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INSIDE A CUBAN SCHOOL

A road trip around Cuba can be a unique experience but also one of the best ways to get to understand a bit more this peculiar country.  

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While trying to discover any untouched corners or secret places that I could capture with my camera, I ended up passing by a local primary school.   

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Spending even a few minutes in a Cuban school seemed a great idea however I knew it could be too intrusive. I had already started walking away when, lucky me, a young teacher, in her broken English, invited me to have a look inside.  The students were on lunch break so I thought why not! 

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After all, getting to see what the younger generation is being taught could help me understand the mystery around Cuba and what the future of this country could look like.

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Cuban schools might not be equipped with the latest technology -that didn't surprise me- but they are definitely dominated by childish innocent vibes, which I haven't seen recently westernized countries. The lack of technology somehow has given space to real childhood! No iPads, tablets, computers or mobiles. Real books, chalkboards and children’s paintings are all over the place.

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Che Guevara's face is also all over the place. There was no classroom without his image so undeniably he is still one of Cuba's biggest heroes - yes in Cuba they still believe in heroes! Even in the back yard, where kids spend most of their time playing, the signs of their ‘national heroes’ are pretty obvious in one way or another.

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Someone could argue that the place is run down. Someone else could claim that children are not being offered all the amenities or all the latest technological developments. After spending some time in that school, what I would say is that this simplicity or ‘lack of progress’ -as someone would call it- is still the most precious part of childhood and Cubans have managed to preserve it!

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