Radio Cadena Agramonte
Friday, April 23, 2021
Thursday, April 25, 2013

Technical and Occupational School “Francisco Sánchez Betancourt” to the Rescue of the Built Heritage

By Alex López Almaguer / Radio Cadena Agramonte.

The Technical and Occupational School “Francisco Sánchez Betancourt” is carrying out a commendable work in the rescue and preservation of the built heritage of the city of Camagüey, known as the village of Santa Maria del Puerto del Principe, during the Spanish colonial period.

Belonging to the City Historian's Office (OHCC), this school is the second of its kind in Cuba and more than 100 young students have graduated from it.

According to Madelaine Vasallo Conde, assistant principal of this school, the main objective of this educational center is to guarantee a proper training for craftsmen specialized in restoring, who should meet the manpower need existing in this city to restore the valuable parts of its historic center, proclaimed a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 2008.

Young students attend this school, cornerstone of the technical and vocational education in this Cuban province, to receive full-day training courses which last two years.

The subjects in the curriculum are linked to carpentry, masonry, decorative plaster and stucco, gardening, wall painting, archaeology and forge, electricity and plumbing.

In order to achieve a more comprehensive education, other subjects such as Mathematics, History of Cuba, Civic Education and Spanish Language are also taught in this centre.

The educational development of these young people also seeks the promotion of moral values such as the sense of responsibility and discipline.

The academic staff is comprised of seven teachers who teach theoretical and practical issues, among them there are five teachers holding a Master degree and there is a Restoration Master.  

Among the many works these professionals have done it is worth to mention the restoration of wall paintings in the Cultural Diversity Center, the Chapel of Our Lady of Soledad Church, the roof of the 1514 Restaurant and the building that holds the headquarters of the City Attorney.    

The overhaul repair of a large colonial house located in San Fernando Street, a structure that dates back from the 18th century, is considered a project of great relevance.

At present, the students of the Technical and Occupational School “Francisco Sánchez Betancourt“ are involved in the renovation of the large house that holds the lodge of La Gran Orden de La Perseverancia.

The restoration of the building that once was the residence of Villamar family, built between the 17th and the 18th centuries, includes carpentry and masonry work, such as the replacement of old structures and the cladding of walls.

For some experts specialized in the hard art of restoration, this is a very complex task because of the deplorable state of the building’s structures and the materials that were used hundreds of years ago.   

The Technical and Occupational School “Francisco Sánchez Betancourt” was inaugurated on March 12, 1998 and the enrolment this year is of 70 students.