NY-NJ Welcoming Program for Griseld Aguilera Cabrera
Meet Griselda Aguilera Cabrera, the youngest volunteer in the Cuban Revolution’s 1961 literacy campaign. Some 250,000 volunteers, half of them teenagers and majority female, went to rural and working-class areas and taught a million Cubans how to read and write. The photo above is of a Havana rally of literacy teachers celebrating the campaign’s victory in Dec. 1961.
Now retired from her career as an educator, Griselda works with the Cuban Psychology Society’s Working Group on Identity and Diversity, in activities to combat homophobia, racial discrimination, prejudice against people with HIV/AIDS, and violence against women and girls.
Griselda Aguilera Cabrera will be speaking in the following areas:
Hartford, Boston, Albany, New York-New Jersey, DC-Baltimore, Knoxville
Griselda Aguilera Cabrera ~ Brief Biography
I was born on October 8, 1953 in the province of Holguín, in a humble family. We had to move to Havana out of economic necessity in search of job opportunities for my father. At three years of age, given my insistence, they started me studying with a private tutor who was teaching my sister. Within a few months, I was starting to read and write and learning my numbers. My learning continued to the point that I was skipped first grade in Primary School.
When the Literacy Campaign began in 1961, my parents joined up as Popular Literacy volunteers and since regular schools closed for one year, I had to go with them each day to the place where the literacy classes were taught at the Plaza de Cuatro Caminos. Feeling that despite my age I could give my contribution to this task (in which all the people were engaged with enormous enthusiasm), I immediately told them of my desire to join up, and a special Commission was created to evaluate me.
I taught literacy in the same center as my parents to a 58-year-old man named Carlos Perez Isla. He worked as a street cleaner and was totally illiterate. This experience was seared into me with such force that it defined my future. From that moment, I decided to dedicate my life to teaching.
At age 17, already married and with my first son, I decide to start teaching, and in 1978 I graduated as a mathematics teacher. I taught at junior high schools and technical schools, to both teenagers and adults. With great sadness, after some years and at the suggestion of my doctors (because of having damaged my vocal cords), I had to leave
I went on to become an adult educator in a construction company, working for more than 20 years as head of the training department, giving lectures on issues such as economic and cultural aspects of management techniques, environmental protection, health and safety issues at the workplace, etc. I managed to continue educating myself through courses and seminars to impart them and thus, nevertheless, always keep in the educational activity. With the workers, I also developed and coordinated the battles for 6th and 9th grades.
I am now retired, but belong to the Cuban Society of Psychology’s Working Group on Identity and Diversity, participating in workshops and activities about combating homophobia, racial discrimination, prejudices against people with HIV / AIDS, and violence against women and girls. I believe I have been able to devote myself to my life’s true purpose: teaching.
African Awareness Association, Albany Cuba Solidarity, Boston July 26 Coalition, Chicago Cuba Coalition, Greater Hartford Coalition on Cuba, Highlander Center, IFCO/Pastors for Peace, The Literacy Project, DC Metro Coalition in Solidarity with the Cuban Revolution, National Network on Cuba, New York-New Jersey Cuba Si Coalition, People’s Organization for Progress, Universal Zulu Nation, US-Cuba Normalization.
For more information call (917) 887-8710