We have been working on Havana's only skatepark for almost two years and need additional funds to complete the project!
Pinchando el Parque
El Patinodromo is the only skatepark in Havana. In a city of two million people there is an emerging contingent of skateboarders. These skaters need a safe and healthy environment to pursue their passion, however, the skatepark remains in great disrepair. We are seeking funds to complete ongoing renovations of the park. Your help will pay for new ramps, stairs, rails and countless other obstacles for skateboarders of all levels to challenge themselves and continue improving.
New York based graffiti artist and muralist, Sofia Maldonado, will be working with us to design the park upon its completion. Sofia is an extremely gifted and talented artist and we are blessed to have her as part of the team. Additionally, Burlington College’s Woodworking Program will help lead the efforts on the wood portions of the park.
Members of Cuba Skate will be joined by volunteers and work diligently with Cuban skaters to complete this project. We will all be working together for a mutual goal, and will be putting in our blood, sweat and tears to construct and design remaining areas of the skatepark.
There are many benefits to skateparks. They provide community value in five significant ways.
1. Social Benefits 2. Health and Developmental Benefits 3. Public Comfort and Safety Benefits 4. Economic Benefits 5. Community Development Benefits*
- A place for kids to express themselves in an individual and athletic manner. Getting kids, particularly at-risk kids, involved in a personal and esteem-building activity like skateboarding helps them build the confidence to do well in other aspects of their lives.
- Providing recreational opportunities to young children helps them develop healthy, active lifestyles, and the growing popularity of skateboarding is encouraging more and more people to go outside and roll. It encourages children to spend time outdoors, tests their endurance, sharpens their senses, and develops their creativity. Youth in low-income areas are particularly prone to health issues related to lack of exercise due to the expense of equipment and travel, or lack of leisure time. For these communities a local skatepark becomes an effective tool that teaches healthy, athletic living at an impressionable age.
- Skateparks, even the more challenging ones, are far safer than kids rolling through busy streets.
- Skateparks provide a place for local youth to practice their tricks. This means that they’re not skating downtown or in areas where they are seen as a nuisance, a menace, or causing damage to structures. In addition to the direct health benefits, research even suggests that skateboarding can help keep teens out of trouble. A 2006 study found that skateboarders are less likely to smoke cigarettes, have sex, and skip school. (“Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Patterns are Associated with Selected Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors,” PEDIATRICS, Vol. 117 No. 4, April 2006)
- When parks are built right—with local skater input and involvement throughout the process—those youth develop a sense of ownership, pride, and community engagement. The very existence of the park is the result of their hard work and interaction with the broader community. They worked with civic and local business leaders, with each other on design elements, and with the community to find a suitable location. These previously disenfranchised skaters, who once ran from the police, find themselves working with the police, the city, and the community as a whole. It’s a transformational process for these young people.
- Skateparks allow the broader community to see the skateboarding youth for what they truly are: Passionate, dedicated athletes that voluntarily seek physical recreation. Most communities with new skateparks are surprised to see how popular and positive the facility is and regret not making it larger.
*The above information can be found on the Tony Hawk Foundation.
Concrete $750 + Sand $500 + Bricks $500 + Rocks $750 + Tools $1000 + Metal $750 + Wood $750 + Spray paints $500 = TOTAL $5,000
Sport has the ability to change the world, the power to inspire, the power to unite in a way little else can. It speaks to the youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is an instrument for peace.
Cuba Skate Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Cuba Skate?
Cuba Skate is a key project within Patinando por la Paz (“Skating for Peace”), a 501c3 nonprofit based in Washington, DC. Started in 2010, Cuba Skate’s aim is to support and grow the Cuban skateboarding community by providing access to equipment and facilities. In doing so, Cuba Skate hopes to foster a constructive environment for Cuban youth that will have a positive impact on the greater community. Skateboarding offers a unique opportunity to engage the next generation as it is already such a profound and passionate part of Cuban culture. Cuba Skate expands the future for these skaters by creating a chance to continue skating year round. To learn more about the story behind Cuba Skate, visit http://www.CubaSkate.com/#!about.
What’s their mission?
The Cuba Skate mission is simple: “To bring skate gear and creative opportunities to the Cuban youth, as well as encouraging skaters and foreigners of all nationalities to visit the island and engage with the Cuban community.”
Who is behind Cuba Skate?
Cuba Skate was started by Miles Jackson and Lauren Bradley—two University of Michigan graduates who participated in a study abroad program in Havana in 2010. In addition to their time in the classroom and touring the country’s provinces, their most influential time was spent with a group of Cuban friends they met. Every day they got to know this group of Cubans on a very personal level, giving them the opportunity to grow as friends and ultimately as an extended family. A key element of their close relationship was a shared passion for skateboarding. This infamous and budding sport—one that miraculously connects youths of all cultures, regardless of their race, gender, or country’s political philosophies—molded Miles and Lauren with their new Cuban friends into an tight unit. From that day on, Miles and Lauren knew their lives would never be the same; they had fallen in love with Cuba and its community of skateboarders and not long after that Cuba Skate was born.
What have they been up to since inception?
Cuba Skate has continued fundraising, further developing their website and social media outreach (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), and recently produced a magazine which documents our successes in recent years, entitled Cuba Skate: The Beginning. After collecting 15 skateboards from Launch Board Shop, Sector 9, and Bustin Boards, as well as 25 pairs of shoes from Vans along with other contributions from companies such as the Sheckler Foundation, they recently returned to Havana for 10 days in January of 2012 to continue the renovation efforts on el Patinodromo, the skatepark in Havana. The Cuba Skate team is currently organizing several fundraising events, including a Skatepark Fundraiser at Busboys and Poets, a Pinta la Patineta (“Painting Skateboards”) event, a photography exhibit, as well as a Kick Starter project and the debut of their first documentary, Pasan los Tiempos Buenos (“Let the Good Times Roll”), later in the summer of 2012.
What impact have they made so far?
To date, Cuba Skate’s impact has been gradual but far reaching. They have successfully raised over $5,000 which has been used to further Cuba Skate programming in Washington, DC, to purchase some of the 50 skateboards and 50 pairs of shoes that have been donated to Cuban skaters, and to begin step one of a multiyear initiative to complete renovations on Havana’s skatepark, El Patinodromo. Cuba Skate has seen the number of skaters in Cuba grow infinitely, and from 2010 to 2012 they saw almost one hundred new skaters. Young skaters have matured while experienced skaters are reaching professional levels. Moreover, these young skaters have become instrumental in positively supporting their local community through helping build the skatepark and their overall involvement in promoting sport. Beyond that, Cuba Skate has been recognized across the world for its contributions to the Cuban community and has been featured in the Kick Starter blog and Yahoo! Sports.
Who do they currently partner with?
Cuba Skate has partnered with Launch Board Shop, the Sheckler Foundation, Sector 9 Skateboards, the Latin America Working Group, Burlington College, Vans Shoe/Skate Company, the Latin American Youth Center, Wilson High School, the Do Something Foundation, Southeast White House, and Kick Starter.
How can I or my organization get involved and show our support?
There are many ways you can get involved depending on your commitment level and time availability. Artists are welcome to help with skateboard and t-shirt designs, community organizations can partner with us for charity events or grant programs, and local press can help promote our cause by spreading the word to their audiences. Additionally, anybody or organization is welcome to donate to Cuba Skate via their Pay Pal account available by visiting http://www.CubaSkate.com/#!shop.
How can I learn more?
For more information on Cuba Skate, e-mail Miles and Lauren at CubaSkate@gmail.com. You can also find them online by visiting www.CubaSkate.com, or via their Facebook page and Twitter account (@CubaSkate).
pledged of $5,000 goal
Funding Canceled Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on September 25, 2012.
Aug 2, 2012 - Oct 1, 2012 (60 days)
Pledge $1 or more
A shout out on all of our social media pagesEstimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $10 or more
Cuba Skate poster + ALL OF THE ABOVEEstimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $25 or more
Cuba Skate booklet, "The Beginning" + ALL OF THE ABOVEEstimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $100 or more
Cuba Skate skateboard deck + ALL OF THE ABOVEEstimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $250 or more
Hand painted skate deck of your choice + ALL OF THE ABOVEEstimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $500 or more
Dedication at the Havana skatepark upon completion of renovations + ALL OF THE ABOVEEstimated delivery: Dec 2012