, and have an open conversation with them about why you want to visit Cuba and what it means to you. If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line.

Does CubaOne Foundation have a position on US-Cuba policy?

We are a non-partisan organization that supports policies that make our trips possible and promote dialogue between the U.S. and Cuba on a people-to-people level. We welcome members and applicants with diverse political views.

I was born in Cuba. Can I still apply?

¡Claro! Cuban-born Americans are welcome!

What if I don’t get selected this time?

Fear not. Rest assured that we’re working hard to expand this opportunity to as many young Cuban Americans as possible. In 2016, we’ll be making four trips to Cuba with a total of 40-50 participants. If you don’t get selected this time, 2017 registrations will be available soon.

I fall slightly outside the 22-35 age range. Can I still apply?

Yes, we’re open to outstanding applicants who fall slightly (a year or two) outside of this age range.