6 - cultura cubana b
4 - estudios superioresc
3 - musica sacra
Felipe González, Secretario de la Fundación
2 - formacion empresarial3
Investidura de Mons. Juan García, como Cardenal de la Iglesia
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Promotes the personal and professional development of youth, inspired by the work of Cardinal Jaime Ortega.


Dialogue, Studies, Music, Bioethics


Biographical notes on Cardinal Ortega


There are many ways to contribute


Who are we

We are a group of individuals and legal entities that are dedicated to finance and promote the educational work of the Catholic Church, which by inspiration of His Eminence Cardinal Jaime Ortega has been carried out in the Archbishopric of Havana and seeks to develop the education of young Cubans with training opportunities, professional experiences and degrees in humanities, inside and outside Cuba, with Christian inspiration and according to the international context, with respect for religious freedom and philosophical opinion. Although priority is given to young people, the proposal is not limited to them.

Our mission

To provide Cuban youth in particular, but not limited to, a formative environment and cultural and professional exchange for their development in the humanities through institutions belonging to the Archdiocese of San Cristobal de La Habana, in Havana, Cuba. This environment is of Christian inspiration, but respectful of the religious freedom and philosophical inclination of the participants.

Our vision

The institutions sponsored by the Foundation are referents for training in humanities, entrepreneurial skills, as well as cultural exchange and professional experiences from Havana, mainly for young people who feel the need. A training and human development ecosystem is developed to serve people, institutions and societies.


Cuba Emprende

The CubaEmprende project has been in existence for 11 years. Since its foundation, its objective has been to foster the entrepreneurial spirit and support those who wish to start or improve their own business. On the one hand, there are those who, once they have graduated from its training workshops, remain linked to the project, interested in the advice it provides; on the other hand, there are the newcomers who arrive with the dream of becoming prosperous entrepreneurs. CubaEmprende welcomes and inspires all of them under the maxim that it is worth being a facilitator of the development of a person, but also of those who work with them, their families and the environment that surrounds them.

Cathedral Nursery Educational Project - Room: "Sister Victoria Beneitez".

The Cathedral Nursery, “Sister Victoria Beneitez” room, attached to the P. Félix Varela Cultural Center, has its origins in 2015.

It opens the classroom as a space for play and learning aimed at needy children, from the community, with ages ranging from 4 years old.

The classroom works related to the time of the educational system in Cuba that starts from September to June.

Father Felix Varela Cultural Center

It is the realization of the initiative of the Archbishopric of Havana for the promotion of Cuban culture from its Christian matrix and in continuity with the educational work of the Catholic Church that has been carried out for centuries in this same building of the Old and Royal Seminary of San Carlos and San Ambrosio and that in the nineteenth century had as a teacher of Philosophy and Science Father Felix Varela, one of the founders of our Cuban nationality.

Institute of Ecclesiastical Studies P. Félix Varela

Teaching center in Humanities, aimed at lay Catholics and any person of good will seeking professional training in the specialties taught in the degrees of:

  • Baccalaureate in Humanities.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities.
  • Specialties in Philosophy, Economics and Pedagogy.
  • In the future, it aspires to teach the degree of Doctor of Humanities.

Our degrees are endorsed by the Congregation for Catholic Education of the Holy See, recognized according to the Bologna Protocol in the European Higher Education Area.

Entrepreneur training

With the implementation in Cuba of “Self-Employment” and other non-state forms of production, Cubans, who are an enterprising and hard-working people, are applying their knowledge and great capacity for creation to satisfy the demands that arise in their environment in the form of services and consumer products. In this way, new entrepreneurial realities are opening up, developed by people who have taken this path in large numbers in recent years, which at the end of last December exceeded half a million industrial and commercial initiatives, 30% of which have been developed by young people and 34% by women.

John Paul II Institute of Bioethics

Bioethics is part of the ethical structure of human beings and society, which has become particularly important in the 21st century, especially in relation to life and the ways to promote and dignify it.

The John Paul II Institute of Bioethics, with more than 20 years of experience, is an institution open to the whole society for the diffusion of Bioethics for people and institutions interested in this subject, without distinction of religious creed or philosophical opinion.

The Institute cultivates the principles of Autonomy, Plurality, Capillarity, Secularity, and Personalism, at the service of individuals, groups and society as a whole. In this way, its beneficiaries can improve their own personal, professional and social moral practice.

Chair of Sacred Music

Sacred Music is a substantial part of Christian culture and is one of its artistic manifestations that has been linked to the Liturgy since the early days of Christianity. It is for this reason that musical studies are a natural part of Humanistic studies, understood in a broad sense. Therefore, the Chair of Sacred Music is linked to the set of studies of the Father Felix Varela Institute of Ecclesiastical Studies.

The P. Félix Varela Cultural Center Library

The Library of the Centro Cultural P. Félix Varela (CCPFV), was inaugurated on March 9, 2015, and has been open to the public for 8 years.

It is an Academic-Specialized Library, established, maintained and administered by an educational institution, in order to meet the information needs of students and support educational programs, research and other services.

How to collaborate

As you may have had the opportunity to see, the Foundation develops its activity and preserves the headquarters of the former Royal and Pontifical Seminary of San Carlos and San Ambrosio, a magnificent eighteenth century building in Havana.

The Foundation, through the Father Felix Varela Institute, makes it possible to teach Humanities: Social Sciences, Economics and Pedagogy, in the degrees of Bachelor, Licentiate and Doctor.

It also financially supports the Padre Félix Varela Cultural Center, where business training is given to young people who wish to become self-employed, and cultural activities such as exhibitions and meetings are held.

The Chair of Sacred Music is another of the cultural activities supported by the Foundation in the Cultural Center, together with the maintenance of the Museum, the Library and the Audiovisual and Film Collections.

Finally, the St. John Paul II Institute of Bioethics closes, for the time being, the educational and cultural panorama that the Foundation intends to cover with its program of activities.

As you can conclude, in the Cardinal Jaime Ortega Foundation there is room for collaboration, not only financial, of course, but also personal or institutional.

The Cardinal


He was born in Jagüey Grande, Matanzas Province, on October 18, 1936. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science and Letters in 1955 and, after a year of university studies, he entered the St. Albert the Great Diocesan Seminary, run by the Fathers of the Foreign Missions of Quebec, in 1956. After the first four years of studies in humanities and philosophy, he was sent by his bishop to the Foreign Missions Seminary in Montreal, Canada, where he studied theology.

Bishop of Pinar del Río

On December 7, 1978, he was named Bishop of Pinar del Río by His Holiness Pope St. John Paul II. He was consecrated on January 14, 1979, in the Cathedral of Matanzas and on January 21 he took possession of the Diocese.

Here he found a diocese of great Catholic religiosity, with a very committed and participative laity, which he empowered. He also promoted the foundation of religious communities and the realization of diocesan meetings of what today we would call pastoral commissions. Due to the shortage of priests, he himself attended parishes and chapels in the countryside.

Archbishop of Havana

He was promoted in 1981 to the Archdiocese of Havana as Archbishop, and on December 27 he took possession of his new see.
To his work as Archbishop of Havana we owe the creation of several parishes, the constitution of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, the Diocesan Council of the Laity, which brings together the various movements of the Archdiocese, the reconstruction of more than fifty churches and parish houses, the establishment of a Priests’ House, and the establishment of the Archdiocese of Havana.

Cardinal of the Church

He was created a Cardinal by His Holiness Pope John Paul II in the Consistory of November 26, 1994. As part of this service to the Church, he is also Pastor of the community of Aquila and Priscilla in Rome. He was received as Cardinal in the S.M.I. Cathedral of Havana on December 11, 1994.

Con Mons. Dionisio García, Arzobispo de Santiago de Cuba y Presidentente Raúl Castro y Caridad Diego, funcionaria del Partido Comunista, sobre excarcelación de prisioneros políticos. Mayo de 2010. (Foto:

Dialogue man

Dialogue is a fundamental option for the Church in Cuba and especially for its bishops, which has been key in the development of its mission in recent decades. The method has always been the search for common points with diverse interlocutors, in the service to the people of God.

Board of Trustees

  • Honorary President: Cardinal Juan de la Caridad García Rodríguez
  • Executive President: Pbro. Yosvany Carvajal Sureda
  • Secretary: Dr. Felipe González Abad

Lic. P. Yosvany Carvajal Sureda

Born in Havana on September 16, 1975. Diocesan Priest, he is currently Pastor of the San Cristobal de La Habana Cathedral Tabernacle.

He studied Bachelor of Philosophy at the Pontifical University of Mexico, and then Bachelor and Licentiate in Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

He is a professor of Philosophy and Theology at the San Carlos and San Ambrosio Seminary in Havana, and at the Father Felix Varela Institute of Ecclesiastical Studies, of which he is also Director.

He is the President of the Cardinal Jaime Ortega Foundation and Rector of the Father Felix Varela Cultural Center.

Dr. Mario J. Paredes

Currently, he is CEO of Somos Community Care, a medical organization based in New York City.
He is a permanent member of the Board of Directors of the Bible Society of America, where he previously served as president of Catholic Ministry.
He is a former Vice President of the Merrill Lynch financial organization.
Mr. Paredes graduated with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Argentina, and obtained the same degree with a major in Religious Education from Loyola University Chicago, and did graduate studies at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and received a Doctorate in Letters and Humanities from the Catholic University of America.

Prof. Dr. René S. Zamora Marín

Hospital C.Q. Ameijeiras Hospital. Juan Pablo II Institute of Bioethics. Physician since December 1975. Doctor in Medicine. II Degree Specialist in Internal Medicine. II Degree Specialist in Intensive Care Medicine and Medical Emergencies. Consultant Professor of Intensive Care Medicine Hospital Hnos. Ameijeiras.
Founder-Director of the Juan Pablo II Institute of Bioethics. Professor Coordinator of the Chair of Bioethics of the Institute of Ecclesiastical Studies P. Felix Varela. Professor of the Baccalaureate and Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities of said Institute.

Felipe González Abad

Born in Madrid on 03-29-45. Currently Senior Adviser, Amadeus. Company of AMADEUS GLOBAL TRAVEL DISTRIBUTION in Spain and Portugal. Implementation of Amadeus IT Group SA in Cuba. Development and implementation of the Corporate Social Responsibility strategy.
1969: Bachelor of Science in Physics, Specialization in Electronics / Automatics. Faculty of Sciences, Physics Section. Systems Engineer. COMPLUTENSE UNIVERSITY, Madrid.
1996-2006: General Manager of Amadeus Spain – SAVIA Amadeus. AMADEUS GLOBAL TRAVEL DISTRIBUTION company in Spain and Portugal.
1995-96: Marketing Director. IBERIA LÍNEAS AÉREAS DE ESPAÑA, S.A.
1992-95: Director of Intercontinental Routes. IBERIA LÍNEAS AÉREAS DE ESPAÑA, S.A.
1991-92: Director of Coordination of the Management of Investee Companies of the Iberia Group (Aerolíneas Argentinas, Viasa, Ladeco, etc). IBERIA LÍNEAS AÉREAS DE ESPAÑA, S.A.

Felipe González Abad

María-Manuela S. Díez

Georgetown University, Department of Linguistics, Washington, DC.
Department Administrator (1999-2015); Graduate Studies Program Manager (1990-1998). Department of Education, Migrant Education Program, Salem, Oregon. Tutor and counselor for migrant children (1988-1990).
Spanish Catholic Center, Bilingual Secretariat Program, Washington, D.C. Director – Vocational training for Hispanic women (1977-1987). Embassy of Spain, Washington, D.C.
English personal secretary to the ambassador (1975-1977). University of Oregon, Department of Ethnic Studies, Eugene, Oregon. Secretary of the department (1974-1975).

Domingo Sugranyes Bickel

Born in 1945. Spanish nationality, resides in Madrid.Graduate in economic and political sciences from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland).Secretary General of UNIAPAC (International Christian Union of Businessmen and Executives), Brussels, from 1974 to 1981. Since then, he has been involved in the international development of the MAPFRE insurance group, where he served until 2008 as one of the group’s Vice-Presidents, responsible for finance and management control.Trustee of Fundación MAPFRE and director of subsidiaries of MAPFRE SA until the statutory age limit (2015).From 2009 to 2019, president of the Vatican Foundation Centesimus Annus pro Pontifice. Currently, external advisor and director of the seminars on socio-economic ethics of the Paul VI Foundation, Madrid.Member of the Board of Trustees of The Voluntary Solidarity Fund International and president of the VSF Spain branch.Married to Cecilia Foletti Moschini, grandfather of eleven grandchildren.

Jesús Avezuela Cárcel

He has been an active lawyer of the Council of State since 1998. Law Degree from the University of Valencia and Doctorate in Law from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (in collaboration with Georgetown University).Fellowship German Marshall Fund, Washington DC.General Director of the Pablo VI Foundation.Co. Academic of the Royal Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation and author of numerous monographs and articles and speaker at numerous conferences and seminars.

José Ramón Amor Pan

José Ramón Amor Pan (A Coruña 1966) holds a PhD in Moral Theology, a Diploma in Law and a Master’s Degree in Development Cooperation. He is currently the Academic Director of the Pablo VI Foundation and Dean of the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology at the Pontifical University of Salamanca. Member of the Ethics and Deontology Commission of the Official College of Physicians of A Coruña and of the Board of Directors of the Real Institución Benéfico Social Padre Rubinos.

Michael Parmly

Mr. Michael Eleazar PARMLY, a retired U.S. diplomat living with his wife outside Geneva, Switzerland, spent 35 years in a diplomatic career.

After two years in the Peace Corps in Colombia, he returned to the United States to pursue his Master’s degree in International Relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

He followed his undergraduate studies with more than 33 years as a diplomat, serving in Europe, the Middle East and South Asia.He ended his career as the Head of his country’s Representation in Havana, Cuba.During his diplomatic career, he also served as Assistant Secretary for Human Rights and Director for Northern Europe, and four tours of Afghanistan, both Kandahar and Kabul. He has been married for 45 years to Marie-Catherine, née Schutte, with whom he has a daughter and a son.

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