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Here’s how Miamians can support the people in Cuba

From making monetary donations to buying delicious pastries, here’s how you can help locally.

Virginia Gil
Written by
Virginia Gil

Cuba is in the midst of a major humanitarian crisis. COVID cases are on the rise with numbers continuing to climb following this week’s massive wave of demonstrations: Thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest the Cuban communist regime, which has also exacerbated the spread of the virus. The events taking place on the island are unprecedented, and so is the need for food and medical supplies amid an ongoing national catastrophe.

Locals are rising to the occasion, fundraising donations to recharge people’s cell phones in Cuba (the government blocked the internet in an effort to thwart protestors) as well as collecting food and medicine donations to send to the island. On Wednesday, the Cuban government lifted customs restrictions, allowing travelers to bring in items that could potentially alleviate the worsening conditions. 

For folks looking to support the people in Cuba, we’ve rounded up several local initiatives and fundraising efforts currently accepting donations. We’ll continue to update as more grassroots efforts emerge so watch this space. 

Buy Sequoia’s Cuba Libre buns

The Cuban-American–owned business partnered with Havana Club rum and actor Gabriel Jose Bonilla (who starred in the immersive theater production The Amaro Experience, which tells the story of Cuban exiled rum makers) to raise funds with dessert. All proceeds from the sale of its Cuba Libre bun (brioche bread rolled in brown butter and filled with Havana Club añejo) will be donated to Dianne Garriga’s efforts to recharge cell phones for families in Cuba.

Help Cuba Decide keep their network’s cell phones connected

Cuba Decide is a nonprofit organization working toward a free Cuba. Since the riots, its network of promoters and supporters on the island has played a critical role in collecting information, photos and videos to share across social media and bring awareness to what’s going on. To keep its efforts going, the organization is accepting donations via one of its members’ Venmo accounts. More information, and how to safely donate so that the funds are not intercepted, can be found on the Pan Con Podcast Instagram account below.

Sip on Cuba Libres

Bacardi (which was founded in Cuba) has donated cases of the Real Havana Club Rum to Center For a Free Cuba, an organization that supports dissident organization activities within Cuba, in an attempt to ensure a Cuba libre with Cuba Libres–the iconic rum-and-cola cocktails. Starting July 16 through July 23, local hot spots throughout Miami (such as Café La Trova, Finka Table & Tap and Tobacco Road by Kush) will be selling Cuba Libres with all proceeds going back to the organization. Plus, Bacardi on behalf of Havana Club, will match the earnings with a donation of up to $10,000. All you have to do is go out and drink. ¡Salúd!

Donate to pay for cell phones via Cubanos Pa’lante 

The Miami-based group of Cuban Americans is fundraising across multiple platforms and using the money to pay for cell phones used by their contacts organizing on the ground in Cuba. That way, according to the group’s Instagram, they can keep connecting and working toward a free Cuba.

Get some guava babka for a good cause

Local pastry chef Cristina Fernandez is donating a portion of all sales from her (delicious!) guava and cheese babkas to the organization Cubanos Palante (mentioned above), which is working tirelessly to help Cubans on the island gain access to communication and supplies. Place your orders now at

Donate medicine and medical supplies

Laura Marrero in Miami is collecting supplies to send to Cuba. She has all of the information listed on her Instagram, including the items being accepted. She’s also listed a second drop-off location in Homestead.

Support Periodismo de Barrio

Miami-based publicist and Cuban-American activist JennyLee Molina is collecting funds to help Peridiosimo de Barrio, a group made up of citizen journalists and volunteers in Cuba. Molina will be using the money to recharge the phones of vetted content creators and folks reporting on the ground. Donations can be made via Venmo to $JennyLeeIsMe and Cashapp to $JennyLee43.

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