Salt Spring Islanders collect for Caravan to Cuba ‘friendshipment’

August 8, 2014

I do not have an actual bucket list. When I decide to do something, of the bucket list variety, it usually happens. I visualize it, do second degree reiki around it (sort of like putting white light/energy around something that you visualize and then it happens. It may take years to happen, a few hours or can be almost immediate. The Universe (God/Mother Goddess, all the angels and spirit guides) has to agree with it, of course, and usually they do. I am on good terms with all of them. They love me, I know.

When something makes my emotions my emotions soar then I know I MUST make it happen. This was how I felt when I saw a film about the Caravan to Cuba at the popular Salt Spring Film Festival, which features many social change movies.

That the United States has had a trade embargo against Cuba since the 1960’s during the Cold War years against Russia is one of those gigantic absurdities that rates up there with the fact that many U.S. states still have the death penalty and that the U.S. government is always giving weapons of mass destruction to countries around the globe and training people from many of these places in torture techniques.

To go on the Caravan, I knew, was a way to contribute to the Cuban peoples’ isolation struggles and at the same time oppose the U.S. embargo policy against the Caribbean country. For me personally, it was a way to unite my social activist side with my desire to travel like a gypsy as often as possible through this life time.

In what might be referred to as the pioneer days of blogging, I blogged for the first time on the Caravan to Cuba blog during the 2006 Caravan journey.

The following article provides more details about the Caravan to Cuba and how we fund raised in 2006 before I left on one of several buses parked across the border in Washington state from the Peace Arch boarder crossing in B.C.:

Gulf Islands Driftwood
April 19, 2006
Salt Spring Islanders collect for Caravan to Cuba ‘friendshipment’
by Tanya Lester

Salt Spring Island will be represented when Albertans and British Columbians get on the Caravan to Cuba at the Peace Arch border crossing south of Surrey this year.

Scheduled to leave simultaneously from several Canadian-U.S. crossings on Sunday, June 18, the Caravan will consist of brightly decorated buses and cars filled with Canadians and goods for Cubans.

Local fledgling Caravan to Cuba group members were inspired to form after watching two showing of Bloqueo, which profiles the Caravan, earlier this year.

Each Saturday until the June 18 departure, Caravan to Cuba volunteers will be asking Saturday Market goers to contribute.

At a table they are distributing brochure lists of items needed by Cubans. Supporters have come forward with car mechanic tools, an overhead projector, a VCR, a drum and bicycles, proving the diversity of need after more than four decades of the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba.

Supporters are also being requested to go to the Peace Arch for 12 noon on June 18.

Although it is legal for Canadians to take goods to Cuba, U.S. border officials have made crossings difficult for previous Caravan participants, so “witnesses” are needed.

I hope to go on the Caravan to Cuba and write about it. To this end. I am interested in making presentations to church and social issue groups in exchange for donations to defray my travel costs.

On Sunday, May 21, at 10:30 a.m., I will speak at the Unitarian Fellowship at Fulford Hall.

Pastors for Peace, which practises social justice activism in the Martin Luther King tradition, is organizing the Caravan “friendshipment” for the 17th year.

Several Caravan branches will wind through the United States with each branch picking up Americans and more aid along the way.

In McAllen, Texas the branches will converge and cross the border into Mexico.

The goods, which often include donated cars and buses, will be loaded on a ship headed for Cuba.

Some participants will fly on to Cuba where they will be given a tour of organic farms and meet Cubans in their home environments…

To read the earliest posts on this blog, go to
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Confessions of a Tea Leaf Readerby Tanya Lester can be bought from the author or you can read the first few pages and purchase it by going to the title and author name at


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