RSC Cuba

Cultural Orientation Provision

U.S.-bound refugees departing Cuba do not receive formal cultural orientation provided by an organization contracted with the United States Department of State/Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). For about one hour during the week of departure, the Refugee Coordinator and his/her staff discuss with departing refugees the challenges and opportunities that resettling in the United States presents.  Refugees engage in a lively question and answer session during this time that focuses on life in the United States in general, as well as specific information about common destinations. 

The COR Center publication Welcome to the United States: A Guidebook for Refugees is intended to give refugees information about fundamental aspects of life in the United States and includes the following chapters: Pre-Arrival Processing, The Resettlement Agency, Community Services, Housing, Transportation, Employment, Education, Health, Managing your Money, Rights and Responsibilities, and Cultural Adjustment.  A Spanish-language copy of this guidebook is given to all departing refugee cases.

The Welcome Guide is complemented by a COR Center video entitled, Welcome to the United States: Refugee Guide to Resettlement Orientation. Viewers can use the Welcome Video Viewing Worksheets to help them identify and consider the key messages as they watch the video.

Another resource used is "Su nueva vida en los EE.UU" ("Your New Life in the U.S."), a two-hour-long video of interviews with service providers and resettled refugees in Miami, Florida. Using Spanish, speakers address the realities of resettlement in the United States, the rights and responsibilities of a refugee resettled in the U.S., the experiences and challenges they themselves faced upon starting their lives in a new community.