Organic community farming in Havana

One of the projects Go Eat Give supports through international volunteerism is an organic community farm in Cuba. A few miles outside of Havana, a large public housing project was created for people who could not afford to live in the city. In 1997, four agronomist Cubans started an organic urban farm, Vivero Alamar as a way to feed the community and generate employment. Now Vivero Alamar has over 25 acres and employs over 160 people.

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Some facts about Organoponico

The farm has been able to make a huge impact in the lives of Cubans. Up until recently, Cuban diet consisted of rice, beans and meat, but thanks to the produce of Vivero Alamar and other such farms in the area, the locals are now eating more fresh fruits and vegetables.

Under the direction of Isis Salcines, Vivero Alamar started an outreach program with local schools. Here, children learn to grow vegetables, get a basic understanding of where their food comes from, and discover what makes a healthy diet. By teaching the next generation about organic and sustainable food production, Isis and the staff at Vivero Alamar are ensuring that their methods and philosophy will continue, no matter what happens in Cuba.

Secondly, Vivero Alamar is an innovative cooperative, where all employees share in the profits of what they produce and sell. The employees live, work and participate in Alamar so that they have better working conditions and higher wages than an average Cuban.

The market at the entrance of Vivero Alamar sells produce like cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, green onions, carrots, tomatillos, peppers, beets and bok choy; Cuban staples like rice and black beans; peanuts, sprouts and sunflower seeds; and some prepared foods like tomato puree, mango or guava jam, and sauerkraut. Customers can pick up fresh produce daily and meet the farmers too.

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Go Eat Give volunteers help remove weeds and plant trees.

During our volunteer vacation in Cuba, we spend a day at the farm learning about sustainable organic farming in Cuba, helping out with their projects, giving them donations and enjoying a delicious lunch prepared using all farm grown ingredients! Isis Salcines said, “Go Eat Give is the only organization who has come to Alamar to work alongside the farmers and make them feel important!”

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Go Eat Give’s mango tree at Organoponico

Go Eat Give volunteers took donations of clothes and office supplies for the farm and its workers. Simple items such as paper clips and pens are very expensive and sometimes even hard to find in Cuba, so our offerings were much appreciated!

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Donations were given to the farm’s office and workers

Join us for our next trip to Cuba and volunteer at Organoponico Vivero Alamar yourself.

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Published by

Sucheta Rawal

Sucheta is an award winning food and travel writer, who has traveled to 80+ countries across 6 continents. She is also the founder and editor of 'Go Eat Give' and author of 'Beato Goes To' series of children's books on travel.

8 thoughts on “Organic community farming in Havana

  1. awesome job! this is what the world is all about – exactly what you’re doing… keep paying it forward & a thousand blessings to you!

  2. We will be in Havana the beginning of June and would love to visit with a guide and interpreter. Do they give guided tours or is these a guide who can help us.

  3. Hey Sucheta,
    My partner & I are traveling to Cuba in December working on a NGO project we founded earlier this year. We will be there for at least 3 months and are looking for farms where we can volunteer on for several weeks at a time and also film for our website & video blog about Cuba (this is to get more funding and USA volunteers to Cuba rather than resort tourists). Would you be able to help us out with some contact info/ recommendations? We would really appreciate any advice you can give us!
    -Kaela & Dan

      1. Hi Sucheta,

        I have had some problems finding the contact informations for Vivero Alamar as well. Is it possible for you to send them to me too? Thank you so much!

        /Mia Maria

  4. Hello,

    I am interested in visiting Vivero Alamar some time during this next Janurary. Is this possible, is there an email or other contact information to reach the farm itself? Thanks!

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