Our next trip:

CUBA

Creating Sustainable Futures

in the Face of Climate Change


An awakening. Hands down the most impactful and adventurous experience I have ever had.
— Annalise Cameron
I have spent some time researching and reading about resilience - what does it mean? what does it look like? - how is it related to climate change adaptation? These questions have guided a lot of my professional work for nearly the past two decades. The trip to Cuba, the people we met, and the stories we heard defined resilience in a way that no peer-reviewed journal article or conference proceedings has been able to capture. For me, I learned what resilience IS. I witnessed it. I felt it. Now, I know what resilience is, because of my experience on the Cuba trip. Thank you for this mind-expanding learning adventure
— Dr. Jes Thompson
If you are a curious person who likes to learn, Ecothropic will provide an experience that will transform you. By thoughtfully engaging with different cultures and landscapes, Ecothropic offers opportunities to understand how global environmental challenges are manifesting on local scales. My Ecothropic experience in Cuba revealed the resiliency of the human spirit and the adaptive capacity of well-preserved ecological systems.
— Dr. Sarah Mittlefehldt

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?

join us on the front-lines of climate change alongside scientists and community members who are defining socio-ecological solutions. 

Develop the skills and experiential insight needed for creating a better present and a sustainable future around the world.


UPCOMING DEPARTURES

May 21-28, 2019

(deadline April 15)

 

***Credits (optional): 4 Quarter-credit course accredited by Portland State University* and in collaboration with Carpe Diem Education


INTERNSHIPS

(INQUIRE)


WANT THE FIRST SHOT AT SPECIAL EXPEDITIONS AND UPCOMING DEPARTURES?

Name *
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WHY CUBA?

BARACOA, IN CUBA'S "WILD EAST," IS A LIVING LABORATORY FOR UNDERSTANDING CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS AND SOLUTIONS. THE AREA WAS RAVAGED BY HURRICANE MATTHEW IN THE FALL OF 2016, OFFERING Participants THE UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN FIRST-HAND WHAT WORKED AND WHAT DIDN'T FOR KEEPING COMMUNITIES, AGRICULTURE, AND LOCAL ECOLOGY STRONG IN THE FACE OF THIS CLIMATE-RELATED NATURAL DISASTER. 


Itinerary

Day 1: Travel to Baracoa, nestled between the Caribbean sea,  cascading green mountains, and crystalline tropical rivers. Settle into our bed and breakfast, soak in the view of the ocean from the roof top deck, and join the group for an orientation to our adventure.

Day 2: Start the day with a plentiful Baracoa-style breakfast including eggs, local fruit, freshly ground hot chocolate, and regional coconut treats. After a quick introduction to climate science and impacts, we'll head out with a local expert to hike beaches, explore a water cave, and visit the seasonal home of the native Taino people of the region to discover where we are and how climate change is affecting this tropical and cultural paradise. In the evening we'll have a roof-top discussion about Cuban history to help us start to understand where we are and sustainability solutions.

Day 3: What does climate change mean for chocolate??? And where does that black-gold come from? Today we head into the country side to visit traditional cacao producers. We'll make chocolate, drink freshly made hot chocolate, and learn how to defend our-beloved cacao against climate change. Then we head to the beach for a cooking class (and maybe a little dancing in the sand with the chefs)!  

Day 4: If a butterfly flaps its wings... What is a watershed? Why does it matter? How can we be zero-waste? Today we head into the mountains to learn about sustainability through the lens of watershed management, permaculture, and whole-systems design. Ford a river on a bamboo raft, eat a farm-fresh feast from a bird's nest lookout, and talk with our hosts about how they have used permaculture to create “Eden.”

Day 5: What's the alternative to factory farming? What does agriculture and food have to do with climate change? How do Cuban's get their food? Today we explore the Cuban food-system from urban farms to ration cards. Visiting an urban farm, markets, and a bodega (were Cuban's get their free food rations), discover the urban agricultural movement that saved Cuba from starvation in the 1990's. Is urban agriculture a realistic solution for the community where you live? Share your ideas and insights with the rest of the group during our nightly group discussion. 

Day 6: Can nature help protect us against climate change? Today we explore the World Heritage site, Humboldt National Park. See the traditional beehives that El Dulzon keeps and eat honey from the hive. Meet women who are carving out a better life for themselves. Discover one of the most ecologically diverse places on the planet. Bring a swimsuit! 

Day 7: How do we create sustainable futures in the face of climate change? How do we bring this home? How do we be part of the solution? Today we tie it all together with our final discussion and learning from each other's presentations of our final projects. Then we head to the warm clear-blue waters of the Rio Duaba to celebrate with dance and a Cuban feast! 

Day 8: Bring everything you experienced and learned home with you to continue to be part of the solution! 

*Participants will be required to prepare with readings, contribute to our daily evening group discussions, and present a final project (please see syllabus for details). Listed itinerary may be adjusted as deemed necessary by Ecothropic. We are always working to create the optimal learning experience for participants. Activities may include optional evening outings to performances and music/dance workshops.

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WHAT DO PARTICIPANTS SAY?

The trip to Cuba was an incredible, life-changing experience that was unique to Ecothropic. We learned about agroecology, watersheds, and how Cuba’s government affected how Cuban’s responded to climate change. We considered challenging questions about how to apply what we learned and change the consciousness of our communities back home. With the small group size, we had intimate discussions within the group and individual interactions with the people we met. The whole experience wouldn’t have been possible without Britt’s personal connections with Cubans that provided a unique inside look, full of local knowledge, at a country that few Americans have gotten to see and the grassroots agriculture that has grown up in Cuba’s unique circumstances.
— Andrea Levine
..the program enriched my understanding and left me contemplating the multi-faceted impact of climate-change and the approaches needed for communities to adapt and thrive.
— Beth Pecoraro
The program included conversations with farmers, indigenous people, and researchers, and material was always presented from many points of view…I gained a deep appreciation for and connection to the communities we visited, and an understanding of how their livelihoods are at risk from a changing climate.
— Ezra Fradkin
I learned that it is important to understand a system before engaging with it, whether it is an ecosystem or a person... Cuba showed me what people can do by relying on each other.
— Lucy Martin

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Details

Accommodations: we stay in a bed and breakfast in the historic center of Baracoa. Room occupancy 2-3 Participants.

Language Requirement: None

Tuition: $2955 USD

*We encourage you to fundraise part of your tuition to get more of your community involved. Your tuition not only funds your learning experience, but also helps support our non-profit work.

**Tuition Includes instruction and guest lecturers, accommodation, meals, in-country transportation, site visits, specified activities, Cuban travel visa, and Cuban international health insurance. Not included: Fee for PSU college credit ($500)*, airfare, additional snacks, and activities not included in itinerary. Activities may be adjusted at the discretion of Ecothropic. 

***Payment plans and financial aid may be available.

****If you would like to help sponsor the participation of a low-income student, please write us at fieldstudies@ecothropic.com.


APPLY NOW!


STEP 1: Fill out BOTH the Application Form Part 1 and Application Form Part 2 Statement of Intention. In order to provide the best and safest experience possible it is imperative that you answer all questions openly and honestly. If you check any of them, please fill out the text area below describe the situation or condition at greater length. We reserve the right to request further information and to speak with doctors, counselors, etc. All medical information and personal disclosure will be kept strictly confidential.

STEP 2: Oberlin Winter Term students are exempt from the application fee. After you fill out the application form, please make a $50 application fee payment to process your application. You can securely pay your $50 application fee using any major credit card or your Paypal account.

STEP 3: After reviewing your Application Form Part 1 and Application Form Part 2 Statement of Intention we will confirm your acceptance in the program. A non-refundable deposit of $1000 is due upon acceptance to reserve your place. Oberlin Winter Term students are exempt from the non-refundable deposit and the Ecothropic payment schedule. The balance of the tuition and proof of airfare is due three weeks before program start. Payment plans are available upon inquiry.