Boulder-Cuba Sister City Organization :
spacerBoulder Cuba Sister City Organization [Home]

Boulder-Cuba Sister City Organization

"Promoting cultural sharing, understanding, and exchange."



Cuba in the Age of Trump

The Boulder-Cuba Sister City Organization presents a free program, open to the public, featuring distinguished scholar, Professor Miguel De La Torre, speaking on “Cuba in the Age of Trump”.


WHEN:  September 14,  2017, 7:00-8:30 pm
WHERE:  A View of the World Gallery, 1930 Central Ave., Suite A, Boulder, CO., 80301, just off 55th street between Arapahoe and Valmont.
The Rev. Dr. Miguel De La Torre is a professor of Social Ethics and Latinx Studies at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver. Born in Cuba months before the 1959 Revolution, Miguel De La Torre and his family came to the United States as refugees when he was an infant.

 His research and teaching include topics such as Jose Martí, liberation theology in Cuba, the practice of Santería, and immigration rights. His doctorate is from Temple University in social ethics.

Thirty books and many articles bear his name. He has taken students on immersion classes to Cuba and the Mexico/U.S. border to walk the migrant trails and in 2016 he and his son released an award winning documentary film entitled “Trails of Hope and Tears”.

For more information about Miguel De La Torre, visit his website


"Huracán Irma golpeó a Yateras con menos furia que Matthew"

Hurricane Irma hit Yateras with less fury than Hurricane Matthew   (from Guantánamo digital newspaper, Venceremos)


afectación Yateras

El colapso de la alcantarilla ubicada en Madre Vieja es considerada la afectación de mayor envergadura, porque impide el paso a las zonas de defensa de Arroyo del Medio y Bernardo, esta última entre las principales cultivadoras de café y otros renglones agrícolas.

En una información preliminar, Irma Cuello Masó, presidenta del Consejo de Defensa Municipal (CDM), consideró el colapso de la alcantarilla ubicada en Madre Vieja como afectación de mayor envergadura, porque impide el paso a las zonas de defensa de Arroyo del Medio y Bernardo, esta última entre las principales cultivadoras de café y otros renglones agrícolas. Subrayó que los principales daños se concentraron en la Agricultura, en cuyos campos gotearon unas cuatro mil latas de café maduro y se perdieron 12 mil posturas listas para plantar, 500 quintales de aguacate y 300 de guayaba, al tiempo que fueron afectadas 500 hectáreas de plátano fruta.

afectación yateras 2

Enumeró, además, 23 instituciones estatales con afectaciones parciales de techo, entre las que mencionó una escuela, una bodega y un consultorio del médico y la enfermera de la familia, los dos últimos reparados después de la embestida de Matthew en octubre del año pasado.  Por su parte Ismael Ruiz Téllez, vicepresidente del CAM, agregó dos centros comerciales, otro de salud, una panadería, tres paradas de ómnibus y varias instalaciones de la Agrcultura y unas 360 viviendas con afectaciones totales y parciales en las cubiertas y cinco con derrumbe. 

Al referir otros daños, apuntó los ocurridos en los acueductos de Palenque Viejo y Palenque (en este último la fuerza de las aguas empozadas en el puente sobre río del mismo nombre destruyó un tramo de tubería), que dejaron sin el servicio a varios pobladores, beneficiados rápidamente con pipas.

afectación Yateras 3

De acuerdo con Cuello Masó, los 438 milímetros de lluvia caídos en la localidad, la mayor cantidad registrada de la provincia, causaron la crecida y desbordamiento de ríos y arroyos y, consecuentemente, la incomunicación de varias comunidades, como Monte Verde, importante polo productivo de granos y vegetales. 

Aludieron, también, afectaciones en el servicio eléctrico durante más de 48 horas, así como en la telefonía fija y celular, desde el día 8 en la noche, por rotura del cable de fibra óptica enterrado, en cuya reparación laboraban intensamente dos brigadas guantanameras del Grupo de Planta Exterior de ETECSA.afectación Yateras 4



Denver Film Society

Latino Film Fest

CineLatino is a 4-day, cultural celebration of Latino Cinema. With 13 titles, the festival features a healthy mix of feature and documentary films, along with new and repertory titles.
The Festival will take place during Hispanic Heritage month, on September 21-24, 2017 at the Denver Film Society’s Sie FilmCenter.

CineLatino Closing Night: Elián

Tim Golden, Ross McDonnell

USA2017108 min


  • Sunday 9/24
  • 7:30 PM Sie FilmCenter

Sunday, September 24th, 7:30pm. Closing Night Reception precedes the film, starting at 6:00pm, in Henderson’s Lounge.
As the new millennium began, one news story captured the attention and hearts of nearly every American. On Thanksgiving 1999, a young Cuban boy named Elián González was found floating in the Florida Straits by himself after his mother drowned trying to seek refuge in the United States. Before long, the 5-year-old González became the centerpiece of an intense custody battle between his father back in Cuba and his relatives in Miami, which, in turn, brought attention to the long-brewing tensions between Fidel Castro’s Cuba and the U.S.

Throughout the news coverage, though, one voice was too young to join the heated international conversation: that of Elián himself. Eighteen years later, in the wake of Fidel Castro’s monumental death last November, Elian lets the now 23-year-old tell his story, along with the other key players, of one of the biggest news events in modern times. Executive produced by Alex Gibney, Tim Golden and Ross McDonnell use Elián’s intimate details as the jumping-off point for a powerfully relevant historical account.

For more information visit     Denver Film Society


For updated information on the changes to US Cuba policy announced on June 16, 2017, see:



Monday, May 29, 2017:

Cuba to make historic entry in Bolder Boulder team challenge

By Pat Rooney   Daily Camera

The Bolder Boulder annually produces a hefty share of memorable moments.

Yet the 39th edition of the Bolder Boulder set to take off on Monday will... feature a little bit of unprecedented history.

On Thursday, a long-rumored appearance by a men's and women's team from Cuba became official, marking the first time a Cuban national team will compete in Boulder's annual Memorial Day running festival.

The Bolder Boulder also will welcome a women's team from China, the first time the country will be represented in the event since its lone previous appearance in 1998. 

Among the six athletes scheduled to compete for Cuba on Monday are Dailin Belmonte Torres, a 2012 Olympian and a five-time national half-marathon champion; Yudileyvis Castillo Tumbarell, a five-time national marathon champion; Milena Perez Garcia, Cuba's record-holder in the steeplechase; and Henrry Jaen Ortiz, a four-time winner of the Havana Marathon.

Cuba also will be represented by Yuleidys La O Terrero, one of the country's top performers in the 5,000 and 10,000-meter races, and Yusnier Fuoman Santiesteban.

"We have been working to get team Cuba here for almost a year" Bolder Boulder's pro athlete coordinator, Don Janicki, said in a statement. "The men and women coming here to race are truly the best in their country. We have an Olympian, a Havana Marathon winner and numerous record holders."

The international team challenge caps the jam-packed morning of running events, with the professionals from around the world finishing their race in what typically is a capacity crowd at Folsom Field. The women's professional race begins at 11:13 a.m. with the men's race to follow at 11:24 a.m.

"We are thrilled to have played a part in getting both of these teams (Cuba and China) to the United States to race for the largest non-marathon prize purse in the country," pro race director Cliff Bosley said. 


Spense Havlick: A new revolution in Cuba

Observations from the Boulder-Cuba Sister City delegation to Cuba, October 22-Nov 1, 2016  from the Boulder Daily Camera

The mountains in Yateras, our sister city area.

The mountains in Yateras, our sister city area. (Spense Havlick / Special to the Daily Camera)

Lights flickered at our first short power outage in the airport in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba's second largest city. The 13-hour delay for an internal Cubana Airlines flight made local Cuban travelers restless. This was a harbinger of things to come during our recent Boulder-Cuba sister city trip.

Roads were washed out in eastern Cuba during Hurricane Matthew delaying us from bringing relief supplies to our devastated sister city area. Except for the storm damage very little has changed from a year ago in eastern Cuba where oxen plow the fields, where no American tourists are seen, and where taxis are horse-drawn buggies. Tap water is undrinkable. Rest rooms seldom have toilet paper or soap.

Yet home restaurants (paladares) and bed-and-breakfasts (casas particulares) are more numerous, as are the young people who huddle around the few Wi-Fi hot spots at night with their cell phones and iPads. Thus the seeds for a new revolution are potentially planted as millennials connect with counterparts in Cuba and the rest of the world. Social media have proven a tool of change elsewhere.

Social changes are more apparent in Havana and larger cities compared with our sister city trip last year. During our 2016 October-November trip we saw uban families and young adults frequenting paladares, the ballet, musical events and nightclubs where most of them were using iPhones or cell phones.

There appears to be a new economic stratification widening the gap between young entrepreneurs and the traditional working folks who still get about $20 per month and a food ration card. On a busy street we came upon Erik, age 34, who on that day had just opened his doorway-sized churro sweet shop. He had graduated from college with a journalism degree but could not find employment in television or print media. With money sent from relatives in New Jersey he invested in the sweet dispensary. He was on the sidewalk discussing his business plan with us while admiring his two employees doing a brisk business.For me the most startling discovery was a visit to La Fabrica de Arte Cubano, the Cuban Art Factory on Halloween where thousands of very well dressed Cubans poured into a gigantic four-story retrofitted cooking oil factory. Artists had negotiated with the government to refurbish the building as studios and a showcase for their creativity. Dozens of artistic examples were on display (paintings, modern architecture renderings, sculpture, jewelry, and many forms of still photography, dynamic video productions, political films, and an all-night live jazz concert comparable to what you would hear in the French Quarter of New Orleans). At midnight a line several blocks long was patiently waiting to get in. In the same Vedado area of Havana several other nightclubs were rumored o also be crowded with haute couture attire.

New cars and tour buses are more numerous. In fact dozens of new Chinese-built tour buses queue up in front of major tourist attractions like the Havana Club rum museum and at access entrances to historic old Havana. Hotels are double-booked and restaurants are overflowing with hours of wait time. Narrow pedestrian streets are jammed with tour groups. Begging is more common with the influx of foreign visitors.

It is an open question whether or not Cuba can preserve its charm and novel attractiveness with cruise ships arriving and U.S. commercial airlines delivering multitudes of tourists plus the annual $6 billion of remittances from relatives in orth America. One may wonder if the quiet revolution of youth not accepting the status quo of economic stagnation will evolve and replace the half-century of the Castro brothers' regime.

The Cuban embargo or blockade created in 1962 has been punctured and partially dismantled inasmuch as the U.S. is today the sixth-largest importer to Cuba. Eight U.S. commercial airlines have been approved for direct flights to major Cuban cities. Estimated value of our annual exports to Cuba is approximately $300 million, almost entirely agricultural products. The recently opened U.S. Embassy gave us a warm welcome and a concise history of Fidel's revolution.

Halloween costumes and celebrations have been banned in state-run restaurants and other venues. But on Halloween night last month in old Havana we saw a dozen very little kids fully costumed as pirates, witches, devils, zombies and skeletons going door to door for tricks and treats. And at the Cuban Art Factory many of the attendees were in (forbidden) Halloween attire.

Change, if only as a subtle revolution, is surely underway in today's Cuba.

Spense Havlick is a former member of the Camera editorial advisory board and president of the Boulder Cuba Sister City Organization.

Plaza de Armas, Havana’s oldest square, choked with tourists (Nov. 1, 2016).                            



"Rediscovering Cuba"

A year-long program featuring presentations by experts on all things Cuban--economy, film, book club, cuisine.

Past events include:

"US/CUBA: Can the Best of Enemies Kiss and Make Up?"

Featuring Vicki J. Huddleston, former Chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, currently president of a small company that provides workshops for entrepreneurs in Cuba and board member of Finca Vigia, Hemingway's former home in Cuba.


“Public Health in Cuba: An Overview.”


Dr. Gisele Coutin Marie, physician and biostatistician from Havana, discusses the Cuban health system and some of the challenges it currently faces to a standing room only crowd.  (Jan 26).


June 23, Joe McGowan Jr "A Day With Fidel Castro"


"Trump's Approach to Cuba:  A Bigly Deal or a Bigly Mess."

Speaker:  Ambassador Vicki Huddleston

Ambassador Vicki Huddleston managed American policy toward Cuba as the coordinator of Cuban affairs in Washington, D.C., and carried it out as the principal officer at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana—our diplomatic mission in Cuba before it became an embassy in 2014.

After leaving the State Department, Huddleston became a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, where she co-led a project on U.S.-Cuba relations that resulted in a book, Learning to Salsa: New Steps in U.S.- Cuba Relations, that provides a blueprint for normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba. She is currently writing a memoir on Cuba, Our Woman in Havana: The Long Struggle to Overturn Castro’s Revolution.


Contact us at to get on our mailing list.


For information on becoming a member of

the Boulder-Cuba Sister City Organization,

click here: Membership Application



                Presenting a painting of Boulder made by students at BCSIS to Yateras

                                 School Children in Yateras


                                               Making new friends



Thank you

Muchas gracias

to our volunteers, participants and sponsors who contributed to the success of BOCUSCO'S

Colorado Cuba Arts and Dance Festival

October 18-24, 2014.


Miguel López at Intercambio Fiesta    Art workshop with Tony Ortega and Oscar Lasseria


Dance classes with Yaneisi Chibas                Drum classes with Miguel Angel López

Cuban Art Show


Ezequiel Torres Group                                                    Yaneisi Chibas as Yemaya  

Sikan Afro-Cuban Dance Project


Sabanas Blancas project


Art Historian Jorge Núñez                             Enthusiastic audiences


Description: BAC logo.jpg Description: Dairy logo.jpg





Hurricane Relief

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to hurricane Sandy relief in eastern Cuba.  BOCUSCO contributed to medical relief containers sent by MEDICC and Global Links and received this message:

"Thanks to the support we received from individuals and organization across the US, we were able to ship 4 containers in November and December to help hospitals in Santiago.  Two more are planned for late January / early February.  We could not have have been able to provide 6 containers of medical aid so quickly without the help of supporters like your organization."
On October 25, 2012 Hurricane Sandy tore through eastern Cuba leaving destruction, devastation, and death in Guantánamo, Holguín and especially Santiago de Cuba provinces.  See photos below.


Photos of Santiago de Cuba taken October 26, 2012. © Julio Larramendi


Ongoing projects :

Boulder Sister Cities in a trunk

The Boulder History Museum is busy gathering art, cultural artifacts, and resources from each of Boulder's seven sister cities and preparing them to travel to area classrooms or community groups.  The Cuba trunk containing 64 items from or about Cuba including maps, books, art work, stamps, musical instruments etc is ready!  Please contact Emilie at for more information.                                         


Environmental Publications

To see some of the publications about eastern Cuba that BOCUSCO has supported over the years, visit: Ediciones Nuevos Mundos


Shipping medical equipment and supplies to Eastern Cuba

Since 2006 the Boulder-Cuba Sister City Organization has been raising funds to sponsor the shipment of medical equipment and supplies to Guantánamo province in conjunction with Denver-based Project C.U.R.E. We are pleased to announce that the first FIVE 40’ cargo containers have arrived at their destinations: a container of hurricane relief supplies following the devastion of Hurricane Ike; as well as containers to the main hospital in Guantánamo which serves the entire province including Yateras; the Guantánamo Pediatric Hospital; the main hospital in Baracoa, and the hospital in Palenque, Yateras.

We would like to thank all of the donors, sponsors and volunteers who have contributed to the success of this project. Thanks to everyone’s efforts and generosity, we have been able to provide one of the poorest provinces of Cuba with such supplies as X-ray machines, anesthesia machines, mamography units, operating tables, stethoscopes, microscopes, laboratory supplies, defibrillators, and much more.  Please visit our HEALTH committee page to learn more about health care in Yateras and our health related projects. THANK YOU!!



About the Boulder-Cuba Sister City Organization

The Boulder Cuba Sister City Organization (BOCUSCO), is a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-political, all-volunteer citizen network which exists to create lasting partnerships to promote cultural sharing, understanding and exchange between citizens of Boulder, Colorado and the municipality of Yateras, Guantánamo, Cuba. Yateras, a municipality located in the mountainous easternmost Cuban province of Guantánamo, became Boulder’s sixth sister city in 2002. President Eisenhower promoted a people-to-people initiative in 1956 to involve individuals in citizen diplomacy, with the hope that personal relationships, fostered through sister city, county, and state affiliations, would lessen the chance of future world conflicts. Sister Cities International (SCI) is a nonprofit citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between U.S. and international communities. SCI promotes peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation. SCI currently represents more than 2,500 communities in 134 countries around the world. Boulder is a member of SCI and has other sister cities in Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Tibet, Kenya and Tajikistan.

Although many of our exchanges and activities involve the community of Yateras, we are also involved in projects, such as health and environmental projects, in other areas of Guantánamo Province including Guantánamo City and Baracoa. BOCUSCO organizes activities, with support from the Boulder community, through its five committees: Arts and Education, Environment and Sustainability, Health, Music and Dance, Sports.


Donated bicycle



To make a tax-deductible donation please make check out to BOCUSCO and mail to

2835 Lagrange Cir

Boulder, CO 80305