Cuba Explorer Tours.
Authentic Cuba travel to get to know island people, culture, history and nature.
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When going to Cuba, be a saint – donate! Help islanders weather the cruel U.S. blockade.
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Cubans warmly welcome donations however small. Everything you contribute is an overture of friendship and a progressive act against the U.S. blockade that deprives Cubans of basic items we in North America take for granted.

We strongly advise against handing out donations or money to individuals you meet on the street. In areas frequented by tourists, professional scammers attempt to fleece foreign guests with scripted sob stories that win them cash or items they then sell on the black market, both resulting in hundreds of dollars every week.

Working Cubans earn 15 to 20 dollars per month. When you give your donations or cash contributions to a handful of street hustlers, you deprive the vast majority of Cuban families and communities who could most benefit from your generosity.

Giving to new island friends or helping out Cubans you know from past trips is a most wonderful overture. Go for it!

How to make your heartfelt donations really count

Organized donations to island NGOs facilitated by the Canadian network Not Just Tourists (NJT) are distributed equitably to Cubans most in need beyond the tourist centers.

NJT groups are not-for-profit volunteer projects that collect surplus medicines, medical supplies and other items for use in Cuba. These materials are donated by individuals, organizations and businesses. Canadians traveling to Cuba deliver these much-needed supplies to hospitals, clinics and other institutions at their island destination.

NJT can help you plan and coordinate your donations. NJT groups are always in need of donations, volunteers and storage space to more effectively conduct their vital work in support of the Cuban people. In addition to donating and delivering supplies to Cuba, consider getting involved with an NJT group near you, or launching a chapter in your city. If you are a US reader, please consider a monetary donation to help with operational costs of an NJT chapter of your choice.

Not Just Tourists groups across Canada

Calgary Alberta (email)

Edmonton Alberta (website), 780-460-4373 (telephone)

Kingston Ontario (email)

Montreal Quebec (email)

Ottawa Ontario (website)

Saint Catharines Ontario (website)

Vancouver British Columbia (email)

Any, all art supplies Musical instruments Guitar strings
Reeds for wind instruments Metronomes Pitch pipes
Tuning forks Sheet music Theatre make-up
Ballet slippers Baseball bats, balls and gloves Footballs, sport helmets and padding
Bike tire repair kits Aspirin and substitutes, Band-Aids Multiple vitamins and A, B, C, D, E
Medical gloves and masks, medical thermometers Condoms, sanitary napkins, tampons School supplies, all kinds
Toys for children Laptop computers no more than four years old, memory sticks Spanish/English dictionaries and phrase books
High quality summer oriented used clothing and shoes Sheets and towels Kitchen gloves and sponges
Food items or seeds Outdated history or science books
Expired medicine or vitamins Old or non-functioning computers
Items considered to be weapons Anti-Cuba literature, pornography


Individuals travelers can take up to 5 kilos (11 pounds) of medicines including vitamins and aspirin into Cuba. If the weight of your medicines is greater then you'll need special permission prior to arrival.

Medicines should be in original packaging and dated. Stale dated items can't be used.

Medicines should be given to neighborhood clinics.

Medicines most needed
Acetaminophen (asperins)
Topical treatments

NOTICE 1: Group Travelers on Cuba Explorer Tours programs

Please consult with Cuba Explorer Tours on the most important donations to take on your tour.

Cuba Explorer Tours regularly donates to these island organizations.

NOTICE 2: Airline extra weight allowances for humanitarian donations for individual travelers

Several Canadian airlines offer excess luggage fee waivers to travelers carrying humanitarian aid to Cuba. These exceptions must be arranged in advance of departure.

Sunwing and Air Transat allow an extra 10 kg per passenger; Cubana allows an extra 23 kg per passenger (but can arrange larger allowances); and WestJet allows up to 54.5 kg total luggage weight per passenger on its charter flights.

Travelers should consult with their airline well in advance of departure concerning specific humanitarian policies. It is necessary to obtain an excess luggage permit in advance of departure as exceptions are subject to constant change.

Don't just show up at the airport and ask for an exception. It will not be granted.

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