HAVANA, Cuba. – Few dates in a young person’s life are remembered with more nostalgia than the celebration of the fifteenth birthday. The white suit, the waltz, the flowers, the photos, the nerves, the company of the parents and the first youthful love crowd suddenly at the magic moment of the toast.
And if that night happens in an extraordinary place, then emotions reach unimaginable limits. So they lived this Wednesday twenty-two teenagers of Solidarity with Panama Special School who celebrated their fifteenth birthday with a very special guest: Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz.
Some in wheelchairs, others walking, came to the dance floor with their partners. They wore impeccable white and wore the joy drawn on their faces. Meanwhile, through the speaker you heard the name of each one and their parents, their favorite songs, the perfume they use, the food they love, the music they listen to, the Zodiac sign, and the name of their loves, secret until then.
It did not matter any physical or intellectual disability. Like any young Cuban at his age, they also enjoyed their teenagers´ waltz. They were two girls and twenty boys, each one fulfilling their dream that night.
From one side of the hall, Raul took the joy of these young people and their families. You could see his happiness and so he told them at the end of the dance.
“I am very excited,” he confessed. “When I see things like that I admire Fidel more, who in 1989, a very difficult year for our country, founded this school, when we did not know how we were going to subsist. For schools like these we are willing to give everything.”
“I believe this is one of the most beautiful, prettiest and fairest works of the Revolution”, he said to parents, relatives, teachers, workers and guests who gathered that night to make happy the 171 children with physical-motor limitations from all over the country. They are formed and cared for with extreme love.
Then Raul had some photos taken with the honorees; chatted with them, even one told him of his great-grandmother, who was friends with Vilma. He charged the little ones, asked them for their studies and promised them to come back soon.
Before that, the principal of Solidarity with Panama School, Esther la O Ochoa, had thanked Raul for being there, for the joy of its children, to give continuity to Commander Fidel´s work, that on December 31, 1989, when the Cuban family celebrated the end of the year, he was founding the school.
“Since then we have loved it, we have cared for it”, said who, for years, has given herself to realize Fidel’s dream at the school, a place where the Revolution has become love.
Taken from Granma newspaper.