Dolores Álamo García defines herself as a person who has much love to give, and I do not write so to impress the principal of the Home for Children without Family Shelter (Hogar de Menores sin Amparo Filial) in the Cuban eastern province of Camagüey.
Just talking to her one can notice the great affection she feels for the children and teenagers, for those who are part of her family, as Dolores says.
Back on September 1960 she volunteered to become a teacher, at that time the country needed them imperiously. Dolores Álamo has been working in the Education sector for 46 years so far.
"The Commander in Chief Fidel Castro asked us the youth to take that step and we went to the mountains in the Sierra Maestra to get trained as educators."
"It was my first experience as a teacher, later I joined the Literacy Campaign and since then I’ve been linked to classrooms or I’ve been a head teacher."
- How has been your training as an educator over the last years?
I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Defectology (Abnormal Psychology and Learning Disability), and right now I’m doing the Master degree in Pedagogic Sciences. I am 63 years old and if I am born again, I would want to be a teacher, because I love this profession.
"Besides this is also my life. Children for me are the most important thing. Seeing a little one crying is a very painful thing. On the contrary, if they are happy, I am happy too."
"This is the hardest job I have done in my whole life, but it has also been the prettiest, because I take the place of that mother that for any reason can not be beside that child that is under my custody."
"It is a job for which I have to double my efforts, to be a better me, to try to give them the love and affection they need."
- Have you thought about retirement, haven’t you?
Recently I read in a newspaper how Cuba is aging and in the year 2025 it will have a huge population of elderly people. I think that as far as I am in full possession of my mental faculties I will not go into retirement."
This National Heroine of the Work of the Republic of Cuba says: for me the Home for Children without Family Shelter is the home where my other sons and daughters live, those that the Revolution gave to me to educate them as good men and women.
Dolores emphasizes on the fact that these homes were created by Cuba’s Revolutionary government, in its political will, to pay careful attention to all the minors.
She is also fully aware of the difference existing between the Cuban system and those in other countries where there is a high number of orphanages depending on the good will of some people or institutions, but lacking of a systematic program of attention and development.
And she highlights that in the Home she heads everyone is there for a very justified cause and everyone is treated the same. (By Regla Zulueta/