Cuba: 3ra. ruta ecologica Holguín - Santa Clara

The III Ruta Ecologica (Ecological Tour) between the cities of Santa Clara and Holguín, Cuba, which includes the triathlon activities of swimming, cycling and running in the sport program and lectures on the sustainable habitat and use of ecomaterials in its academic program, will take place February 2-8, 2003.


The program is:
· Sunday 2: Transfer to Holguín
· Monday 3: Holguín-Las Tunas
· Tuesday 4: Las Tunas-Camaguey
· Wednesday 5: Camaguey-Ciego de Avila
· Thursday 6.: Ciego de Avila-Sancti Spiritus
· Friday 7: Sancti Spiritus-Trinidad-Cienfuegos
· Saturday 8: Cienfuegos - Santa Clara (80 km )

Members of the national triathlon team as well as foreign athletes will participate in the event. Professors from the Central University of Las Villas and from the University of Kassel, Germany will deliver interesting lectures of technical content.

The academic activities have been organized in two commissions, architecture and civil engineering, so as to have four presentations each day in the cities along the route. The sport activities include a first stage of swimming in the cities where this is possible, after which the athletes will ride their bicycles to the next city where a short distance race will end the day´s tour. The events are organized so that spectators can enjoy the sporting activities.

The first tour was organized in December 1999, with the aim of disseminating concepts related to the sustainable habitat. Supported by the National College of Architects and Engineers and the Latin American EcoSouth Network, a 7-day tour was organized, linking the cities of Santa Clara and Holguin. A group of triathletes did daily triathlon events of swimming, cycling and running in the morning, as the group moved from one city to another. In the evening, the academic staff lectured about various scientific and technical themes in each of the cities visited

About a year later, a second event was organized, this time departing from Santiago de Cuba in an 8-day tour with stopovers in each of the provincial capitals along the way. Once again sport and academic events were combined with sport activities in the morning and academic activities in the evening. The Latin American EcoSouth Network and UNAICC again supported the event.

The main results of this initiative were closer contacts between the eastern provinces in Cuba and the Central University of Las Villas, mainly with respect to low-cost housing construction programs. An average of 25 persons attended each of the technical presentations, which totalled about 300 people who in one way or another received our information. The sporting events were great attractions in each of the cities visited and brought great joy to the spectators, at the same time as encouraging healthy lifestyles.

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Víctor Martínez
Civil Engineer
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