A highlight of the day was a visit to the Don Mariano Marti Primary School, named after the father of José Marti, “The George Washington of Cuba.” Marti was born on the street in which the school is located and, in fact, lived in what is now the school building at one point. A large poster in the lobby celebrates the centennial of José Marti’s birth.
With little to distinguish it from the street, the school is an attractive facility inside with airy, open landings.
Rector Milton Arbesuk (below) reported that it is a small school that enrolls 158 students in Grades 1 through 8. It employs a staff of 28, including 17 teachers and is proud of its association with UNESCO’s environmental protection efforts. Immunization of children is not required prior to enrollment, but all the shots students need are incorporated into the health program as part of the school.
A wonderful looking group of fifth graders, in the maroon uniforms with red ties that signify they are in elementary schools entertained us with a rousing rendition of the Pioneer Song sung by Marti’s pioneers, “Revolution: The Pride of Cuban Pioneers.”
After Daniel Moirao presented our gifts to Rector Arbesuk, we were fortunate to get a group photo with the school leadership.