Ron Berezan has lead more than a dozen travel programs to Cuba providing Canadian farmers, gardeners, permaculture practitioners, people involved in food security work, and the “Cuba-curious” an alternative travel experience focusing on face to face encounters with people at the forefront of Cuba’s agroecological movement. These tours are a far cry from the “all-inclusive beach resort” experience that most Canadian travelers have in Cuba. Through carefully cultivated relationships with organizations like the Cuban Association of Agricultural Technicians and Foresters (ACTAF) and the Antonio Nunez Jiminez Foundation for Nature and Man (FANJ).
Canadian participants on these tours have a unique opportunity to hear the stories of visionary Cuban farmers and to enter into intimate dialogue with them. Our travels take us throughout the countryside visiting ecological farms, cooperatives, and research centres and into the heart of major Cuban cities where the urban agriculture and permaculture movements thrive. Unlike many group travel arrangements, these tours undertake an “experiential education” methodology whereby participants are invited into a process of discovery and integration of all that they encounter. Not only is there ample opportunity for dialogue and reflection with our Cuban friends and colleagues, but the tour participants themselves form a learning community which further enriches their experience.
Ron Berezan is joined in the leadership of these tours by other Canadian and Cuban colleagues, including Fernando Funes, one of the key founders and visionaries of the agroecological movement in Cuba. Spanish language translation is provided throughout the tour by Ron and others. Accommodation ranges from guest houses to comfortable but modest hotels. Opportunities to enjoy Cuba’s incredible cultural life and natural beauty are integrated into the program itinerary. Many Canadian participants have been able secure funding sources to underwrite the cost of their participation in the program or have been able to include the cost of the trip as a business expense on their income tax returns.