Oficina del Historiador ...................................Office
of the Historian
Ciudad de La Habana .....................................The City of Havana
Direccion de Patrimonio Cultural ................ Directorate of Cultural Heritage
Mercaderes 116, entre Obispo y Obrapia
La Habana Vieja,
Project supervision: Fenix S.A. 412 O'Reilly Habana Vieja
Bicicletas Cruzando Fronteras
Edificio Metropolitano San Juan de Dios esquina Aguacate Habana Vieja tel: 537-860 8532
Our prominent supporters are:
Dundas & Bloor, Toronto
1. Women in development
2. The environment
3. Infrastructure services
"Train the Trainers" to train as many women and men as possible
..........to achieve full expertise in the day to day running of a modern bicycle
..........repair and maintenance shop
These pioneer trainees would embark on to train other members of the community
Long term objectives are capacity building , to encourage and empower Cubans
To set up more efficient bike shops that would provide good quality service to Cuban cyclists
Distribution of bicycles through workplaces
Rent and sell some bicycles to achieve sustainability
"Better bicycles means, healthy habits and healthier people
.........and less harm to the environment "
The Steering Committee of Bicicletas Cruzando Fronteras extend their thanks to the Partnership Branch of CIDAfor their financial support.
Please visit www.acdi-cida.gc.ca and explore what CIDA is all about.
Some images of BCB in Old Havana, Cuba
Please check our slides and Picutre Story as well!
This project is conceived, planned and executed by people with extensive real
life experiences in underdeveloped communities. It is being operated by volunteers
with a passion about the environment and environmental justice. Our goal is
to divert the bicycles ending up into the waste stream and to recycle and redirect
them to for reuse both in Toronto and internationally. We strive to help 'underprivileged
countries' to set up projects to help cyclists. This would help them to protect
their environment and reduce their own dependency on motorised vehicles which
Our first international project is "Bicycles Crossing Borders Bicicletas Cruzando Fronteras" (BCB-BCF) in Cuba.
Sustainable transportation is of vital importance in Cuba. Transportation in
Cuba has suffered
some impediments both due to financial and political reasons. US embargo against Cuba is the
prime reason. The bicycle has resulted as being the main means of transportation for
the folk both in urban and rural areas. However the lack of resources and the smaller
number of bicycles of good quality available to them makes an entire family of three or four
people depend on one bicycle to commute. And many of the youth and students have no
access at all to bicycles.
In Cuba, unlike in many other places in the world, there is a strong interest
from the political,
scientific and administrative circles to promote cycling as a viable and healthy means of
transportation. They have undertaken steps to make it a sustainable project.
BCB's partners in Cuba, the "Office of the Historian of the City of Havana"
(OCHC), under the leadership of the
world renowned historian Sr. Eusebio Leal Spengler have earned international reputation for
their innovative methodology of rejuvenating life in Old Havana. Their projects are so
successful in terms of sustainability, job creation, gender politics etc. that international
institutions are eager to work with them. BCB finds itself in a proud disposition of being
one of the lucky partners to work with them.
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) support our project through financial contributions and generous advise. We are also seeking funding from various other sources in addition to looking for material and other in-kind support.
BCB has received funds from two trade unions and is pursuing applications with others. So far we have received operating funds from Communication, Energy and Paperworkers of Canada (CEP) and United Food and Commercial Workers Canada (UFCW).
BCB has also received financial and material donations from many many individuals and organizations.
BCB would like to thank all the people and organizations for their support, in particular the Urbane Cyclist of Toronto, the Discount Car and Truck Rental of Dundas and Bloor location.
The Office of the Historian have involved local population in the decision
which is a very unusual step even in our societies. They have been
extremely successful in using tourism to support their programs of rebuilding a city, which
was deteriorating rapidly due to lack materials, resulted out of the US embargo. This
Old Havana has retained its place in history as the most important place in the new world,
as it used to be the centre of all Hispanic economic activities during colonialism. This
Historical Centre has been declared by the UN as the "World Heritage Site" for its rich
architecture and a unique geographic position and the service it has provided during the
past 440 years.
The Office of the Historian are training the trades people that they need for
their programs and
absorb all the graduates into their reconstruction program from glass blowers, to stained-glass
experts, carpenters to plumbers, renovation experts etc. and thus are not dependent on outside
sources for expertise. BCB's project fits right within this framework.
Women are a majority in Old Havana. The Office of the Historian recognizes
this and values
their contribution. They have incorporated in their planning all aspects of women'są lives from
job creation, to social services and health services. They also play a vital role in the
administration of their projects.
The Office of the Historian recognizes that in order to preserve the historical
Old Havana, they have to also control environmental degradation. They have recognized six
most important aspects of the infrastructure to protect and maintain the historical value of
their architecture and the health of the people that live there. In order to achieve this they
foresee the following six items implemented:
Cuba lacks the resources to get good quality bicycles and that there are absolutely
no bicycle repair
shops makes it hard for them to achieve these goals. The model of the rejuvenation of
Old Havana is already being followed elsewhere. And if they need to succeed and achieve the
six points above, they have to set up modern bicycle repair shops and make good quality
bicycles accessible to all the people.
BCB needs more funds and donation of bicycles, tools, parts and a lot of support.
BCB secured a warehouse space, to store and sort the bicycles before being shipped.
We need help in transporting them to the nearest port.
We welcome any container shipping company that would donate containers and
..........possibly help us ship them.
We also welcome superstores like Canadian Tire, Zellers etc., to donate us
..........the scratch and dent bicycles.
We are looking for people to get involved to promote this project.
We also need a lot of office equipment.
We would need to translate a lot of bicycle training manuals into Spanish.
We also need help in billeting Cubans, when they will be visiting us.
If this project succeeds, we would like to expand this to some other parts
of Latin America,
especially Guatemala, Belize etc. There have also been inquiries from various organizations
to do similar projects in Africa. But to look elsewhere, we have to first succeed in Cuba.
BCB likes to spread this all across Cuba in three years.
For more information please contact:
BikesXingBorders@netscape.net or bcb@BikesToCuba.org