The importance of information about work in cuba !!

The importance of information about work in cuba !!

1-work in cuba !!

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About job opportunities on the Island
Can I find work in Cuba?
Are there common Cuban jobs?
Can I find teaching, engineering or nursing jobs ?

common jobs in cuba
Billboards in Havana encourage ‘Work in Cuba’
“NOSOTROS TRABAJAMOS…¿Y TU?” “WE ARE WORKING…AND YOU?” Because of the low salaries there’s a growing indifference to work.

Cuba Employment: The Myths!
We receive several requests from people asking for information and advice about working and living in Cuba.

Major reasons they want to “escape” to Cuba:
They were seduced by Cuba after a vacation of sun and fun and want to retire like others do in Spain or Florida.
Want to escape from the rat race and are attracted by the slower pace of life and the sun.
Economic reasons, they lost their job, house, or partner and think about a new start in a country with a lower standard of living.
Attracted by the Cuban social life, greater solidarity and warmer society.
Before the leap: BE PREPARED!
A basic knowledge of Spanish is a must and some Cuban slang is an advantage. Most Cubans don’t speak english, except in a few tourist hotels.

Make your homework : do your research:
You will need a visa, a house, an income, a social life and friends.
Don’t expect to live on a shoestring. Cubans have a long tradition of surviving on sugar, water and rice, they are born survivors.
You are a “spoilt foreigner” (sorry!) who is used to the luxury of a beer a decent meal, entertainment etc.
A monthly income of 1500+ $ wil be a strict minimum depending on your life style.

MOVING TO CUBA – HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN
I have seen several expats running out of money. Without emergency money or a secured income you are lost in Cuba, so think about a nest-egg, some emergency money, keep in touch with family and friends or create your own income generating website

The Work Permit – Salary and Jobs
Havana is a compelling city, so it’s not unusual that some people want to stay on and find work there. Sorry, but you can almost forget this option, there are very few opportunities for foreigners to work in Cuba. All common jobs in Cuba are distributed by the State and the workers are paid and selected through a Cuban State agency.

First you have to apply for a work permit with the Ministry of Work and Social Security: not an easy task, because if a Cuban citizen can do the job, he or she has priority.

Second difficulty for a foreigner: you have to work in accordance with Cuban standards and regulations, and this means your salary will be paid in Peso Cubano, which can only be used in the internal Cuban market and surprise, surprise – your salary will be 500 peso Cubano (roughly 20 US dollars a month).

A few opportunities
You can work in Cuba for a foreign company with a subsidiary or an agency in the country, but again Cubans will have priority, as most of these companies are joint ventures with Cuban companies. For example you can work as a representative for a tour operator or travel company, but don’t expect to work in a hotel as an entertainer or barman etc, these kinds of common jobs go to Cubans. To be allowed in the tourist industry is a privilege for a citizen.

You can work as a journalist, freelance writer or photographer, but you’ll need a special visa and work permit.

Studying In Havana
You can apply for a student visa, which allows you to stay for a longer period in Havana, but you must take courses, and your attendance is checked. Spanish language courses are popular, and several packages are available at the University of Havana, including hotel accommodation or a stay at the University Campus. Other popular courses are combined Salsa and Spanish language lessons and the study of the local culture.

Small Independent Businesses
This kind of business is not allowed in Cuba. In general most of the foreign companies are international companies who start a joint venture with a State owned company, with 51% Cuban participation.

Further information is available at the CAMARA DE COMERCIO (Chamber of Commerce)
21st Street 611
Vedado
Website : http://www.camaracuba.cu

Residence In Havana
TOURIST VISA (A1 Visa – Tarjeta Tourista)
This visa is a permission to stay up to 30 days in Cuba and is extendable to 60 days (price 20 Cuc for 30 days). Exception : For Canadian citizens (only) the visa is valid for 90 days and an extention up to 180 days is possible.

FAMILLY VISA (A2 Visa – Spousal visa)
A familly visa for foreigners married to a Cuban citizen. The visa allows a stay for 60 days. You have the permission to live together with your Cuban partner (official marriage documents required!)

TEMPORARY RESIDENCE
This is an annual residency, evidenced by a Cuban Identity Card (Carné de Identidad) and available to foreigners with a Cuban Work Permission.

PERMANENT RESIDENCE
This visa can only be obtained if the foreigner is married to a Cuban citizen. Getting this permit can take a few months. You also have to prove your solvency by producing a certificate from a Cuban bank stating that you have at least 5000 CUC in your Cuban bank account.

SPECIAL VISA
There’s a variety of special visa’s, which can be issued for up to 2-3 months for businessmen, journalists, professional photographers, medical tourism, volunteer work etc.

Jobs in Cuba
List Permitted Jobs in Cuba
Due to the economic crisis, the US economic embargo gainst Cuba, an excess of government employees and low productivity, a decline in revenues from tourism and mining activities, the government has decided to reduce the workforce with 500,000 common jobs early 2011 to cope with the growing State budget deficits.

To avoid a brutal transition, unemployment and social problems, the government encourages self employment in the country.

In the past a limited number of independent businesses and professions were already allowed, for example independent taxidrivers, hairdressers, paladars (private restaurants) casa particular (rent of private rooms)
Now the government promotes self employment and issues a list of 178 common jobs permitted in Cuba with the number of the authorized license.

(the number preceding the profession is the license code for the job)

001 Estomatólogo
002 Médico dental
003 Médico
004 Optometrista
005 Veterinaria
101 Arriero
103 Carretillero
109 Reparador bicicletas
110 Reparador equipos mecánicos y de combustión
111 Pintor automotriz
112 Mensajero
113 Electricista automotriz
114 Reparador baterías automotrices
115 Fregador equipos automotor
116 Engrasador autos y similares
121 Operador compresor de aire
122 Instructor automovilismo
123 Limpiador y comprobador de bujías
124 Parqueador cuidador de equipos automotor, ciclos y triciclos
125 Ponchero o reparador de neumáticos
201 Albañil
202 Carpintero
203 Cerrajero
204 Electricista
205 Herrero
206 Pintor bienes muebles, refrigeradores o barnizador
207 Plomero
208 Pulidor pisos
209 Masillero
210 Cristalero
211 Techador
212 Cantero
301 Boyero o carretero
302 Elaborador vendedor yugos y frontiles
303 Elaborador vendedor carbón
304 Molinero
305 Pocero
306 Reparador – monturas y arreos
307 Trillador
310 Productor vendedor – flores y plantas ornamentales
311 Cuidador de animales trabajo
313 Tostador granos
314 Leñador
315 Repardor – cercas y caminos
316 Desmochador palma
317 Productor vendedor – bastos, paños y monturas.
318 Herrador – animales o productor vendedor herraduras y clavos
401 Afinador y reparador – instrumentos musicales
402 Alquiler de trajes y otros medios relacionados con este vestuario
403 Barbero
404 Bordadora tejedora
405 Forrador botones
406 Fotógrafo
407 Limpia botas
408 Manicurista
409 Mecanógrafo
410 Modista o sastre
411 Peluquera
412 Plasticador
413 Relojero
414 Reparador – bisutería
415 Reparador – espejuelos
416 Reparador y llenado de fosforera
417 Reparador de paraguas y sombrillas
418 Zapatero remendón
419 Productor vendedor – calzado
422 Productor vendedor – escobas, cepillos y similares
423 Reparador colchones
424 Masajista
425 Mecánico – equipos refrigeración
426 Pulidor – metales
427 Maquillista
428 Constructor vendedor y/o montador de antenas de radio y televisión
429 Reparador artículos – joyería y platería
430 Constructor vendedor y/o reparador de artículos de mimbre
431 Conserje
432 Personal domésticos
435 Cuidador enfermos
436 Vendedor prensa
438 Cuidador niños
439 Sereno o portero de edificio de viviendas
440 Productor vendedor de accesorios de goma
441 Elaborador vendedor vinos
442 Quiropedista
444 Elaborador vendedor jabón, betún, tintas, sogas y otros similares
446 Productor vendedor – bisutería de metal y recursos naturales
447 Reparador – enseres menores
448 Encargado limpiador y turbinero de inmuebles
449 Profesor – taquigrafía, mecanografía e idiomas
450 Profesor – música y otras artes
501 Aguador
502 Amolador
503 Decorador
504 Gravador cifrador de objetos
505 Jardinero
506 Lavandero
507 Operador – audio
508 Reparador – bastidores de cama
509 Reparador – cocinas
510 Reparador – equipos eléctricos y electrónicos
511 Reparador – máquinas de coser
512 Tapicero
513 Operador de vídeo
514 Chapistero – bienes muebles con remaches
515 Productor vendedor – artículos aluminio
516 Productor vendedor – artículos fundición no ferrosa
517 Productor vendedor artículos varios de uso en el hogar
601 Artesano
602 Fundidor
603 Piscicultor
604 Recolector vendedor – recursos naturales
605 Pintor – Inmuebles
606 Productor vendedor – hierbas medicinales y alimento para el ganado
607 Programador – equipos computo
608 Hojalatero
609 Encuadernador libros
610 Soldador
611 Chapistero
612 Tornero
613 Enrrollador – motores, bobinas y otros equipos
614 Talabartero vendedor – artículos varios
615 Recolector-Vendedor materias primas
616 Alquiler de caballos ponies, con fines de recreación infatil
617 Criador vendedor de animales afectivos
618 Entrenador – animales afectivos
619 Oxicortador
620 Teñidor de textiles
621 Animador – fiestas infantiles, payasos, magos
623 Coche de uso infantil tirado por animales menores
624 Fabricante vendedor – coronas de flores
625 Curtidor de pieles
626 Restaurador – obras de arte
627 Cobrador pagador – Impuestos
628 Productor vendedor – figuras de yeso
629 Elaborador vendedor – artículos de granito y mármol
630 Comprador vendedor – libros de uso
631 Reparador de equipos – oficina
632 Restaurador – muñecos y otros juguetes
633 Limpiador y reparador de fosas
634 Comprador vendendor – discos musicales usados
635 Peluquero – animales domésticos
636 Traductor – documentos
637 Productor vendedor – piñatas y otros artículos similares para cumpleaños infantiles
638 Operador – equipos recreación infantil
639 Aserrador de madera
640 Traquilador
641 Instructor – prácticas deportivas, excepto artes marciales
642 Pintor rotulista
643 Elaborador vendedor – alimentos y bebidas no alcohólicas al detalle
644 Elaborador vendedor – alimentos y bebidas no alcohólicas a domicilio
645 Elaborador vendedor – alimentos y bebidas mediante servicio gastronómico
646 Elaborador vendedor – alimentos y bebidas no alcohólicas al detalle en punto fijo de venta
647 Reparador – artículos de cuero y similares
648 Productor vendedor – artículos de alfarería
649 Productor vendedor – artículos de alfarería con fines constructivos
701 Ayuda Familiar al Detalle
702 Ayuda Familiar a Domicilio
703 Ayuda Familiar con Servicio Gastronómico
704 Ayuda Familiar con Servicio Fijo
705 Ayuda Familiar Productor Vendedor artículos de uso del Hogar
Volunteering
There are a number of bodies offering volunteer work in Cuba, though it is always best to organize things in your home country first. Just turning up in Havana and volunteering can be difficult, if not impossible. Those with a people-to-people license work with US visitors.

Canada-Cuba Farmer to Farmer Project (www.farmertofarmer.ca) Vancouver-based sustainable agriculture organization.

Cuban Solidarity Campaign (www.cuba-solidarity.org) Head office in London, UK.

Global Volunteers (https://globalvolunteers.org/cuba) With programs in Havana, Ciego de Avila and Sancti Spríritus.

Go Overseas (www.gooverseas.com) A catalog of 22 programs in Cuba organized by length of stay, area and program rating, many officially licensed by the US.

Pastors for Peace (www.ifconews.org) Collects donations across the US to take to Cuba.

Witness for Peace (www.witnessforpeace.org) People-to-people licensed. Brings delegations to Cuba, some studying the impact of US policy.

Want to Live & Work in Cuba Teaching English? PARTNER CONTENT
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Get your free TEFL e-book and find out how to start a new life in Cuba
Working and living in Cuba with the InterNations Expat Guide
Are you preparing for living and working in Cuba? Or are you already an expat and have recently relocated to Havana, Santiago de Cuba or some other international Cuban city?

The expat relocation to Cuba is definitely an exciting international opportunity and cross-cultural adventure: Visiting the landscape such as the sprawling province of Havana Ciudad and its suburbs, getting to know how Cuban folks celebrate Día de los trabajadores, or acquiring a taste for Cuba’s popular dishes like ajiaco…

However, InterNations does not only address expats in Cuba. We have brief overview guides for various locations around the world – from living in China to living in Poland.

Top Articles in the Cuba Expat Guide
Moving to Cuba
Moving to Cuba
Are you curious about moving to Cuba? If you have fallen in love with this country, you can learn more about politics, visa requirements, and transportation on InterNations. That way, you can get the best out of your life in this beautiful, yet incredibly diverse, country.
Cuba’s Visa Requirements
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Life in Cuba
Life in Cuba
Life in Cuba has its fair amount of surprises! Read our guide and find out all about different destinations, healthcare, and accommodation in Cuba. That way, living in Cuba can be an amazing experience, with joyful, welcoming people and constant sunshine.
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Unfortunately, business life in Cuba is not always peachy. Read our guide on working in Cuba to learn about the economy, job opportunities, key sectors, and more. Once you are prepared for this Caribbean adventure, you will feel right at home in Cuba’s business world.
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Reliable Information about living and working in Cuba
Relocating to and living in Cuba necessitates lots of reliable information on different facets of Cuban expat life. Many questions come up when living overseas in Cuba: ʺAre we, as expats, liable to Cuban income tax law?ʺ, ʺWhat is the economic reality of life in Cuba today for the average expat and the average Cuban?ʺ, ʺHow to find a trustworthy maid in Havana?ʺ, or ʺWhat are the requirements to get a Cuban residence permit for my wife?ʺ

Looking for so much information on working and living in Cuba is rather bothersome and requires a lot of time. The InterNations Expat Guide for Cuba is designed to help you and offers trusted information on all issues of interest to expats living in Cuba. Various topics are covered in our Cuba Expat Guide from local organisations and companies, to travel & accommodation or health-care, up to local infrastructure. Such characteristic questions that concern expat life abroad as ʺIs it easier to live there as a single or with an expat family?ʺ will no more remain open.

Are you curious about expatriate living outside Cuba? Then read more about our various expat guides, such as living in Qatar or living in Kuwait!

From doctors and dentists to colleges and universities – Advice on living and working in Cuba
In addition, our expat listings for Cuba include recommended entries for services and organizations catering to expatriates’ needs, like doctors and dentists or colleges and universities. By becoming part of our community, you can also participate in the InterNations Forum and discuss with other internationals about your expatriate experience living abroad in Cuba. We’ll be delighted to greet you with a warm ¡Hola! among our InterNations members living and working in Cuba.
Unfortunately, business life in Cuba is not always peachy. Read our guide on working in Cuba to learn about the economy, job opportunities, key sectors, and more. Once you are prepared for this Caribbean adventure, you will feel right at home in Cuba’s business world.
ALSO IN THIS ARTICLE:
Business Life in Cuba

At a Glance:
For the first time in decades, Cuba is (slowly) privatizing its economy.

Cuba still has two currencies, which makes its system rather complicated.

The government introduced taxes in 2012, which had not existed in Communist Cuba before.

Cuba’s Economy Is Opening Itself to the World
One of the last great communist bastions in the world, Cuba’s economy remains largely centrally planned. It will be nothing new to expats working in Cuba that most of the country’s industry and the majority of the workforce rest mainly within the government’s purview.

However, as expats working in Cuba will have noticed, since Raúl Castro’s ascension to the premiership, following his brother Fidel Castro’s refusal to stand for reelection due to illness, the Cuban economy has leaned further toward the market.

Due to troublesome international relations, including but not limited to the US trade embargo, Cuba’s economy has been in perpetual trouble since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, which had once offered Cuba preferable trade conditions. Although Venezuela has stepped up and somewhat filled this void, the country’s political instability has led Cuban officials to once more court Russia and China for foreign investment and increased trade.

Moreover, since the beginning of Raúl’s tenure as President of Cuba, new economic reforms have been underway. In April 2011, the Communist Party signed a package with over 300 measures, taking the country closer to a market-oriented economy.

In addition to this, the 2016 edition of the Cuban Communist Party Congress approved a plan for privatizing small and medium-sized businesses. This new plan will allow private businesses to avoid dealing with the government bureaucracy, which used to maintain inefficient monopolies on exports and imports. Although over 80% of the Cuban workforce was employed by the state only in 2012, increased privatization has seen a steady decline in this percentage. For example, in just three years, the number of self-employed Cubans has more than tripled, from 150,000 to 500,000 as of December 2015. All in all, there are more than two million Cubans employed in the private sector, which constitutes 34% of the country’s total labor force. Furthermore, the government has begun to promote the creation of co-operatives, especially among farmers, with more than 5,500 agricultural cooperatives having been established as of 2015. Expats working in Cuba and tourists visiting the country will also notice the number of privately owned co-operative restaurants popping up around country.

Economic Growth and Challenges — Cuban Sugar Industry Sweet and Sickly
Although the economy had remained relatively stable under Raúl Castro from 2008-2013, seeing an average GDP growth of 2.7%, the year 2014 has seen a marked decline with projections estimating a final growth of 1.4%. However, more cordial relations with the United States helped the Cuban GDP to grow by 4% in 2015. While working in Cuba is an attractive prospect for many, the country still faces a number of challenges restricting steady growth.

Not only is the country still dealing with the collapse of the Soviet bloc, but it also has to contend with falling nickel prices, and the effects of several hurricanes. Moreover, the sugar industry, once Cuba’s main exporter, has come under increasing strain.

Falling prices, heavy rainfall, outdated equipment, rundown mills built more than sixty years ago, and disorganization have all led to the decline of the sugar industry. Now that sugar is not among the country’s top exports, the industry’s failures have put increasing pressure on the government to open the sector to foreign investment. There are, however, some hopes for the industry, with the recent detente between the US and Cuba. In fact, a US American agricultural delegation arrived in 2015 in order to analyze business opportunities and increase the productivity of the sugar canes to return to their previous levels, with the help of Cuban government incentives.

As mentioned above, the government is doing its best to fix the economy and one of its greatest gestures towards this end can be found in its opening of the tourist industry. Moreover, those living and working in Cuba might be surprised to hear that the government plans to unify the currency. In fact, this reform was announced by Fidel Castro in 2014. However, as of 2016, it has not yet been implemented.

A Complicated Currency System
The country still maintains two currencies, the national currency, the CUP and the CUC. While the former is the standard currency, the latter was created after the fall of the Soviet Union to shield the country’s communist project from the capitalist market.

Thus, the CUC is a transferable currency mainly used in the tourist industry. However, since it is fixed to the US dollar, the CUC is worth 25 times more than the CUP. To make matters worse, only the CUC is accepted in some places, like parts of Havana, meaning that those who have access to it, such as those with official ties, can lead a more lavish lifestyle than the normal citizen.

Those thinking of working in Cuba should be aware that, while the planned currency reform is an important step in revitalizing the economy, economists have warned that the dual project of devaluing the CUC and revaluing the CUP might shake up the social structure, lead to inflation and result in discontent.

The economic reforms mentioned above are just some of the ongoing reforms in Cuba. Expats will be happy to learn that it is now easier for them to purchase and sell private property, for instance. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons (ideology first and foremost among them), none of these reforms have led to true market liberalization. Instead, there are many restrictions which still keep companies from investing and expats from working in Cuba.

Easier to Find Employment in the Tourist Industry
Nevertheless, there are still some job opportunities available for expats who plan on working in Cuba. For instance, you can always find employment in Cuba-based offices of foreign companies or agencies. However, as most of these are joint ventures together with Cuban companies, Cuban applicants are usually treated preferentially.

Within the tourist industry, expats interested in working in Cuba may find employment as tour operators or representatives. You can, however, not expect to be hired as a bartender, entertainer, or cleaning staff. These types of jobs are reserved for Cubans. Many expats with plans on working in Cuba also find employment as freelance writers, photographers, or journalists. However, you should be aware that you need a work permit for this.

Keep in mind that almost all jobs are distributed by the state. Securing a work permit, the prerequisite for working in Cuba, is definitely not easy as Cuban citizens are treated preferentially. For more information on business visas, have a look at our article on moving to Cuba.

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

Continue: Business Life in Cuba
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Cuba is a unique country, mostly thanks to its political and social developments since the Revolution of 1959. Operating under an economic and political embargo imposed by the US, Cuba suffers from a lack of resources and international trade opportunities, which has led to a low national wealth level. Despite this, Cuban citizens are all provided with excellent, free education (at all levels), healthcare and social care. The country also has an innovative and productive scientific development sector and a growing sustainability sector.

For U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries, you can volunteer in Cuba with a variety of programs. Unlike other destinations, Cuba’s one of the places where you really are better off volunteering through a program provider — your chances of finding something independently are pretty low. For more details, read our article on how the updated laws on travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens have impacted volunteer projects.

To get you started volunteering in Cuba, explore your list of options below and read up on the various entry / exit requirements and logistics you’ll have to think about in our guide.
How To Find a Job in Cuba as a Foreigner
Cuba – Museum of the Revolution
Cuba – Museum of the Revolution

Cuba is an island country in the Caribbean. The official language is Spanish.

Below is a selection of resources for searching for employment opportunities as a foreigner in Cuba.

General Job Search Engines and Classifieds

With the sites below, you can expect to get a 0.5 to 1.0% response rate (people who will respond back to you to whom you sent your application/CV.) Nevertheless, I encourage you to give these sites a try as you never know what you will come up with or what connections you can make from a simple e-mail or application.

Career Jet: I’m sure you’ve heard of Career Jet. They have job search options for Cuba.
Computrabajo: A well known site with a horrible interface. They have legit job posting though.
Other Websites and Blogs

Expat Arrivals: A good short but sweet article on moving to Cuba.
The Planet D: Awesome photos on the blog of my friends over at ThePlanetD.
Overseas and Expat Job Portals

Overseas Jobs: I find that there is often significant overlap between the postings on this site and that of other sites. Nevertheless this site has been around for a while.
Go Abroad: I’ve always been a fan of GoAbroad. In fact, on the visa information portion of my website, you will find where I have linked to their global embassies directory. They have a good job portal too.
Linkedin: Last but not least, this huge professional social network is a resource for building contacts in the field and location of your interest.
There you have it. The best places to find jobs in Cuba as a foreigner. For information on visas for Cuba, be sure to check out my Cuba visa page.

Sponsored Links

Further Reading

How to Answer the 150 Most Common Job Interview Questions: Get sample answers to the most frequently asked job interview questions.

Worldwide Jobs Guide: Be sure to check out my posts on how to find jobs in any country in the world.

Worldwide Apartments Guide: If you are interested in renting an apartment in this country, take a look at my articles on how to find an apartment in various countries around the world.

Worldwide Dating Guide: Also, check out my posts on the best online dating sites in 60+ countries around the world.

About Addison Sears-Collins
Hey! I’m Addison Sears-Collins, the founder of Visa Hunter. My dream is for a border-free world. I seek to destroy the barriers that prevent people from traveling or living in another country. You can learn more about me here. Join me in the border-free movement by liking my fan page on Facebook, connecting with me on Twitter, or adding me to your circle on Google+.

Visahunter.com accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the accuracy of the information contained on this site. Please read the Visitor Agreement and Disclaimer. If you think there is an error in the information, please bring it to our attention so that we can correct it. Also, some of the links above could be affiliate links, which means that I will earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) should you decide to click on the links and make a purchase. I recommend sites from time to time, not because I get a tiny commission if you click on the links and make a purchase, but because, I want you to focus on the places that will deliver you the most value and the best results. Good luck!

VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN CUBA FOR TRAVELLERS
Cuba is many things. Home to cigars, sugar cane, and revolution this is one place that has always enchanted travellers. So what better way to experience the true face of Cuba than to look at the volunteer opportunities in Cuba? There are plenty to go around and you’ll be surprised at how many are available.

Rather than your typical travel guide for Cuba, this guide is going to show you how you can go about finding places to work in Cuba.

1. Making Cigars in Vinales

Cuba is famous for its cigars. You can contribute to that fame through work and travel in Cuba by joining tobacco farmers in Vinales. You will be taught how to roll cigars correctly and what goes into the making of the ingredients. It’s a unique skill to learn and you’ll be helping out with the massive demand as you travel in Cuba.

Take note these positions are mainly found in the more rural areas of the country.

2. Homestay in Santiago

One of the things that backpackers in Cuba want to see is the real side of Cuba away from the tourism of Havana. That’s perfectly possible with a homestay in Santiago. You’ll get the chance to live with a real Cuban family and practice your Spanish. In exchange you’ll be helping out with the household to keep it running.

This is a laidback volunteering opportunity in Cuba. But it’s most certainly one of the most rewarding ones because you’ll be introduced to how Cuban people really live.

3. Teach English in Havana

If you want to teach English in Cuba, there are an abundance of opportunities in the capital of Havana. What most people forget is that Cuba has only recently gained access to the Internet. Young Cubans are being exposed to the outside world for the first time, and they want to take in Western culture.

There are so many schools opening up for English teaching. If you want to work and travel in Cuba this is one of the best ways for you to extend your stay.

VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR CUBA
Cuba requires a visa for practically every nationality. In practice this is no more difficult than paying the relevant people $25 at the airport for a tourist card before you leave. Checks on the border are not strict and most of the requirements, including medical insurance, are rarely checked.

For most nationalities, your tourist card entitles you to 30 days in the country. When you’re in the country you can renew this tourist card for a further 30 days. You can also consider upgrading to other types of long-term visa in Havana after you arrive.

The exceptions to the rule are Russians, who can enter without the need for a tourist card for 30 days. Canadians also have an advantage, where their tourist card entitles them to a 90-day stay, with the chance to renew it in Cuba for a further 90 days.

Other seemingly random countries, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, can enter the country for 90 days without a visa. But all Westerners require the tourist card.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN CUBA
SPRING WORK
The springtime, until the end of April, is the hottest time of the year, and is when the majority of tourists visit the country. This is the time to find volunteer jobs in popular organisations dedicated to putting foreigners in volunteering positions. Rural construction projects and cigar making are perfect for work and travel in Cuba at this time of year.

Take note that this period only lasts until May when the wet season starts.
SUMMER JOBS
Summertime in Cuba is the beginning of the rainy season. Due to its position close to the mainland, the rainy season is rarely as severe as in other parts of the Caribbean. At this time of year there are still significant amounts of tourism due to the number of Europeans choosing to go to Cuba during the holidays.

Working in hostels and guesthouses is the best possible work in Cuba at this time of year. However, be aware that many guesthouses in the country are unofficial and more like homestays.
AUTUMN
The autumn months bring the most severe weather as this is also when Cuba is at risk of cyclones. Head to the western part of the country for the less severe weather. Deciding to teach English in Cuba is best started in autumn as this is when many projects start.

Havana is the best place for this because it’s the capital and it’s largely out of the way of the worst of the rainy and cyclone seasons.

WINTER
The wintertime is when the bulk of the tourists from North America choose to escape the bad weather. You may be able to find work as a volunteer in some diving camps and even some of the smaller surf camps. Bear in mind there’s usually little information about this online as it’s a reasonably new industry in Cuba. Also most of these businesses have little to no web presence due to government restrictions.

ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN CUBA
The first point you have to understand about work and travel in Cuba is that despite its friendly face this is still a dictatorship and any outward statements against communism, the government, or even the inefficiencies of the country could land you in big trouble.

The Cuban people, however, don’t let this dampen their spirits. Although they don’t just see foreigners as walking ATMs, there’s a strong culture of making foreigners pay more for practically everything. They’re not trying to rob you this is just part of the culture. That’s why there’s the Convertible Peso reserved exclusively for foreigners.

Outside of the capital you’ll find local Cubans to be curious about the outside world as it’s often difficult for them to get the permits to leave their country.

This is a true adventure into the unknown. Are you ready to work and travel in Cuba?

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