Cuba Skate is a nonprofit initiative based in Washington, D.C. Started in 2010, Cuba Skate’s aim is to support and grow the Cuban skateboarding community by providing access to skateboarding equipment that is otherwise unavailable on the island. In doing so, Cuba Skate hopes to foster a constructive environment for Cuban youth that will have a positive impact on the greater community. Cuba Skate expands the future for these skaters by creating a chance to continue skateboarding, and developing, year round.
Cuba Skate was started by Miles Jackson, a University of Michigan graduate who participated in a study abroad program in Havana, Cuba. In addition to his time in the classroom and touring the country’s provinces, much of his most influential time was spent with a group of Cuban skate friends. Every day he got to know this group of Cubans on a very personal level, giving him the opportunity to grow as friends and ultimately as an extended family. A key element of this close relationship was a shared passion for skateboarding. This infamous and budding sport—one that connects youths of all cultures, regardless of their race, gender, or politics—molded Miles and these Cuban youths into a tight unit.
The Cuba Skate mission is simple: to bring skate materials to the Cuban youth, renovate local skateparks, and create self-sufficiency for a group of youths that rely tremendously on outside help. Through two-way educational exchanges, we hope to connect Cubans with the international skate community.
El Patinodromo is a local skatepark in Havana where Cuban youths congregate to skate and hangout. Unfortunately, the current condition of the park is in extreme disrepair and only continues to worsen. A mixture of brutal summer heat and severe downpours during the rainy season have created cracks, puddles and weeds throughout the park, while the metal ramps deteriorate daily.
Nonetheless, this park represents a mecca for young skaters, BMXers, and other extreme sports athletes. We are currently meeting with park directors to create a renovation plan that will begin in 2014. Throughout the year, we will be meeting with skatepark specialists and hosting fundraising events to construct a professional level skatepark. Stay tuned for updates!