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CUBA BACK TO SCHOOL 2018



CUBA BACK TO SCHOOL 2018

All Cuban schools, from elementary to university level began the new school year yesterday, September 3, 2018, with over ten-thousand schools and almost two-million students across the island.

A new school year in Cuba consists of the same things as everywhere else, joy, enthusiasm, worries about new things, and lots of supplies, but in Cuba the supplies are THE big problem. Buying school supplies in Cuba, just like acquiring many other goods here, is a headache because the average monthly salary is approximately $25. The new school year is a time of sadness and frustration for many parents, when obtaining anything from a backpack to a notebook can be next to impossible for them. Visit one of Cuba’s stores, any one because they are all owned by the government and pretty much the same, with rude clerks, ugly displays, and if you get lucky there will be something on the shelves worth buying. Once inside you’ll see genuine battles, where gladiators and lions struggle against each other and their wallets so they can get their children the necessities for the new school year.

In Cuba today, the difference between the haves and have-nots is quite marked and is especially obvious when the new school year starts. I think it has always been like this to some extent, but during my school days we didn’t see the kids that were better-off because they went to special schools and didn’t mix with the rest of the population.

Most kids look forward to showing up on their first day of school with a new pair of sneakers and a cool back-pack full of all their school supplies. Therefore, Cuban parents make the superhuman effort of dealing with never-ending lines for the mandatory school uniforms, enduring Cuba’s infernal summer heat, all for their daughters and sons.

This past Monday, September 3, 2018 the streets of Havana were the runway for the “first day of school” fashion show, with students wearing their new clothes and uniforms, which consist of scarves, patriotic and communist emblems depending on the students age, and excitement on their faces.

By DARR


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