Each team will stay at two different field stations. For the first half of your time in the field, you will stay at Cabanas in Jarico. The cabanas are located in the lowlands of the Lomas de Banao Ecological Reserve (LBER), in the middle of a hotspot for parrot nesting—you may see them around the station. For the second half of your time in the field, you will stay at La Sabina, a more remote field station in a mountainous cloud forest area of the reserve at a high elevation (650 meters above sea level). There is a beautiful view of the Caribbean Sea from the mountain top when the view is clear.
* Please note that not every expedition has couples’ or single's accommodations available. Please call or email Earthwatch to check for availability prior to reserving your space(s) on the team.
At Jarico, rooms will be shared by two or three people. At La Sabina, rooms will be shared by three people. All rooms will be separated by gender. Couples rooms can be accommodated depending on team makeup and size. Single rooms are difficult to accommodate because the capacity at both accommodations is limited. Single rooms are not available on fully booked teams. There are no mosquito nets available, but volunteers can bring their own mosquito nets if they wish and staff can help you hang them. The type with one center hook at the top is best.
* Earthwatch will honor each person’s assertion of gender identity, respectfully and without judgement. For both teen and adult teams, where logistics dictate single-sex accommodations or other facilities, participant placements will be made in accordance with the gender identity the participant specified on their Earthwatch Participant form and/or preferences indicated in discussions with Earthwatch.
Jarico: There are showers, toilets and hot water available.
La Sabina: There are showers and toilets available, but no hot water.
Both locations have one shared bathroom per shared room.
At Jarico, electricity is stable and constant. At La Sabina electricity works with solar panels, so can be intermittent. All teams stay in both accommodations during each team, so it is possible that each team could experience some intermittent electricity during the second half of the expedition. Both sites have refrigeration.
The majority of outlets in Cuba are 110-volt current with standard U.S.-style two- or three-pronged outlets. However, some outlets are rated 220 volts, particularly in hotels that cater to European clientele.
There is no Internet available at either site. There is cellular service at both sites, but in some field locations, it may be spotty. PIs and staff will have cell phones and regular phone access, as well as VHF radios for emergency communications.
FACILITIES AND AMENITIES
The sites are remote, but we encourage volunteers to bring binoculars and enjoy the nature around you.
DISTANCE TO THE FIELD SITE
Lomas de Banao Ecological Reserve (LBER) is 73 miles from the town of Santa Clara, which is the largest town in the area. While teams are doing fieldwork in Lomas de Banao Ecological Reserve (LBER), all research sites are reached by hiking. The hike between the two accommodations in LBER, from Jarico to La Sabina, is about four hours up the mountain (7.5 miles). Mules will be available primarily for transporting field equipment and luggage, but can also be used to ride should the hike prove difficult for some participants. The mules will also be used for emergencies. The team will hike back down the mountain at the end of the team one day before departure.
FOOD AND WATER
All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) will be typical Cuban fare prepared by a local cook and eaten at the accommodations. The availability of food products changes daily in Cuba and sometimes there are shortages and certain foods will not be available. In addition, there is limited use of spices in Cuban cuisine, so you are welcomed to bring your spicy sauce or preferred spices if you wish to add them to your meals.
The following are examples of foods you may find in the field. Variety depends on availability. We appreciate your flexibility.
- Breakfast: Eggs, toast, cheese, plantains, fruit, fruit juices, coffee
- Lunch: Rice, beans, plantains, pork, chicken, vegetables, soup, fresh fruits
- Dinner: Chicken, pork, fish, vegetables, rice, beans, pasta
- Dessert: Flan, fruit
- Beverages: Fresh juice, water, sodas, coffee
SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
Please alert Earthwatch to any special dietary requirements (e.g., diabetes, lactose intolerance, nut or other food allergies, vegetarian or vegan diets) as soon as possible, and note them in the space provided on your volunteer forms.
We will be able to accommodate vegans and vegetarians, but not gluten-free diets. Food variety and availability in Cuba can be limited and can change unexpectedly day to day. We can accommodate lactose free and nut allergy diets.