Fall 2003 - Volume II, Issue
recent years Lesley University has established a cultural and educational
exchange with Cuba. Students, board members, faculty and administrators have
had an opportunity to visit the island and participate in the exchange of ideas
and a common quest for knowledge and understanding. This experience has
encouraged the Cuban focus of this special issue of the Journal of
Pedagogy, Pluralism and Practice. During the last 44 years Cuba has
established itself as a socialist nation. Among its most difficult economic
challenges Cuba has endured 40 years of U.S. Embargo and the more recent
"Periodo Especial" (Special Period), a consequence of the end of socialism in
Europe and the loss of its Eastern European partners. Since 1959 Cuban history
has been witness to the resilience and capacity for survival of the Cuban
people in the island and abroad. Those in Cuba have faced the struggles
involved in the creation of a socialist nation. Those abroad have faced the
challenges of exile and immigration. At a more personal level, all have felt
the consequent ruptures, losses and separations so typical in these political
As guest editor to this special issue on the Cuban
Experience I found a meeting place between my professional life as Associate
Professor at Lesley University and my personal experience as a Cuban living in
the U.S. for 37 years. This issue is unique because all of its contributors,
like myself, are Cuban/Cuban-American scholars and writers who have been
affected in a very personal way by the Cuban experience. Feminists say that the
personal is political and in this issue there is evidence of the very personal
ways in which the political has influenced the lives of Cuban people. The
articles, stories, poem and essays included here tell us part of the Cuban
story and add to our understanding of the complexity and contradictions
embedded in it.
Miren Uriarte's article Holding to Basics and
Investing for Growth: Cuban Education and the Economic Crisis of the
1990's, chronicles the commitment of the Cuban government to education
since the early 60's and relates recent challenges that have led Cuba to open
itself to world economy. Patria? Potestad? written in Spanish by Flora
Gonzalez and Raysa Mederos offers us a historical understanding of their
experience. It tells part of the story of their parallel lives as young Cuban
women who as a consequence of revolution end up in very different places. Flora
Gonzalez is one of the children sent out of Cuba through Operacion Peter Pan
(Operation Peter Pan) in 1962 and Raysa Mederos is a child born and raised
post-revolution and relates the story of some of her experiences at Escuela al
Campo (School in the Countryside). The Cuban Revolution and their adolescent
transition one in the U.S., the other in Cuba, influenced their educational
experience, in very disparate yet similar ways.
The contributions by
Vivan Poey, Nicole T. Clark-Ramirez, Berta Berriz and Dalia Llera speak to
longing and identity. These are common themes encountered in the accounts of
Cubans attempting to make a home abroad while longing for the motherland.
Vivian Poey's performance art piece On Fictional Grounds and Culinary Maps
is accompanied by slides. It features the Cuban sandwich and uses food as
a metaphor for the dynamics of culture, cultural transitions and acculturation.
Nicole Clark-Ramirez' poem Ramirez raises questions of identity. It
celebrates the assertion of her Cubanity through the reclamation of her name.
Berta Berriz's Political Autobiography encompasses the affirmation of
her identity and the integration of that process into her life and work now as
a bilingual third grade teacher. My own piece Caminando por La Habana /Taking a
Stroll in Havana, offered to the reader in English and Spanish, speaks to
longing and encounter as she enters and exits the land of her birth.
of these works are windows into the experience of a people in transition.
Cubans in the island and abroad, in spite of political differences all form
part of una sola casa, ( the same home ). It is a home grounded in a common
history that nourishes us, pains us and unites us. In this issue we offer to
you a glimpse into our home and invite you to join us in the understanding of
our experience.Dalia J. Llera, Ed.D.Guest EditorAssociate ProfessorDivision of Counseling and PsychologyLesley
University May 19, 2003Return to the Journal of
Pedagogy, Pluralism and Practice Main Page
Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism and Practice Main Page
Fall 2003 Issue Main Page
Introduction to Volume II, Issue 3
Miren Uriarte - Holding to Basics and Investing for Growth
Flora Gonzalez and Raysa Mederos -;¿Patria? ¿Potestad?
Vivian Poey - Fictional Grounds and Culinary Maps
Berta Berriz - La Revuelta
Nicole T. Clark-Ramirez - Ramirez - A Poem
Dalia J. Llera - Caminando por La Habana
2004 Spring and Fall
2000 Fall/2001 Spring
The Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism and Practice
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