Some days ago, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a very long time. From the clothes he was wearing and the accent he spoke with, I immediately realized he was now living abroad. We sat down together to catch up. We told stories, asked each other questions, laughed.
Cuba’s Association for the Physically Impaired (ACLIFIM) recently held an important congress. According to the association’s leaders, one of the main issues debated on during the gathering was the social integration and quality of life of disabled persons.
The Cuban media often speaks of the architectural barriers that hinder the movement of disabled people around the city and insists on the need to eliminate them as soon as possible. Though the message is aimed at all institutions and society in general, not all barriers around the city are given the same priority – and I speak from experience.
There are people who do not think about aging, that their faculties will begin to decline with the passage of time, that a simple fall can give their lives a 180-degree turn and change it radically. They don’t think about their grandparents, a friend who is ill, a helpless child – anyone can be in need of help at a given moment in time.
Becoming a mother is one of the greatest challenges a woman can take on. Today, faced with endless financial woes, women have to work miracles to give their children what’s best. In Cuba, nearly all baby products are sold in hard currency stores, at prices that are exorbitant for anyone living on a basic salary of 250 Cuban pesos (the equivalent of 10 CUCs).
I have an 11-year old boy who means the world to me. His name is Carlos Adriel and he loves sports. When he was a little kid he liked baseball and wanted to play professionally, but the uniform and equipment are far too expensive (from 110 to 130 usd). Well beyond my more than modest means, to say the least.
Cubans by nature are cheerful and laugh at their own problems. It’s a way to approach life with enthusiasm. In our country there are many comedians, some good and some who try to be. However I had a very embarrassing experience when visiting the Mella Theater.