Remembrances are among the most important treasures we keep all along our lives. They make us evocate decisive moments. Without them, what would we be?
And in 40 years many of these moments become part of the list. Feelings, places, people. Times of joy, times of sadness. Love, disappointment. Challenges, goals fulfilled.
All that and even more has witnessed the Vocational Institute of Exact Sciences, one of the oldest educative centers of our province. During its 40 years of existence, it has become a second home for a lot of people. Each one remembers that center with tenderness and the nostalgia for the best time of their lives.
At the age of 56, professor Reinaldo Medina Ramos recalls how significant it was for him to read the key address in the inauguration of the school. “To me it was a great honor and at the same time a big responsibility to receive Fidel that day and tour the institution with him for about two hours. He talked a lot, asked about the school, the characteristics of the students.
“It was really difficult for me to get prepared for that encounter and share with the Commander in Chief, but I assumed it with a lot of pleasure. I remember that when I finished my intervention, he called me and said: “Congratulations, I want to give you a hug. It was an honor and a satisfaction”.
And although student Ana Lina Concepcion Martinez was not even born at that time, she feels immense love for the center that has trained so many professionals. “It is a tremendous emotion because my parents studied here and I am proud of being in that same school. It is a privilege.
To Onexy Quintana Martinez 19 years have passed since she studied there. “It was a door through which I entered the world of the personal and professional self-improvement. There were three intense years. I remember that I studied like crazy.
“We had teachers of top category; it was a pleasure to have so capable people in front of us. During that time I learned things that stayed in me forever”.
Miguel Varela González just finished 12th grade and feels the institution as his second home. “I’m glad when someone asks me where I studied, I always answered proudly that it was in the vocational school, and that is because of several reasons: because the best in the province study there, I made a lot of good friends and also because it was founded by our Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, whose ideas endure today more tan ever. As student, it has been the best that has happened to me”.
When founding member Idia Rosa Martinez Santos speaks about the Vocational School, she can’t help her emotion. At her 70s she still teaches music there and feels the center as her entire life. “I can even say that this is my home. I see my grandchildren in the students and my family in the staff. I like to do everything in my power to make their dreams come true.
“I see them graduate and return as professionals, it is really rejoicing because I feel that the future is guaranteed.
José Iván Fuentes Fiallo studied there for six years and after 29 years he feels part of that place that will always be his school.
I owe my personality and the way to face life to the school, to the interaction with all my friends and the way the teachers educated us. Today I imagine how the lessons of Zeida Pérez (English), Julio Cruz (Mathematics), Jose Inés Martinez (Biology) or Julio Izaguirre (Physics and Astronomy) would have bee with all the new technologies. Some of them are not among us anymore, but they lived for their vocation to teach.
All of those who had the opportunity to be part of the Vocational School, we are all members of a big brotherhood, even compared to masons. To identify ourselves as members of that sort of partnership opens a lot of doors, and we have incredibly strong ties. The friends we made and the people we have become will endure for the rest of our lives”.
About the Author
Licenciada en Periodismo en la Universidad Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca de Pinar del Río, Cuba