Permaculture Projects in Cuba

Permaculture Projects in Cuba

Robyn Francis visited and documented 40 projects in Cuba during May-June 2008 as part of the Cuba-Australia Permaculture Exchange (CAPE) inaugural exchange program.


The Cuba tour was hosted and organised by the Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Humanity (FANJ) based in Havana. The FANJ Permaculture team are looking forward to entering into a formal agreement of support and solidarity with Erda Institute and CAPE to facilitate further exchange programs in the future.

Background: The concept of CAPE emerged from a request by Cuban delegates at IPC8 in Brazil 2007 for Robyn Francis to visit Cuba and provide advanced training and support for the Permaculture movement there. Robyn and permaculture colleagues felt that Australians had much to learn from the Cuban experience so the idea of an exchange was born.

The initial CAPE program involved exchange visits by 2 high-profile permaculturists,  Roberto Perez  from Cuba and Robyn Francis from Australia. The Roberto Perez Australian Tour Mar-April 2008 inspired audiences at 30 presentations in 4 states. Then Robyn Francis reciprocated with almost 6 weeks in Cuba May-June 2008 visiting and consulting on 40 projects and giving 18 conferences, presentations, consultation and exchange meetings with the Permaculture community in Cuba.

The main Permaculture organisation in Cuba is the Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Humanity (FANJ) based in Havana  FANJ will be hosting the Latin America Permaculture Convergence in Havana, November 4-7, 2008


Robyn Francis Cuba Tour 2008 – Itinerary

The 2 key FANJ project teams (Environmental Education team and Sustainable Development/Permaculture team) organised the itinerary for the Cuba tour, engagements in Havana and three major field trips to projects in central Cuba, western Cuba and the eastern provinces. the black line on the map below tracks the extent of the field visits.




Havana (April 28-May 5; May 9-16; May 20-26; June 2-6, 2008)

Havana:  School Projects •  7 Projects

  • Comandante Pinares Primary school, in Playa municipality
  • Carlos de la torre junior high, in Playa
  • Emiliano Zapata, primary school, Playa
  • Fructuoso Rodríguez, junior high, Plaza municipality
  • Vicente Ponce Carrasco, junior high, Plaza
  • Heroes of Chapultepec, primary, Cerro municipality (was closed)
  • Armando Parra, primary, next to Eugenias´s, Arroyo Naranjo municipality

Havana: Urban and Peri-Urban Projects •  13 Projects 

  • Office and Museum of Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Humanity
  • The small farmers cooperative of credits and services, Arroyo Naranjo municipality
  • Nelson’s Rooftop Rabbit farm, Havana
  • Angelo’s urban garden & animal systems, Havana
  • Justo Torres, rooftop and courtyard garden, Havana
  • Community park project, Havana
  • Medicinal & Ornamental plant nursery, integrating pc, PDC excursion,Havana
  • Manuel’s urban garden Sevilano, Habana
  • Giovani’s new urban garden project, Sevilano, Habana
  • PDC coordinator’s home garden Patio, Sevilano, Habana
  • Community Project Food Preservation, Condiments and Medicinal Plants, Vilda and Pepe, Havana
  • Infants school project opposite Community Project Food Preservation office, Havana
  • Havana Model & Conference with Grupo para el Desarrollo Integral de la Capital, host: Elios Guevara

Other cultural activities in Havana included:

  • May Day March, Revolution Square, Roberto Sanchez & family
  • Old Havana interpretive tour, Roberto Sanchez and Denis
  • Havana Botanic Gardens & Eco-cafe
  • Huron Azul, cultural performance, Rene Ascue

Field Trip #1 Central Cuba: Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Trinidad

May 6-8, 2008  • 3 Projects

  • Matanzas – San Miguel de los Baños, farm of the president of the people´s council
  • Theatro Elementos Community and farm (Theatre Group “The Elements”), Jovero, Cumanayagua, Cienfuegos Province
  • School garden project: Jesus Betancourt Pich School, Trinidad – Belongs to the special education system

Other visits included:

  • Belamar Caves
  • Matanzas – San Miguel de los Baños town and historic springs
  • Zapata Wetlands National Park
  • Topes de Collantes area rainforest and mountains.

Field Trip #2 Western Cuba: Pinar del Rio
May 17-19, 2008  •  5 Projects

  • Vinales Centre Escuela Nacional de Espeleologia, Hilario
  • Vinales primary and secondary school Cresencio Rivera Lara Organoponico, Tomás
  • Tomas private small patio, El Moncada, Viñales
  • Tomas’ sisters garden, El Moncada, Viñales
  • Alberto & Lourdes farm, Pinar del Rio

Other visits included:
Tomas Caves, fishing town of Puerto Esperanza, Historic French Coffee Estate and Ecotourism developments

Field Trip #3 Eastern Cuba: Sancti Spiritus, Palma Soriano, Baracoa
May 27- Jun1, 2008  •  13 Projects:

  • FANJ Centre, Sancti Spiritus
  • Huerto el refrescante, Sancti Spiritus – Alfonso’s garden
  • Organoponico La Palma, Sancti Spiritus, Rolando
  • Organoponico El Ranchon, Sancti Spiritus, Ismar,
  • Organoponico – The Stadium – Sancti Spiritus, Alberto
  • Organoponico Si Se Puede, Sancti Spiritus
  • Patio (Home Garden) of Basilio and Lourdes, Sancti Spiritus
  • Organoponico Linda Flor, Sancti Spiritus , Edith, Organic commercial
  • flower production, mandala garden
  • Casimiro´s Family Farm in Taguasco
  • Pedro Jutias Garden, Los Tramojos
  • Agroforestry Farm , Emigdio, Provincial Research Station for Pastures and
  • Forages, Sancti Spiritus
  • Medicinal and Ornamental Patio garden of Isabel and Rafael, Palma Soriano
  • Organoponico Permaculture Garden in Palma Soriano housing estate, Rubert and Lizet.

Other visits included:

  • Guantanamo, Arid south-east coast region, Altos de Cotila mountains & Amazonian-type rainforest
  • Barocoa, Rio Toa

Conferences, training, consultations and meetings

• Permaculture Education and Vocational Training: Conference for environmental educators, Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Humanity, Havana May 12, 2008

• PDC Training, Havana, May 14, 15, 16, 23 & 25th, 2008

• Sustainable Agriculture & Tropical Permaculture Systems Conference for Permaculture project managers, FANJ Centre, Sancti Spiritus, May 27, 2008

• Eco-city Projects and Bio-Climatic Building Design, Conference at Grupo para el Desarrollo Integral de la Capital (the government advisory Integral Urban Design & Planning Group for Havana City), June 4, 2008

Plus 10 meetings consulting on projects, design, strategy planning and debriefing sessions with FANJ staff, permaculture projects managers and farmers.

The above projects will be documented on this site as an ongoing process. Please check back again.

Leave a Reply