The 2018 summer is dismissed in Matanzas, as in all of Cuba, and the occasion warrants the analysis of what was the summer period.
Did the programming of the months of July and August fulfill the expectations of the inhabitants of what was once the Athens of Cuba?
On the cultural proposals, fundamental ingredient for a healthy enjoyment, we talked with Eddy Alonso, municipal deputy director of Culture:
«Summer programming is designed from the experience of the previous stages. The results of the surveys applied by our Research Department and also the Ministry’s indications are also taken into account. It is directed, fundamentally, to the enjoyment of the family with emphasis on children, young people and the elderly. To make this program we analyze the preferences of each age group and other particularities, such as their cultural needs, for example, in the case of adolescents, in this period their interests change from a purely festive recreation to another that provides them with knowledge. For the elderly there are activities such as danzón dances and presentations by artists who cultivate the rural sounds.
«We try to reflect the diversity of the public and for that we offer alternative music, rock, salsa; Audiovisuals, dance performances and plastic arts exhibitions are presented. The Culture house system continues the summer workshops of the different artistic manifestations.
«Our main difficulty lies in the promotion. Usually people do not find out or do it when they pass through places. In that sense we already took some steps: we have the websitehttps://www.facebook.com/verano.yumurino/ and we put billboards in places of influx of people such as the bookstore El Pensamiento, Medio Street and the Velasco cinema- theater, among others.
» On the activities programmed for children, the mother of a nine-year-old girl thinks:
«I honestly did not see variety of offers. The presentations of the children’s theater companies Papalote and Las Estaciones are maintained, even with premieres, and also the courses of the teacher Liliam Padrón, but nothing else. Before, in Libertad Park , currently in repairs, a clown was presented as at 9:00 at night, a schedule that is not ideal for infants. Not to mention that there were few gastronomic offerings, mainly fried food, and sold by private workers. »
Although it is not directly related to the functions of the Directorate of Culture in the territory, the conditions of children’s parks in Matanzas provoke negative opinions:
«The parks are in terrible condition, Monserrate, for example, they reopened with hype and cymbal, is anachronistic, possibly the ugliest in the country because in visits to other provinces such as Cienfuegos, Havana and the eastern region I see that these spaces have another infrastructure. The one in Varadero is very good, but we cannot all go because it is very expensive. These equipment are about 20 years old and are always broken. »
A young man says:
«I regularly attend the Star Park and I do not like music, there is no variety of genres. Now there are other options such as the audiovisual project presented there. That place does not satisfy me, but it is what we have. The presentations of alternative music and trova, which is what I like, are very sporadic and sometimes I do not even know. »
Gastronomic offers, another important component to promote a happy summer, are one of the main questions:
«The State does not have any offers, they are all private and there is no revolutionary worker’s salary in this country that maintains one, not two girls as I have. For us there is no summer. There are no jams, there are no groceries, absolutely nothing for recreation. «The criteria coincide in this aspect:
«What abounds is the canned soft drink that costs 10.00 pesos, I have a daughter and I find it difficult. Imagine the one who has two or three! The sorbetos of 3.00 pesos, never see them, the sweet cookie of six pesos either, what you see is the chicotico of 15.00 or 20.00 pesos. »
Yoani Padrón Rodríguez, director of the Business Group of Commerce in the province, comments:
It is a reality that raises the population, this year there was a lack of products on beaches and some of our establishments. In order to improve the situation, local production of breadsticks, pancakes, fine sweets, juices and ice cream was stimulated, and popular fairs were prioritized. This was due to a poor conception of the annual plan at the national level and the increase in demand. »
On the other hand, the lack of sports equipment in parks and beaches generates the following evaluations:
«In previous years there were at least bicycle cameras that private individuals rented, now not even that.There is not a ball, a raft, a water bicycle, there is nothing. The truth, it is very painful to explain to my daughters that after ten months of efforts, they will not have the enjoyment they deserve. »
A mother comments:
«I’ve seen something at El Tenis, but it has to be very early and it’s not every day either. I saw some rafts and some balls, but private individuals rented them. »
Mireya Juárez Almeida, deputy general director of INDER in the municipality, says:
«The schedule of the beaches is from 10:30 in the morning to 7:00 in the evening. In these moments we do not have implements like balls and balls, but we do offer chess, dominoes, ladies and some rustic means that our workers create like Swiss and the baton.
«We carry out the planned activities and we keep in contact with the communities, because with the proper planning we can carry out sports activities in the neighborhood.»
The most recurrent opinions refer, in the order of the cultural options, to the weak promotion of the activities, their little variety and the fact of non doing them sistematically and the non-utilization of the artistic and cultural potential of the territory.
In the field of sports, the minimum scope of activities and their concentration in the main areas of the city is also criticized; besides, its irregularity and weak organization. The link with the community is also questioned.
The summer of 2018 ends in Matanzas with a bittersweet flavor, an experience that should nourish the projection of the upcoming summer season.