About This Project

Translating Cuba is a compilation of translations of Cuban bloggers, independent journalists and human rights activists, primarily writing from the island. The authors included here share a number of characteristics. They:

  • Write from the island of Cuba.*
  • Are independent, that is they are not paid by the Cuban government.
  • Write under their own names.
  • Their articles contain material of wide general interest.

What they don’t share is a single point of view. Our hope is that the voices on this site will mirror the free, open and plural society we all know that Cuba is ultimately destined to be.

*Note: We “grandfather in” writers who began their work in Cuba and subsequently went into exile. These include some of the political prisoners from the Black Spring of 2003 who blogged on “Voices Behind The Bars” while they were in prison, and who continue to write from exile.

Upgrading the site (as of early 2017)

We are reaching (or surpassing) the limits of our site and are intending to expand its capacity as soon as possible. In the meantime, apologies if it doesn’t operate as smoothly as we would all like.

Source of the translations

Some of the translations on this site come from HemosOido.com, a cooperative translation site where volunteers can help with this project. Some bloggers, journalists and human rights activists have dedicated translators who also contribute. Others are pulled from other sites.

How this project came to be

In a spare moment that has not yet presented itself, we will “tell the story(ies)” of Translating Cuba, an all-volunteer project that started in 2008. In the meantime, here are links to a couple of posts that tell at least a part of the story.

Translating Cuba and HemosOido.com: How Did it Happen?

The Making and Translating of Generation Y

Words Without Borders (interview)

Who are “we”?

“We” are the now (updated January 2015) 200+ bloggers, human rights activists and independent journalists on the Island of Cuba and the literally more than 200 translators all over the world who make this project a reality. The site managers are Mary Jo Porter (MJ Porter / or “María” to many of the bloggers), and Karen Heffner Chun. Mary Jo and Karen met (shortly before the triumph of Castro’s Revolution) in Mrs. Parkinson’s 4th grade class at Stanford Elementary School when they were both 8 years old. Mary Jo has written briefly on how the translation project has affected her here. Since that article was written, Mary Jo finally got a chance to meet Yoani Sanchez and Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, in New York City in March 2013, just over 5 years after she traveled to Cuba in 2008. A more recent interview with Mary Jo is on the Words Without Borders site here.

You can return to the 14ymedio English site here