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    Celebrate Pride in Cuba – Join a Humanitarian Journey

    By Jeff Cotter–

    Encounter a new land and a people in a way that values them, deepens your spirituality, broadens your worldview, and begins to heal the world.

    This May 11–21, 2023, Rainbow World Fund (RWF)—the world’s first and only all-volunteer, LGBTQ+ based humanitarian aid organization—is traveling to Cuba for the first time since the pandemic. You can be part of this unique journey, experiencing the vibrant culture of Havana, Matanzas, and Northern Cuba as an ambassador for LGBTQ+ compassion.

    Rainbow World Fund has been visiting Cuba since 2012. I describe the trip as a “crash course” in the history, politics, and spirituality of Cuba. The trip is educational. We will learn from the Cubans about the realities of their country. We’ll visit projects that serve the Cuban people and meet with members of the LGBTQ+ community, politicians, and dissidents, artists, and leaders in many fields. During our visit, trip participants will gain insight into the struggles and hopes of the Cuban people. As was the case for past trips, we hope to meet with Mariela Castro, who is the former President’s daughter, a member of parliament herself, and is a strong advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. 

    This year’s trip coincides with Cuba’s LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations. We will join our Cuban brothers and sisters in the Conga—Havana’s Pride Parade; and attend musical performances and a Pride gala. This year’s celebration is expected to be especially vibrant as Cuba’s LGBTQ+ community celebrates the amendment of Cuba’s Family Code legalizing same-sex marriage, civil unions, adoption by same sex couples, and altruistic surrogacy. We are thrilled and delighted to be celebrating this hard-won victory of Cuba’s Rainbow Revolution.

    As always, RWF will include several ways for participants to support our friends and hosts in Cuba. Trip participants will help to bring much-needed medicines and medical supplies, and help to distribute financial grants from RWF for programs including a summer camp for HIV positive and HIV affected children that the organization has supported over the years. 

    This year, RWF is making a special appeal to help the transgender and drag communities. We are collecting wigs, gender affirming clothing, costume jewelry, heels, make-up (new), and accessories for the trans and drag community. Most Cubans live on or near the poverty level, and trans and drag expressive people simply cannot afford these items. We are working with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and the Imperial Court to collect items.

    We will be traveling as a humanitarian aid group and our itinerary reflects this. We will be traveling with a special visa that allows us to access many places and people that tourists are not able to. Through our long-time relationships in Cuba, we’ll visit with families and friends and enjoy special times together. We’ll be staying in historic lodgings in Old Havana and enjoying the natural beauty of the beach city of Varadero, as well as experiencing other parts of the country along the way. This journey is a great way to express your altruism, make friendships, and help our LGBTQ+ family.

    To learn more about the trip, other ways that you can help, or to make a donation, please visit:

    Jeff Cotter is the Founder and Executive Director of Rainbow World Fund.

    Published on March 23, 2023