Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Note: Most Cubans have a computer in their home (usually a very basic one) or
can use one at work or school.
Miscellaneous other items include work gloves, feminine hygiene products, di-
apers, hair elastics, sunscreen, deodorant, antiperspirants, diaper rash cream, in-
fant teething toys and cutlery such as knives and forks.
If you happen to have an old cell phone lying around your house, you might con-
sider bringing it to donate to a Cuban. Cell phones are very expensive in Cuba,
and even one that is obsolete by western standards will see many more years of
use in Cuba. Note that only GSM phones (these phones are characterized by
having a SIM card), which can operate on the 900mhz spectrum, will work in
Cuba. Unlocked cell phones are best, but cell phones can be unblocked in Cuba
at a relatively low cost.
Money is also a great gift under the right circumstances. Even just a small monet-
ary gift of $10 would represent a week's salary for a Cuban, so it will certainly be
well received.
Donating Toys
At first glance you might think that bringing toys as a donation might not have a lot
of merit. In fact, they are among some of the most desperately wanted items in
Cuba. The average Cuban child might possess only a single toy, if he or she is
lucky. Most have none at all. It is common to see dozens of children in a park on
the weekend, all sharing just one broken soccer ball, or little girls waiting in line to
play with a doll. Foreigners often dismiss toys as donation items because they are
viewed as non-essential. They are also extremely expensive to purchase on the
island (a simple doll might cost 15 CUC) so most Cuban parents cannot afford
them. For these reasons, toys are almost non-existent in Cuba. I highly recom-
mend them as donations, as they will make both children and parents very happy,
and you know they will be used and cherished for a long time. And since Cuban
children are so good at sharing, your donation will bring joy to a whole neighbor-
hood of kids.
Most desired toys:
- Tennis balls and baseballs (or any other type of ball)
- Dolls
- Action figures
- Miniature cars
- Coloring books
- Stickers
- Art supplies
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