Quick Facts

  • Officially known as the Republic of Cuba
  • Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492
  • U.S. intervention in the Spanish American War in 1898 assisted the Cubans in overthrowing Spanish rule.
  • The Treaty of Paris established Cuban independence from the U.S. on May 20, 1902
  • Location:  Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.  105 km south of Key West, Florida
  • Area:  42,426 sq. miles, slightly smaller than the state of Pennsylvania
  • Population:  11,075,244 (2012)
  • Capital and major city:  Havana, 2.14 million
  • Climate:  tropical; moderated by trade winds, dry season (Nov.-April); rainy season (May-Oct.)
  • Terrain:  mostly flat to rolling plains, with rugged hills and mountains in the southeast
  • Nationality:  Cubans
  • Ethnic groups:  white 65.1%, mulatto and mestizo 24.8%, black 10.1%
  • Language:  Spanish (official)
  • Religions:  Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant
  • Literacy:  99.8% age 15 and over can read and write
  • Economy:  Labor force…   20% agriculture, 19.4% industry, services 60.6%
  • Current weather conditions –  www.weather.com
  • Tips for Travel in country – www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates –  www.xe.com


Government in Power

  • Cuba is a Communist State
  • Chief of State and Head of Government:  President of the Council of States and President of the Ministers General Raul Castro Ruz – elected by the National Assembly


Healthcare Statistics

  • Life expectancy 77.87 years
  • Health expenditures:  11.8% of GDP
  • Physicians density:  6.399 physicians/1,000 population
  • Hospital bed density:  5.9 beds/1,000 population
  • HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 0.1%
  • Major infectious diseases:  degree of risk – intermediate
  • Food and Waterborne diseases:  bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
  • Vectorborne diseases:  dengue fever
  • Obesity:  11.8%
  • Children under the age of 5 underweight:  3.9%
  • Universal health care
  • Shortages of medical supplies, but no shortages of medical personnel
  • The quality of public healthcare offered to citizens is regarded as the “greatest triumph” of Cuba’s socialist system
  • Infectious disease updates:  http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

Images From the Field

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Area Agencies

Field Stories

Health education in the field This is a very important topic that I believe is often overlooked on many mission trips! While it’s wonderful to go spend a week doing clinic work, the reality of these mission trips is that it’s a short-term mission trip, and when the week or so is over, clinic ends! […]


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