Since our founding in August 2013, Cuba Libro has initiated and grown donation programs throughout Havana; in 2016, we expanded these programs to other provinces and are continually meeting with possible collaborators and conducting outreach to identify new recipients. We're very proud of our donation strategy - based on distributing the most needed items to the most vulnerable - and are constantly evolving so that we can identify and reach the underserved both in our immediate community and beyond.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began sweeping the world, we took the decision, collectively, to close voluntarily in order to protect the health of our team and community. Nevertheless, through the continued support from our local and global community, we were able to continue donations of sorely needed medicines, vitamins, and personal hygiene products, as well as maintain minimum salaries for the entire, 7-person, all-Cuban team. As I type this, the pandemic rages. We are committed to supporting our community and team as much as we can, as long as we can, until it is safe to reopen. 

For a list of books we are actively trying to curate, please scroll down and consider donating!

COVID-19 UPDATE (FEBRUARY 2021)

What a year. We hope that you and your loved ones are well. We are hanging tough. Although our team has faced some very difficult life moments, no one has contracted COVID-19 and we are constantly helping each other (and others) maintain as much psychic balance and spring as possible.

Here’s a little update (for more, see my recent blog post at www.hereishavana.com); for a detailed list of our community activities, initiatives and donations during 2020, scroll down below the photos. 

After closing on March 20, 2020 to maintain the health of our team and community, we were able to reopen for November and December (two glorious months!) before having to close again due to the epidemiological situation in Havana. As I write this in mid-February, we are still shuttered and the city is under curfew with accompanying prevention measures. We considered doing take-out but several factors conspired against that and we have opted instead to offer physically-distanced books sales twice a week, plus home delivery. Even quarantine is bearable with a good book by your side!

Throughout these trying times, we have been busy even while closed, transforming our space, redesigning our menu with new offers (including donuts and other pastries) and maintaining our donation programs with the dwindling supplies we have on hand. Although we wish we could do more, especially now as things get harder by the day, we were able to make some meaningful donations nonetheless. To each and every person who has made material donations over the years: THANK YOU.  

Thanks to your incredible generosity, we have also been able to maintain rent on the space, plus minimum salaries and cellular/internet connectivity for the team. This hasn’t been easy—the embargo (tightened during the pandemic) severely limits our possibilities for receiving funds and some of our donors (you know who you are!) really went to extremes to help us out. THANK YOU.

The joy emanating from our corner of Calle 24 & 19 wafted far and wide when we were able to re-open in late 2020, re-affirming our conviction that having a cozy, verdant, fun and economical place to (safely) gather is essential to communal health and well-being. And the fact that we were able to reopen, without raising prices, is thanks to you—all of you. Whether you left behind a good book, bought a coffee for one of our medical professionals or sponsored the #dayofnodrama, wrote in to cheer us on, recharged a phone, shared our link and vision or participated in our virtual competition. The point is: everyone has something to contribute and it doesn’t have to be money.

So to all of you: THANK YOU and stay healthy.  

PS – Toby has weathered COVID-19 well though he, like many of us, has lost some socializing skills! You can see his cute self, plus some of our 2020 initiatives, on our Instagram and Facebook feeds (@cubalibrohavana). 

 

Donation of gloves, prenatal and multi-vitamins, NSAIDs and more to Family Doctor's Office #9, Playa, Havana
Donation of gloves, prenatal & multivitamins, NSAIDs & more, Family Doctor's Office #9, Playa, Havana (May 2020)

In addition to our material and financial support for different projects and populations, we have gifted nearly 25,000 condoms as part of our commitment to public health since initiating our free condom program in 2014. The economic situation in Cuba remains fragile, with periodic shortages of many basic items, and we are working harder than ever to ensure donations reach the people who need them. 

None of this would be possible without the dedicated work - day in, day out - of our wonderful team and generous donations by people like you. If you are interested in learning about the various ways to support us, whether through financial or material support, or in other ways, please drop us a line. 

At the bottom of this page you'll find a list of books and magazines our community has come to us seeking - feel free to bring down a couple or three on your next trip. 

Are you coming to Cuba? Want to support our community programming? There are many ways to do so - drop us a line and we can give you some options. 

Primary School Donation
Distributing books at Tomas Romay Primary School

 

Beyond Havana: Donation in Tortuguera, Guantánamo

 

In 2020, Cuba Libro made the following donations, hosted cultural events and launched initiatives: 

Cultural Events

Launch of Waking in Havana with author Elena Schwolsky-Fitch

Launch of Cycling in Cuba with author Cassandra Brooklyn

Prop provision for Cuban TV program Muerto por Carol March 2020 (aired August 15, 2020)

Virtual competition Cuba Libro en Da House (recipe competition that resulted in The Durán and The Fauci, new drinks and among our most popular throughout November and December)

Inclusion in Mapa Ambiental de la Habana (https://www.ipscuba.net/multimedia/mapa-ambiental-de-la-habana/)

 

Donations

Proyecto Armonia, Centro Habana

CDR #8, Quivicán (Mayabeque)

Family Doctor’s office #9, Playa Havana (COVID donations)

COVID-19 donations April-August: soap, maxipads and tampons, prenatal vitamins, antibacterial wipes, diapers, pet supplies, coloring books and other art supplies for neighborhood children, reading glasses for elders, condoms (those went fast!)

Diez de Octubre fire where 7 families lost their homes: medicines, clothes, shoes, surgical masks, candles, phone chargers and cables, sewing kit, headphones, tampons, toothbrushes, coloring books and crayons, pens, blank notebooks, reading glasses, razors (September)

Centro Habana building collapse where 77 people were affected, 30 who lost everything: medicines, reading glasses, school supplies, OTC medicines, coloring books and crayons, clothing and shoes (October)

Initiatives

Free peer-to-peer English tutoring pairing US study abroad students with Cubans (January-March)

Redesigned interior and exterior to comply with COVID-19 health measures

Launched new, re-designed menu, including winning recipes from Cuba Libro en Da House virtual competition

Introduced 100% Cuban produced reusable and environmentally-friendly bamboo straws

COVID-19 compliant booksales, with home delivery by bicycle

Strategic alliances with local small businesses to harness possibilities of COVID survival: Tiendas Lila (personalized linen facemasks); Donas Mami (fresh donuts daily); Tallitas Porcelanas (handmade bookmarks); Bambooleo (reusable bamboo straws)

Initiative Free drinks for medical professionals and students on Dia de Medicina Latinoamericano (December 3. 2020)

Initiative Free drinks on International Day of No Drama (#daynodrama2020)

Saved the life of "Tokio," a neighborhood dog (pictured below) who was abandoned when his owner was incarcerated. Anemic, malnourished and full of parasites, we provided treatment, housing, food and water. Today he's back to full health.

This friendly guy collapsed on our sidewalk, anemic, fullnof parasites and malnourished. Today hes back to full health

 

In 2019, Cuba Libro made the following donations:

Rural Nursery School (San Diego de los Banos,  Artemisa)

Network of Trans Women/CENESEX

Pre natal vitamins (17 future & new moms)

Tornado Victims Regla (50+ donors, 10 volunteer drivers)

Tornado Victims Guanabacoa (Berroa, El Roble)

Tornado Victims 10 de Octubre

Escuela Solidaridad con Panama (181 physically disabled children)

Prisoners, Ceiba 5 minimum security prison

Academia de Idiomas, Nuevo Vedado

Escuela de Idiomas Extranjeras, Plaza

Neonatal Ward, Artemisa

Proyecto Armonía, Centro Habana

Surgical theater, Hospital Hermanos Ameijeras (Havana)

Consultorios médicos #9 & #10, Playa

Elementary school children, Reparto Electrico (Havana)

Elementary school children, Boyeros (Havana)

Elementary school children, Tortuguilla (Guantanamo)

Museum quality art paper from Metropolitan Museum of Art to four (and counting) local artists

Neuro Opthalmology Department, Pando Ferrer Eye Hospital (Havana)

ServiCITMA (Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment)

Animal protectors, Havana

Central Post Office (Habana 6)

Copa de Viñales Mountain Bike Event, Proyecto Jibaro

 

REceiving donations
Receiving donations from Boston youth at Cuba Libro, 2018
Escuela Rural, Guira, 2018
Frisbees! A big hit in Guira, 2018
Rural School, Guira, 2018
Rural School donation, Guira, 2018

In 2018, Cuba Libro made the following donations to the following people and institutions:

Tomás Romay Chacón Elementary School (Vedado) – materials, books in English, pen pal project with public school in Arizona

Rural Primary School, La Güira (Artemisa)

Rural Primary School and family doctor’s office, Paso Real (Pinar del Rio)

Playa Caletones settlement (Holgüin)

CDR #8, Quivicán (Mayabeque)

Prisoners, Combinado del Este

Department of Neurosurgery and ICU, Calixto García Hospital (Vedado)

Guanabacoa Orphanage

Uterine, thyroid and pancreatic cancer patients

High risk pregnant women and new moms

Consultorios #9 & #10, Playa

Animal Health Clinic, Quinta de los Molinos

Centro Memorial Martin Luther King & Ebenezer Baptist Church (Marianao)

El Rincón del Cristo, Finca Agroecológica (Guanabacoa)

Dog Protectors, Necrópolis Cristóbal Colón

Nursery School, Paso Quemado (Pinar del Río)

Hogares de Ancianos, Quivicán (Mayabeque)

Guanabacoa Orphanage donation
Smiles! At Guanabacoa orphanage donation day.
volunteer and donation el rincon del cirsto
Volunteer clean up and donations, El Rincon del Cristo, 2018
Volunteer trail clean up & donation
Volunteer and donation day, El Rincon del Cristo, 2018
Prenatal vitamin recipients
Mama D & Lucas, recipients of prenatal vitamins, 2018

 

In 2016 and 2017, we made material and financial (through our federally-registered 501c3 organization Friends of Cuba Libro) donations to the following entities:

Alas Skate Corps. (Independent media)

Centro Memorial Martin Luther King, Jr, Marianao

Combinado de INDER, 23 y B, Vedado

Consultorios Médico de Familia #9 & #10, Playa

Cooperativa Jesús Menéndez, Artemisa

Cotorro Animal Rescue

Cuidadores Voluntarios de Animales de la Ciudad (Cat & dog rescue)

Department of Primary School Methodology (Havana Province)

Dora Alonso School for Autistic Children

Duo Jade (Independent media)

Escuela de Inglés, Plaza

Escuela de Secundaria Básica, Rebelión de Vegueros, Boyeros

Escuela Primaria La Ceiba del Agua (Artemisa)

Escuela Primaria Tomás Romay Chacón, Vedado

Family of Raquel Suárez (Home support for people with Parkinson’s)

Federación de Mujeres Cubanas, Bloque 6, Plaza

Festival ProElectrónica (Independent media)

Habana Vieja Government Musical Repair Shop

Hospital San José de Las Lajas, Mayabeque

Hurricane Irma victims in Júcaro and Chambas (Ciego de Ávila)

I.A. (Independent media)

Iglesia Ebenezer

La Liga Echeverría Baseball Club

Los Cercanos Dias del Amor (Independent documentary)

Oficina de Correo, Habana 6, Plaza  

Oficina de Trabajo, Playa

Prisoners of Combinado del Este Prison

Sexto Congreso Housing Shelter

Therapeutic Clowns of Cuba

William Soler Pediatric Oncology Ward

 

English-language book donation to Tomas Romay Chacon elementary school
Donation to the English-language classroom at Tomas Romay Chacon Elementary School, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOK AND MAGAZINE DONATIONS

Additionally, almost all of our books are donated, meaning you can touch many lives by giving a book or magazine. We prioritize curation of those books our community comes to us seeking. By stocking these titles/genres/authors, we remain relevant and responsive to our community. If you'd like information on how to send us books or magazines through the mail, please drop us an email. Here are the titles we're currently after:

  • The Outermost House, Henry Beston
  • White Fragility, Robin D'Angelo
  • A Promised Land, Barack Obama
  • Dissent, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (children's book)
  • Letters from Cuba, Ruth Behar (children's book)
  • Lucky Broken Girl, Ruth Behar (children's book)
  • Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
  • Shogun, James Clavell
  • Chronicles of Narnia, CS Lewis
  • A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
  • Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl 
  • Homo Deus, Yuval Noah Harari
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, Francesca Cavallo
  • The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
  • 1984, George Orwell
  • Games of Thrones Trilogy, George R R Martin
  • Hunger Games Trilogy, Susan Collins
  • Harry Potter Series, JK Rowling
  • Becoming, Michelle Obama
  • It, Stephen King
  • The Stand, Stephen King
  • Cuba Hot & Cold, Tom Miller
  • The Creative Spark, Michael Shapiro
  • Havana Noir, Achy Obejas
  • Fire & Fury, Michael Gross
  • Treat us Like Dogs and We Will Become Wolves, Carolyn Chute
  • Feminasty, Erin Gibson
  • Cubanissimo, Cristina Garcia (ed)
  • Kill ‘Em and Leave, James McBride
  • Beartown, Fredrich Bachman
  • A Man Called Ove, Fredrich Bachman
  • The Last Day of Our Fathers, Joel Dicker
  • The Psychoanalysis of Fire, Gaston Bacelard
  • The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir
  • Pale Fire, Nabokov
  • The Monk Who Sold his Ferrari, Robin Sharma
  • The 5AM Club, Robin Sharma
  • Saved by the Sea, David Helvarg
  • Train Dreams, Denis Johnson
  • The White and the Black, Harold Pintner
  • Cuban Revolution in America, Teishan Latner
  • Anything by Thomas Pynchon
  • American Gods, Neil Gaiman
  • The Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Mark Manson
  • Everything is F*cked, Mark Manson
  • To Have and Have Another, Philip Greene
  • Havana Without Makeup, Herman Portocarero
  • 300 Reasons to Love Havana, Heidi Hollinger
  • Cuba in Mind, Maria Finn Dominguez
  • Cuba by Bike, Cassandra Brooklyn
  • The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence, Gavin de Becker
  • Anything by John McPhee
  • Anything by Henry Miller
  • Anything by Anais Nin
  • Anything by David Rowe (these following are all renowned caricaturists and are requested by Cuban artist and Cuba Libro collaborator Brady)
  • Anything by Steve Brodner
  • Anything by Kevin Kallaugher
  • Anything by Anita Kuhn
  • Anything by Graeme Mackay
  • Anything by Rob Dunlavey
  • Anything by Steve Breen
  • Anything by Tom Fluharty
  • The Kon-Tiki Expedition, Thor Heyerdahl
  • A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit
  • Wanderlust: A History of Walking, Rebecca Solnit
  • Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit
  • 100 Places in Cuba Every Woman Should Go, Conner Gorry
  • Lonely Planet, Cuba
  • 500 Hidden Secrets in Havana
  • The Education of an Architect, John Hejduk
  • José Marti: Cuban Apostole: A Dialogue (2013), Cintio Vitier & Daisaku Ikeda
  • Anything by José Martí
  • This Wheel’s on Fire, Levon Helm
  • The Complete Beatles Songs, Steve Turner (this is hugely popular)
  • Anything by JD Salinger
  • The Daily Show, Jon Stewart et al
  • Black Hole, Charles Burus
  • The Complete Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
  • Dracula, Mike Mignola
  • Ronin, Frank Miller
  • Batman: Year One, Frank Miller
  • Kingdom Come, Mark Waid & Alex Ross
  • V for Vendetta, Alan Moore
  • Watchmen, Alan Moore
  • Portnoy’s Complaint, Philip Roth
  • Negroes with Guns, Robert Williams
  • A Contemporary Cuba Reader, Philip Brenner et al, eds
  • Cuba: A New History, Richard Gott
  • Anything by Charles Bukowski (especially Women and Factotum)
  • Drown, Junot Diaz
  • The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz
  • This is How You Lose Her, Junot Diaz
  • The Poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Where the Boys Are, Van Gosse
  • Prose Contribution to the Cuban Revolution, Allen Ginsberg
  • Planet Cuba, Rachel Price
  • Back Channel to Cuba, Peter Kornbluh
  • Listen Yankee!: Why Cuba Matters, Tom Hayden
  • Double Life of Deacon Brody, R.L. Stevenson
  • Time Out Film Guide (2009 or later)
  • Rolling Stone, Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll
  • Anything by Naomi Klein
  • Sartre on Cuba, Sartre
  • Talking to Fidel, Peter Kornbluh
  • World Guide, New Internationalist
  • Adios Muchachos, Daniel Chavarria
  • Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware
  • Memorias del Fuego, Eduardo Galeano
  • Cocktail Time in Cuba, Basil Woon
  • Buena Vista in the Club, Geoff Baker
  • What Everyone Should Know about Cuba, Julia Sweig
  • Cuba/Havana Guidebooks
  • Cubana: Contemporary Fiction by Cuban Women, Mirta Yáñez (ed)
  • Open Your Eyes and Soar: Cuban Women Writing Now, Mary G. Berg, ed
  • Havana is a Really Big City, Sarah Cooper, ed
  • Disconnect, Nancy Alonso
  • Ophelias, Aida Bahr
  • A Corner of the World, Mylene Fernández Pintado
  • The Beautiful and the Damned, F Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Man Who Loved Dogs, Leonardo Padura
  • Havana Red, (or Blue or Black) Leonardo Padura
  • Vital Signs, Pedro de Jesus
  • New Short Fiction from Cuba,  J. Loss & E. Whitfield, eds
  • Cuba on the Edge, M. Berg, P. Carmell, &  A. Fountain, eds
  • Cuba: A Traveler’s Literary Companion, A.L. Bardach, ed
  • Cuban Revelations: Behind the Scenes in Havana, Marc Frank
  • Cuban Economic and Social Development: Policy Reforms and Challenges in the 21st Century, Jorge Dominguez, ed
  • Best Women’s Travel Writing, ed by Lavinia Spalding
  • Anything by  Paco Ignacio Taibo II (especially his non fiction; in English, please)
  • Underworld, Don Delillo
  • Mao II, Don Delillo
  • Great Jones Street, Don Delillo
  • White Noise, Don Delillo
  • Auto/Biographies (of any type; Cubans love them)
  • Cookbooks

 

we thrive on book donations
Cuba Libro friends, community and staff (and Toby!) receiving a recent book donation

 

MAGAZINES - we can also receive subscriptions by snail mail; ask us how!

  • Architectural Digest
  • Art in America
  • Avaunt
  • Clay (for a young, ceramic artist specializing in Raiku)
  • Cooks Illustrated
  • Downbeat
  • Dwell
  • Funambulist
  • The Gentlewoman
  • Good
  • Guitar World
  • Happy Reader
  • Hip Hop mags – don’t know what specific titles exist
  • Home décor magazines (many designers and people buying/selling homes here are asking us for these)
  • Holiday Magazine
  • Kinfolk
  • McSweeneys
  • Monocle
  • Outside
  • Rock climbing mags – don’t know what specific titles exist
  • Sports Illustrated
  • Tin House
  • Wired