The Sandwatch 2014 Photo Competition "A Snapshot in Time - Beaches Past and Present" recieved nine (9) entries from Cuba
1. Sierra del Mar Beach
Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world and is the main contributor to global economic development. The Caribbean was second in the world for the fastest growing tourism during the eighties and early nineties of the last century; but today occupies the first place.
El turismo es una de las mayores industrias del mundo y resulta el sector que más contribuye al desarrollo económico global. El Caribe fue la segunda región del planeta con más rápido crecimiento del turismo durante la década de los ochenta y principios de los años noventa del pasado siglo; pero en la actualidad ya ocupa el primer lugar.
In the beautiful city of Mar, as in the songs by one of the greatest exponents of Cuban music Beny Moré, The King of Rhythm, there are countless beaches offering the bather a unique opportunity to indulge in a healthy way. In this paper we will refer to one of them: "La Laguna del Cura" which can be accessed at 16th Avenue cast Punta Gorda in Cienfuegos Province, Cuba.
En la linda Ciudad del Mar, como solía llamarla en sus canciones unos de los más grandes exponentes de la música cubana Beny Moré, El Bárbaro del Ritmo, existen innumerables playas que ofrecen al bañista una oportunidad única de recrearse de manera sana. En este trabajo haremos referencia a una de ellas: “La Laguna del Cura” y que usted, si lo desea, puede visitar en la avenida 16 del reparto Punta Gorda en la provincia Cienfuegos, Cuba.
Baracoa municipality is not exempt from the impacts of climate change, while recognizing that the acceleration of those impacts falls on the shoulders of men, women and children. These effects are seen clearly in places like the Playa Caribe.
El municipio Baracoa no está exento de los impactos generados por el cambio climático, aunque hay que reconocer que la aceleración de los referidos impactos recae en los hombros de hombres, mujeres y niños. Estos efectos se observan con claridad en lugares como la playa Caribe.
Guanabo beach is located east of Havana. The town was founded in 1803 and inhabited by some fishermen. There were varied endemic plants and animals. According to historical data from the early nineteenth century, and in the currently urbanized area of the Playas del Este estuary system, there were coastal lagoons, mangrove forests, a lovely beach, with high dunes, reefs and grasses covering approximately 2000 hectares and a length of almost 10 kilometers.
Al Este de la Habana se encuentra ubicada la playa de Guanabo, población fundada en 1803 donde habitaban algunos pescadores y existían animales y variadas plantas endémicas del lugar.
Según datos históricos de los primeros años del siglo XIX existían en la zona costera, actualmente urbanizada de las Playas del Este un sistema de estuario compuesto por lagunas costeras, bosques de manglares, encantadoras playa, con elevadas dunas, pastos sumergidos, arrecifes en una superficie aproximada de 2000 hectáreas y una longitud de casi 10 kilómetros.
La Boca beach is a canton in the province of Sancti Spiritus in Cuba. It is located southeast of the city of Trinidad, 378 km from the capital Havana, 78km in the province of Sancti Spiritus and 8 km from the city of Trinidad.
La playa La Boca es un cantón de la provincia Sancti Spìritus en Cuba. Está situada al sureste de la ciudad de Trinidad, a 378 Km. de la capital del país La Habana, 78Km. de la provincia de Sancti Spìritus y a 8 Km. de la ciudad de Trinidad.
The sand on this beach was formed on the seabed and consists of the remains of marine organisms with carbonate shells such as calcareous algae, molluscs and foraminifera. Although there were few buildings on the beach itself, a casuarina forest existed for more than 20 years. These trees are considered an exotic species in our country, and have a dense tangled root system favoring beach erosion during storms, and also preventing the formation of coastal dunes
La arena de esta playa se formó en el fondo del mar y por eso está compuesta por restos de algas calcáreas, moluscos y foraminíferos que son organismos marinos con conchas carbonatadas. Aunque existieron pocas construcciones en la playa sí fue una característica notable la existencia durante más de 20 años de un bosque de casuarina. Estos árboles además de pertenecer a una especie considerada exótica en nuestro país tienen unas raíces enmarañadas y densas que favorecían la erosión de la playa durante las tormentas, y también impedía la formación de las dunas costeras.
There are places in the city Santiago de Cuba that despite having a rich history are unknown to the vast majority of the population; one of these cases is the beach La Estrella, which is hidden just down a path that arises in the road leading to the Fort La Estrella built in 1664, which was declared a National Monument in 1979 and 1997 Area Protection Historic Site Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, Cultural Heritage. It mean the presence of the ruins of the forts that guarded the entrance to the bay.
Hay lugares de la ciudad Santiago de Cuba que a pesar de poseer una rica historia son desconocidos por la inmensa mayoría de la población; uno de estos casos es la playa La Estrella, que se encuentra escondida con solo bajar un sendero que surge en el camino que lleva a la Fortaleza La Estrella construida en 1664, la cual fue declarada Monumento Nacional en 1979 y en 1997 zona de Protección del Sitio Histórico Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, Patrimonio Cultural de la Humanidad. Vale significar la presencia de las ruinas de los fortines que protegían la entrada de la bahía.
The People's Council Isabela de Sagua is characterized as a coastal area that has, at the discretion of its inhabitants three beach areas for bathing including: The house (108 m). In summer time, the bather load exceeds the total population, since they receive the influx of people of Sagua la Grande.
El Consejo Popular Isabela de Sagua se caracteriza por ser una zona costera que posee, según criterio de sus pobladores, tres zonas de playa destinadas al baño entre ellas: La casona (108 m). En tiempo de verano, la cantidad de bañistas supera el total de la población , dado que reciben la afluencia de personas de Sagua la Grande.
Located on the north coast of the island, located in the province of Artemisa, in the municipality Bauta, bordered to the north by the Strait of Laflorida, south to the county seat, east of Havana, west to the town of Caimito. Bounded by the rivers Santa Ana and Baracoa.
Ubicación geográfica: Situada en la costa norte de la isla, ubicada en la provincia de Artemisa, pertenece al municipio Bauta, limita al Norte con el estrecho de laFlorida, al sur con la cabecera del municipio, al Este con La Habana, al oeste con el municipio de Caimito. Delimitada por los ríos Santa Ana y el Baracoa.
July 2014: Cuba attends Sandwatch Database and Climate Change Workshop in The Dominican Republic.
Caribbean Sandwatchers receive workshop onSandwatch database management. Under the auspices of UNESCO, the Sandwatch Foundation and the National Institute for Training and Teaching Training (INAFOCAM), was developed on May 30 in Boca Chica, The Dominican Republic, the "Workshop on the management of Sandwatch Database" which was attended by thirteen teachers from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago and the host country.
Sandwatch database is an innovative tool that will allow teachers and students participating in field activities as Sandwatch recorded data resulting from observations and measurements of chemical and bacteriological beaches involved in the project, contributing to a better management and preservation of information.
They acted as facilitatorsof the workshop Dr. Gillian Camber sand Dr. Dave Gray, both of Sandwatch Foundation, creators of the international database and project coordinators.
It is expectedthat in the months of June and July the participating countries to enter the corresponding practices undertaken in the last school year data.
Note prepared from information provided by theNetwork Coordination of UNESCOAssociated Schools(ASPnet) of Dominican Republic, attached to the Dominican National Commission for UNESCO(CNDU).
Cuba attends Sandwatch Database and Climate Change Workshop in The Dominican Republic
Cuba ASPnet schools commit to continue Sandwatch
Since the start of Sandwatch in 2001, Cuba has participated in the Sandwatch project within the framework of the UNESCO Associated Schools Project network (ASPnet).
The importance of beaches and the need to continually care for them has motivated the different groups involved in Sandwatch since the beginning of the project.
The work became easier when the first version of the Sandwatch manual, Introduccion a Guardarenas, una herramienta educative para el desarollo sustenable, was published in Spanish in 2007. Then when a revised version, Guardarenas: Adaptacion al cambio climatico y educacion para el desarollo sotenible, was published in 2012 this provided further help.
Even though we have been working in Sandwatch and participated in different regional workshops over the years, we have decided that in the next school year, 2013-2014, Cuba will reinvigorate their Sandwatch activities. Planning is underway to have teacher training workshops in October and November 2013, to train teachers in Sandwatch methods so that they are confident to measure changes in the beach environment, such as water quality and erosion.
There will be 3 workshops (in the western, central and eastern regions), involving all the ASPnet schools, 76 schools in total. Even though only 15 of those schools are in provinces which are near to beaches, all the schools will have the opportunity to experience Sandwatch.
This will be part of our contribution to the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.
By Delia Vera Medina, National Coordinator ASPnet, Cuba.
Hola Sandwatchers: You do so many good things but did you imagine that your activities would help put an internet 'surfer' from England in touch with a special school in Cuba? As Sandwatch is an all inclusive programme, the Dora Alonso School in Havana took part in the International Community Sandwatch Competition project in 2004-5. The Dora Alonso School caters for children with autism, and eight students from this school, ranging in age from 8 to 18 years, took part in this competition in a combined entry with students from Centro Vocacional de Arte Dominica del Amo and Secundaria Básica José Antonio Echeverría. Their entry focused on recording the different types of debris and pollution at the beach and ways to involve the community in maintaining a clean and healthy beach. They won a special effort award in the competition.
I was able to read about this project on your website and in your news letter, and I was so impressed that together with my wife, Julyan, we felt that we would like to make a small annual donation to the Dora Alonso School. Through my excellent follow-up contacts with Gillian Cambers in Puerto Rico and Delia Vera Medina in Havana we have been able to give some financial support to the school over the last two years. This year Julyan and I arranged a holiday in Cuba and to our delight we were invited to visit the school. We had a wonderful day meeting with the students and staff, seeing some of the classroom activities, the music and therapy sessions. A colleague we met mentioned that because the autistic children took part in the Sandwatch project, others could clearly see that these children had lots to offer, what a fantastic outcome! This short message is our way of saying ‘thank-you’ to you and them for all that you do!!
There are a large number of environmental problems in the world – many of them have been created by man’s activities. The teachers and students of the Pre-University Institute of Exact Science Ernesto Guevara (IPVCE) in Santa Clara, Cuba have been working now for more than a decade, as part of the Sandwatch programme, to educate coastal communities in Villa Clara to protect their beaches. This work has been based on the Sandwatch project which has helped the students and the communities work together to help people value their beaches within the framework of education for sustainable development.
Sandwatch Sends Laptop Computers to Cuba
Way back in Feb 2009, the winners of The Sandwatch “Coping with climate change: Sandwatch leading the way” video contest were announced.
Almost two dozen entries were submitted from teams all over the world with winners chosen in age categories (primary/high school), as well as for creativity and originality.
$6,000 US in prize money was awarded the best eight (8) entries.
However, two of the winning schools were in Cuba, and we (Sandwatch and UNESCO) had a very difficult time trying to arrange to given them the prize money.
Eventually it was decided that we would use the prize money to purchase two laptop computers for the school and have them delivered, which was successfully done earlier this year.
We are glad to report that the two winning schools have finally received their long belated, but much deserved prizes.
First Prize for Community Groups (All ages and 19 years+) went to The ESBU Camilo Torres Restrepo, Habana, Cuba for their movie, "Aqui las arenas son mas blancas" (Here the sands are white)
Joint 2nd Prize in the Secondary School Category (13-18 years) went to The IPVCE Ernesto Guevara, Santa Clara, Villa Clara, Cuba for their entry, Enfrentar el cambio climatico, tarea de 1er orden (Facing Climate Change : First Order Task)
The Sandwatch project at the IPVCE Ernesto Guevara has continued for a decade now at the Caibarien and Isabela de Sagua beaches, located in the north of the province of Villa Clara. A number of different activities have been conducted, focusing on environmental education and towards environmental planning for the coastal zone. These plans also contain provisions to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change on coastal ecosystems in the coming years.
Students have undertaken surveys of the plants and animals on the beach. The results of these surveys show that although laws exist to protect beaches and sands, these laws are not always fully implemented. Fishing activities in zones bordering the beach are also impacting the marine ecosystem which is already under pressure from the invasive lion fish. The students have communicated the results of their findings to beach users, coastal communities and decision makers and their concrete results are contributing to changes being made in the laws and regulations. The students have also shared their knowledge about invasive species like the lionfish with these groups. A sample survey table is shown below.
However, there is always more work to do. We call upon organisations like UNESCO that promote peace and the rejection of damaging and destructive policies that result in the loss of biodiversity and undermining of environmental stability, to help support the provision of additional garbage bins; more educational programmes for beach users including the supply of materials like posters; and to hold workshops, conferences and debates targeting beach users and coastal communities to take action to protect the beach.
By Daniel Bulgado Benavides, IPVCE Ernesto Guevara
Sandwatch has been active at the IPVCE Ernesto Guevara in Cuba since 2001