After her graduation as the best student of the Enrique Soto High School in Guantanamo and having achieved the Dental Care specialty, the principal announced that Arianne Hernández was selected as UJC member to take part in the summer camp, an idea by the youth’s organization to reward countrywide young citizens with an outstanding performance in all sectors of society. The idea was to take them to territories different from those they live in. She and her neighbors should go as far as Santiago de Cuba, a city she has been told about, but she had never visited.
Her feelings alternated between surprise and demureness, but as soon as her arrival at the Floro Regino Pérez pedagogical school, she confessed that her doubts were dispelled.
“Our first surprise was to be lodged in this place, whose architecture I love. I walked around and asked about it. They told me this building dates back to 1916, it’s a National Monument and Frank País studied there.
“What an honor!, to come to Santiago for the first time and to be lodged at this historical center, a comfortable facility with air conditioning and surrounded by history; with the Moncada Barracks around the corner, which I had only seen in textbooks and on TV; the ancient Saturnino Lora Hospital. This experience has made me grow as a person.”
Odelquis Hurtado, Director of the Urban Farm in El Salvador municipality, the main corn producer of the Guantanamo province, “moments like these should be repeated, because they are unforgettable, they are very rich in experience, history is learned in depth, the best of youth is rewarded, whether they are members or not.”
Motivated by July 26th
The celebrations in Sancti Spíritus as venue of the central act on July 26th is multiplied after receiving one hundred youngsters from Ciego de Avila. One of the members of the enthusiastic party Miguel Orlando Montero Pérez recognized that he could live different days here.
“Since our arrival we could see the popular support to the actions for embellishing the city. We even joined the works and the placement of chairs at the Revolution Square.”
Like him, the rest of his fellows enjoyed the recreational options including night clubs and swimming in pools and the beach.
However, the greatest satisfaction was the close contact with different passages and sites of the local history.
The young party was captivated by a tour which includes some sites, among them the house where Serafín Sánchez Valdivia was born, the subsidiary venues in Sancti Spíritus of the José Martí Cultural Society and the Hermanos Saíz Association, the Guayabera House, the Museum on the Fight against Bandits and the Alberto Delgado Monument.
Meanwhile, the tour around Ciego de Ávila by young citizens from Sancti Spíritus took them to the Patria Sugar mill Museum , the city of Moron, the Jardines del Rey tourist destination, the Boquerón mountains and Camilo’s route to Las Villas alongside his rebel army. In addition the visitors went to La Cuba Diverse Crops Enterprise – where they carried out a voluntary work -, the Fruit Unit of the Ceballos Company and the Ruta Invasora Company, among other places.
Grass-roots Committee Secretary of the Clinical Area Lisbetty Pérez Valdés confessed that she is amazed by the locals’ attachment to their territory, even towards the smallest and daily objects, like a tree. Also the way they speak about history.
“We have sensed that, and something relevant is the way we have approached history: without solemnity but with respect and eagerness for learning. Those visits to the Gallo de Morón and the area visited by Camilo were impressive”, she said.
For his part, Specialist in General Comprehensive Medicine Dariel Suárez Concepción thinks that these summer camps are like a third tenth UJC Congress. All this has been a Necessary Connection; but the most important for me is that we have been closer to the country.”
Familiar Meeting... 12 years later
At his 16 years of age Ernesto Correa Izquierdo is a young student and an inspiration for his classmates at the Mártires de Guajaibón high school. He chairs the FEEM (High School Student Federation) in Bahía Honda municipality and is one of the 60 selected from Artemisa to join the camp in Pinar del Rio, based in the Federico Engels High School on Exact Sciences.
On the welcome day, chair of the Marti Youth Movement in the territory Ludey Liudys delivered a speech for them, while she was speaking Ernesto recognized some familiar traits in her which brought him back to his childhood. Ludey is his aunt they had not seen each other for 12 years.
He touched her on her shoulder and when she turned around, she immediately recognized her nephew, he is now in his teens. They expressed their joy with an embrace.
“In front of others he calls me profe , Ludey said, some other times he calls me aunt. We did not grow distant, I have always kept in touch with my sister, but on the phone, and in our last meeting he was under school age. Fortunately he had seen me in photos, because I did not know he was coming, and he did not know about my presence in the organization of the camp. This has been a tremendous joy”, the young woman said.
Ernesto has no words to praise the good attentions received in Pinar del Rio and thanks the opportunity to get familiar with another territory and meet with part of his relatives, but to make new friends, reinforce the study of history and foster values.
From Camagüey to Las Tunas... and viceversa
Wendy Seijo Avello, 20, from Camagüey, has just concluded her third year of medicine studies at the subsidiary of that specialty in Nuevitas, her municipality of origin. There, she chairs the University Student Federation.
“Unlike some of my comrades, I had been in Las Tunas before, albeit for a short period, she said. I remember once when we went to Guantánamo to take part in a student event. We decided to stop here for a few minutes and I fell in love with the city. Now I have been able to confirm that impression, because the stay has been longer.”
As Wendy retold, the tour around this territory and the meeting with its leaders, put her in touch with a history she barely knew. She talked about the attachment to cultural traditions by the locals. Also the love for their heroes, some of them participants in the most important Cuban events of the 19th and 20th centuries.
“The economic field is also commendable, especially the programs geared to increase food production. I was astonished when I learned that the furniture in some of the Cuban hotels are made here by the Ludema enterprise. And that the wind farm planned for the northern part of the province will be the largest in the country.”
As a young person with origins in Nuevitas, Wendy lavishes praise for the beaches of the Puerto Padre coastline. She also carried the memories of her tour around the Monte Cabaniguán protected area, in Jobabo municipality. Here the largest natural acutus crocodiles farm of Latin America is located, it is also home to endemic birds of Cuba. “the tour in boat around the mangrove swamp was fabulous and I will never forget it.”
Wendy considered that this first edition of the summer camps sets an important referent. “It was a smash success, and not only in organization and hospitality.”
While Wendy see the sights of Las Tunas, a student from that province visits Camagüey. That’s Arianne de la Cruz Batista, a 16 year-old student. She had been afraid of the caves’ darkness since childhood and now she made her way into a cave in Camagüey, as part of the summer camp program.“The worst was not to go down the cave, but to exit from it through a narrow hole in the land, which made me shiver; but what I experienced made it all worthwhile “, she stressed, while reviving the passages of an unusual trip.