Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Cuba Cycle Challenge 2014 - dates set

   24 April - 06 May 2014

The Cycle Cuba Challenge is a fantastic way to experience Cuba, to raise money for essential educational equipment for young visually impaired Cuban school children and supporting the vital campaign work of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign at the same time. £199 registration fee plus £2915 sponsorship

The experience of a lifetime. Break the Blockade with the CSC Cycle Cuba Challenge. This year the Challenge will be supporting the work of Cuba Solidarity Campaign; raising funds for the Abel SantamarĂ­a School in Havana for visually impaired children and our revolutionary ciclistas will be delivering vital educational materials direct to the school. 
Cycle to the salsa beat along an exhilarating 315 kilometres from Sancti SpĂ­ritus, one of Cuba’s seven original Spanish towns, to the historic city of Santa Clara. The route passes through Trinidad, Cuba’s best preserved colonial town and a UNESCO World Heritage site, dips and falls alongside the turquoise blue Caribbean to Cienfuegos, where we have received a special invitation to participate in the inspiring May Day Rally alongside thousands of Cubans with flags and banners flying high. 

Heading inland we reach Lake Hanabanilla, high in the Escambray Mountains and onto Santa Clara, site of Che Guevara’s evocative mausoleum and historic victory against Batista’s troop train. The route passes through dramatic scenery and along quiet rural roads away from the usual tourist trails, with opportunities to experience vibrant Cuban culture at first hand. 

From the finishing line we return to Havana, the salsa capital of the world, for further exploration of this fascinating capital city and to celebrate a wonderful group achievement with our famous celebratory meal at an authentic Cuban restaurant.

To be part of the Challenge simply complete and return the registration forms with your registration fee of £199. You will then need to raise the minimum sponsorship entry level of £2,915.

We are organising this Tour in association with Havanatour, the UK’s leading Cuba travel specialist. The Tour will be ATOL protected (ATOL 4636) and Havanatour Booking conditions will apply.

For registration form, factsheet and all the further information you need go to

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Great day out on the Walk for Cuba

Some of the participants, of all ages, ready to set off through the Chess Valley
More than 80 people took part in our first sponsored walk for Cuba on Sunday 14 July on a glorious summer’s day in the idyllic Chess Valley in Buckinghamshire.

A big thank you to everyone who took part in this fabulous event. Sponsorship money is still coming in and we have already received nearly £3,000. Please do all you can to raise those last few pennies and of course now is the time to collect all the money promised.

A wide range of people took part in the walk – from long-standing friends of Cuba and CSC to newcomers who found this a fun way to raise funds for the campaign, support Cuba and enjoy this stunning area of English countryside.

Christy Lenihan with parents
The youngest participant was 13-month-old Christy Lenihan, with his parents Denis and Rebecca, both members of the PCS union. “It’s a great, accessible event and a good way to catch up with people involved in the campaign,” said Denis.

Walkers were delighted that two Cubans took part in the event. Noemi Gomme lives in Rickmansworth, near the Chess Valley, with her husband John Young. She said:

“The weather and countryside are beautiful. It feels like I am back in Cuba! In fact, the temperature here is the same as in Cuba today. My husband is a strong supporter of CSC and this is a very nice way to do something to support my country.”

Adrian Diaz Garay is visiting London from Santiago de Cuba, where he teaches Salsa, Cuban rhythm and basketball, playing for the local team. He said, “I’m in London for a month and so it is really good timing that I am here to take part. There are people here from all sorts of backgrounds – a very nice mix of people who clearly care about Cuba and the blockade.

Adrian and Noemi
“I knew about the Cuba Solidarity Campaign before I came to London. What people do here makes a difference and we notice it in Cuba. This is such a nice event today and be sure that all my friends and family will hear about it when I get back.”

Despite the heat, one or two missed turnings, some muddy feet and a few stings everyone made it back in one piece!

A special thanks to CSC members Jan and John O’Malley and Jenny Kassman who reconnoitred the walk route and put a lot of work into planning the event.

“I think people have had a great time and I’m sure we should do something like this again,” said Jan.  "As well as raising funds – the main purpose – it is such a good way to meet up with people in relaxed circumstances.”

On the reconnoitre walk Jenny met a resident on the route who had recently been on holiday to Cuba and expressed an interest in CSC. So on the full walk Jenny made sure to drop off a copy of CubaSi and some membership/campaign material. If any of you are still not members of CSC then please do join us.

Half way through and not flagging yet
Do let us know any feedback, or thoughts on the walk this year, or ideas for the future.

We can on request send you a Walk for Cuba certificate by email showing sponsors that you completed it. Or maybe it would just look great on your bedroom wall! Let us know if you would like one emailed to you.

If any of you didn’t collect your Walk for Cuba T-shirts then please do get in touch so we can post them to you.

We look forward to hearing from you, and to receiving any remaining sponsorship money as soon as possible.