Ana Mercedes García Rodríguez was part of a large group of teachers who left behind their city´s comfortable conditions to go to the Cuban countryside to eradicate illiteracy in the nation in 1961 which was an event of great human value.
The event from the local Revolution square was present in her memories, as well as the cold and the wind from that December 22nd in 1961, and the revolutionary turmoil of the local happy youth that was ready to carry out another task for the benefit of the then new Cuban Revolution.
Something really special in the middle of that event was precisely to have seen, from a near angle, the heroic guerilla fighter Ernesto Che Guevara, among those teachers.
"It was something really thrilling given he was greeting all of us gladly, along with the pride that we were felling about fulfilling the commitment we had made with the historical leader of the Revolution Fidel Castro in terms of eliminating the illiteracy from Cuba in a year only." Ana Mercedes García commented.
"It was a great encouragement in my live as a revolutionary and I always strove to honor his personal example." García Rodríguez recalled.
She is still moved due to the trust shown by the Cuban Revolution in the then youngest people while giving to them the important educational task.
In her case, she was sent to teach in a far-off neighborhood from the local Palma Soriano municipality in Santiago de Cuba province. Moreover, she does not forget the responsibility shown by the thousands of teachers who taught in the most far-off places.
Her sister was studying the last year from the then local Normal school where she was studying to be a teacher, and in her case, she was studying at the Josué País High school from the Eastern territory and then their mother insisted on accompanying them which was of great help as their mother used to help them in both the countryside and their house, apart from giving them some advice in matters that they did not know due to their early ages.
"I could teach for five people: married couples whose names I remember were Jorge and Margarita and two other ones and an old man who showed a keen interest about learning. He was from Haiti."
That campaign was so importance that it is still regarded as a valid one. So an educational revolution began in the nation and continues to date in search for the pedagogic excellence. Moreover, it spread beyond the Cuban borders through the Cuban Literacy Method entitled ´Yo si puedo´ which was inspired on it, along with a result of more than eight million people who know how to read and write in over thirty nations that have a new way of life at present.
The nation has more than a million of professionals and many of them studied in universities since the local popular educational movement began through the National Literacy Campaign.
"After finishing that task, I continued my then five-year High school studies and I could then register to study a degree in economics." She said.
At present, she is the supervisor of the technical assistance department from the Etecsa Main office in the Cuban capital.
Translated by: JC Caballero / Takem from radiorebelde.cu