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Community | Latin Excellence – Cuba Skate DC

Participants rebuilding a skate park from @cubaskate instagram
Participants rebuilding a skate park from @cubaskate instagram

In #Latinexcellence this week we highlight Cuba Skate DC. Cuba Skate DC was founded in 2010 with the mission to grow the skate community in Cuba into a self sustaining entity and to promote a constructive environment for Cuban youth and their communities. Cuba Skate DC brings skateboarding equipment to the island along with renovating current skate parks.

The Cuba Skate DC#Latinexcellence starting off highlighting Cuba Skate DC. A local DC organization focused on the growth of the Cuban skate community Click To Tweet Organization

Miles Jackson and Lauren Bradley founded Cuba Skate DC after studying abroad in Cuba as students at the University of Michigan. While in Havana, they became friends with Cuban skateboarders. Their friend group grew closer, becoming more like family.

Cuba’s skateboarding community is small and young with most participants in the group of around 200 being in their twenties. Skaters usually make their way through boards and shoes in the span of a few months. Cuban skaters have fewer resources and opportunities to buy new gear which is where Cuba Skate comes in. There are also fewer skate parks on the island and very few people concerned with their upkeep. This is the void Cuba Skate DC aims to fill. They bring over skateboards and other equipment and help keep the parks in good condition.

Hobbies and sports bridge cultural gaps easily. Encouraging youth to focus on a hobby and giving them a community to be a part of helps them to stay on track and channel their energy into healthy activities. Cuba Skate DC does this for their Cuban partners but also their American volunteers. Cuba Skate is an example of Latin excellence for the service they provide to both their American and Cuban participants. They have found a way to help Cubans help themselves to create an independent self-sustaining skate community in Cuba.

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