About This Project

Translating Cuba is a compilation of translations from Cuban blogs. The bloggers 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 blogs contain material of wide general interest.
  • Their blogs are updated on a regular basis.

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” bloggers who began their blogs 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 blog from exile.

Upgrading the site (as of early 2013)

We are now in the process of upgrading the site and adding new features.  This work has been underway and we had intended to launch the changes all at once in the near future. However, we recently got “kicked off” our ISP because… WE HAVE TOO MANY READERS!  So, we are making the changes piecemeal: first to please our current ISP so they will let us continue for a few days on the same server; then to move to a new server with more bandwidth; and finally to implement some of the other improvements we’ve been planning.

Source of the translations

Most of the translations on this site come from HemosOido.com, a cooperative translation site currently operating in four languages. Some bloggers, journalists and human rights activists have dedicated translators who also contribute.

Other languages for Translating Cuba

Languages other than English have long been requested and will be part of the final upgrade, assuming we can find a willing site manager for each language.  Our apologies to the readers and translators who have been waiting a long time for this.

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. 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

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.