Creating Sustainable Futures
in the Face of Climate Change
Where: Baracoa, Cuba
When: May 23-30, 2018 (8 days)
Deadline: April 21, 2018
Students and non-Students Welcome
Credits: 4 Quarter-credit course accredited by Portland State University* and in collaboration with Carpe Diem Education (optional)
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?
Using Cuba as our classroom, you will 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.
The programs are rigorous, so you learn a lot, but at every opportunity, you learn by doing.
HIKE through verdant green mountains and swim in waterfalls to learn about watersheds and resilience to climate impacts.
INTERVIEW experts about how local populations and food-systems are affected by climate change.
EXPLORE what helped Baracoa rebound after the devastating impacts of Hurricane Matthew.
DISCOVER how sustainable- and community-driven agriculture saved Cuba from starvation following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
VISIT coffee, cacao, and coconut plantations.
UNDERSTAND how climate change is affecting them and what we can do about it.
MAKE chocolate and cacao butter. ROAST traditional Cuban coffee. COOK a traditional Baracoan feast.
ENJOY optional evening outings to performances and Cuban music/dance workshops.
LEAVE with a plan.
EARN university credit!
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 THE UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR STUDENTS 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.
WHAT DO STUDENTS SAY?
*Students will be required to prepare with readings, participate in discussions and present a final project (please see syllabus for details). Listed itinerary may be adjusted as deemed necessary by Ecothropic with the intention of offering the best learning experience to students. Activities may include optional evening outings to performances and music/dance workshops.
Day 1: Fly with the group to Cuba, then travel overland to Baracoa. Surrounded by bright-blue ocean, towering-green mountains, and laced with rivers, this was the home of the ancient Taino culture and in 1511 was where the Spaniards first arrived in Cuba.
Day 2: Before heading out for the day, we'll review the syllabus and expectations for the course (see "Syllabus"). Then get to know your fellow students and learn about the unique local food and rationing system while exploring Baracoa on a scavenger hunt. .
Day 3: Visit the home of local woman that grows cacao. Learn how climate change is impacting this key ingredient in chocolate and what we can do about it. Make your own chocolate and cocoa butter! Return to Baracoa in the evening to discuss everything you've learned with your classmates and maybe join a in salsa lesson or enjoy live Cuban music.
Day 4: Hike through the lush mountains that frame Baracoa to learn how good watershed management can protect people from climate change impacts. Swim in a waterfall and taste tropical fruits while you explore the local ecology and practice your Spanish with campesinos we meet along the trail.
Day 5: Learn how coffee is produced at a local farm and try freshly brewed Cuban coffee. Talk with experts about the challenges and solutions for this key crop in the face in climate change. Share your ideas and insights with the rest of the group during the nightly group discussion.
Day 6: Spend the morning discussing how we can adapt to climate change based on what you have seen and learned. Visit a local family to learn their experience of Hurricane Matthew and how they protected their land and livelihoods. Explore trails, learn about traditional herbal medicine, and then help prepare a traditional Baracoan meal using coconut and other local produce!
Day 7: Wrap up our trip with a final discussion about the differences and similarities between agricultural, ecological, and climate change concerns in Eastern Cuba versus the US. Present your final projects and then celebrate our trip with a feast on the beach.
Day 8: Return to our Cuban departure airport and fly to home!
Accommodation: During our time in Baracoa, we will be staying in a casa particular, a Cuban bed and breakfast, in the historic center of Baracoa. Room occupancy 2-3 students.
Language Requirement: None
*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 food, drinks, and activities not included in itinerary. Activities may be adjusted at the discretion of Ecothropic.
*There is a $50 non-refundable fee for all applications that will be credited toward tuition. A non-refundable deposit of $1000 is due upon acceptance to confirm your place in the program. The balance of the tuition and airfare is due on April 23, 2018.
**In order to provide the best and safest experience possible it is imperative that you answer these 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.