By Maykel Torres La Rosa / Radio Cadena Agramonte.
On her 100 anniversary, Luisa López Montero retains in her memory, with an enviable liveliness, the 1st. January 1959, when, as she herself affirms, "a beacon of light was turned on for the Cubans, who from then on, had the right to live in a better world."
The news that the Revolution had triumphed mobilized the people of Camaguey on the first day of the New Year. “A crowd took to the streets; you had to see that, people were celebrating the victory of the clandestine struggle and the Rebel Army against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Finally freedom in the whole country! ”Born in the town of Becerra, near the old Macareño sugar factory, now known as Haiti, in the municipality of Santa Cruz del Sur, Luisa sadly recalls how before the triumph of Revolution, her family and the community all lived in merciless misery, exploitation, unhealthiness, hunger and the perennial threat of being evicted from their humble dwell.
Since childhood she had to milk cows, weed, sow the land, work as a cook and even as a maid.
Before, another fact had marked her life, but in a completely different way: the 1932 hurricane, which turned the fishing village of Suera into a mixture of wood and death. Luisa recounts the facts with such precision, that she could never look like 100 years old.
“In the house where I worked there was a Newfoundland dog, very docile and attached to its owners; when the sea, driven by the wind, penetrated with waves up to three meters high about 25 kilometers inland, dragged the owner and the house where he worked; but the animal swam after him and saved his life. ”
Fortunately, Luisa and all those who inhabit this archipelago have not seen again such deathly scenarior. Not from hurricane Flora, when about 2,000 people died, because the Revolution has consolidated a Civil Defense System that is recognized throughout the world.
She also recalls the glorious Literacy Campaign that Cuba carried out in 1961. It was a transcendental event that marked a stage of social, political and economic transformations for the benefit of the people; "I eternally thank Fidel that my daughter had the possibility to study and prepare for life."
As the “boyfriend of the Sierra” Luisa defines the Commander in Chief; “He lives in every sunray that illuminates this Island; he made Socialism germinate and facilitated access for the Cuban people to different levels of education for free.
”She herself is an example. With the Revolution she could access education, and became a laboratory assistant at the Soil Institute in Camaguey.
For her contributions to the development of agriculture in the province she was recognized with the status of National Vanguard granted by the Cuban Trade Union, and for her merits, she won a trip to the former Soviet Union, where she visited historical sites linked to the Great Russian Revolution and participated in educational and cultural exchange activities with officials and entities.
"It was a wonderful experience, but when I came back I said to myself: How beautiful my country is, I missed the sun and the people!"
Turning a century of life may sound like a utopia to many, but for Luisa López Montero, who was born on January 8, 1920, it is a fact. The secret is simple: feel useful to society, turn the mud into a miracle with daily work, profess love and have the warm embrace of the family. (Audio and photos by the author)