Question: I’m from the UK and will be in Cuba for 6 months, primarily to learn Spanish. Can I work or volunteer my Internet Development skills while there? How should I pursue this when I am in Cuba?
Answer: If you will be in Cuba on either a tourist or student visa to learn Spanish, you will not be able to work as this is not allowed with these kinds of visas. However, you may well be able to find a way to offer your Internet Development skills in a volunteer capacity.
The best place to start your search would be to contact the Palacio Central de Computación
(Central Computing Centre), which faces Parque de la Fraternidad, a well-known location in Centro Habana. Inaugurated in 1991, this Centre – and all the Jovenes Clubes de Computación y Electrónica (JCCE) that exist in the country and which come under its direction – has as its main objective to provide the Cuban people the possibility of knowing and applying computer science in their work and everyday lives. Since its creation and up to the end of 2010, over 13,000 students, including over 5,500 children and youth, had satisfactorily completed one or another of its many teaching and upgrading courses, ranging from short-term to post-graduate.
Contact information for the Palacio Central de Computación, including their address, phone number and website, is located below:
Palacio Central de Computación
Calle Reina #2
Esquina a Amistad
Municipio Centro Habana
Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba
Telephone (537) 862-4737 / 861-7555
As for the Joven Club de Computación y Electrónica (JCCE or Youth Club of Computing and Electronics), this is a network of technological computing centres located around the country. Created in 1987 during an exhibition organized by the Brigadas Técnicas Juveniles (Youth Technical Brigades, made up of specialists from different scientific sectors), the JCCE was seen as a way to provide computer literacy to society with a priority on children and youth. Twenty years later, over 600 such centers existed in all municipalities of the country. The website of the JCCE is www.jovenclub.cu and you could best link with them through the Palacio Central de Computación. If you go into the website for JCCE, which you can do either in Spanish or through a Google-generated online translation, and then click on Contàctenos (Contact Us), you can send an email with questions or for more information.