Members of the University of Miami’s Federación de Estudiantes Cubanos (FEC) held the annual Conga for a Cause event on the University Center Patio on Wednesday afternoon. The event raised money for Connect Cuba, a project by the Foundation for Human Rights to connect people in Cuba by establishing a wireless Internet connection.
Participants paid a flat rate of $5 for a T-Shirt and a Cuban food buffet. Students played dominos, a popular table game in Cuba and among Cuban students in FEC. Others lined up to try their arm at the dunk tank. Members of FEC hoped that Conga for a Cause would raise both money and awareness for the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba.
Vice president and junior psychology and sociology major Sarah Betancourt expanded on the organization’s involvement with the Foundation for Human Rights and the Connect Cuba project.
“Conga for a Cause is our annual charity event that we hold in the Fall. The past years we’ve raised money for the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba and one of their campaigns is called Connect Cuba,” she said. “They’re trying to get Wi-Fi and internet over to Cuba so they can communicate and not be as isolated as they are currently.”
According to the World Bank, Cuba is currently the country with the least broadband internet in the Western Hemisphere.
Jose Mota-Lebron, a general body member of FEC and freshman economics major, attended the event for the first time.
“I had a good time with everyone at FEC. They had a lot of good food and music, I watched them play dominos and we just hung out. It was a good time and the money is going towards a cool cause,” he said.
Last year’s Conga for a Cause event raised more than $700 to benefit the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba. FEC hoped to surpass last year’s record.
FEC works to increase campus awareness of many aspects of Cuban culture for Cubans and non-Cubans alike. The Week of Cuban Culture, the organization’s largest event, will be held in the spring and include a new event to further educate students on Cuban traditions and culture.
“Our largest event is the Week of Cuban Culture that is coming in the Spring, the first week of March. There are a bunch of awesome events, and the opening ceremonies take place in February … This year we will have a new event, our Salsa night, where we will teach everyone how to dance,” Betancourt said.