Lack of Water in Secondary School Sparks Student Protest in Holguin, Cuba

On Friday, May 18th, a number of students from the secondary Antonio Maceo Grajales School, located in the province of Holguin, carried out a protest because there has been no water in that educational center for various weeks, according to reports by independent journalists Caridad Caballero Batista and José Luis Cedeño Hernández.  More than 400 students are enrolled in this school and the majority of them participated in the protest, where they banged on desks with their hands and shouted “water, water“, according to the sources.

José Luis Cedeño, an activist from the Eastern Democratic Alliance and neighbor of the school, said that the protest occurred during afternoon hours of that Friday and took place in the directors office.  After more than two weeks without water in the center, “one student fainted“, said Cedeño, explaining that this was one of the main factors which led to the protest.

On her part, Caridad Caballero reported that the majority of the students who participated in the protest were ninth graders who began demanding water in the classrooms and then took their demands to the principal’s office.  “The lack of water has caused much indignation among students.   They are thirsty nearly all the time while they are in school“, said Caballero.

The journalist added that the first response of the principals was to “tell the students to go back to their classrooms“.

After the incident,the students remained without water for the rest of the day and they then communicated the news to their parents, and according to both sources, the majority of the parents supported their children’s initiative.  The principals of the school then called on a meeting with the parents, where the latter declared that their children could not continue studying in those conditions, and many said that their children would not assist class until the situation was resolved.

The solution of the principals was to ask every student in the center (more than 400) for 5 Cuban pesos so that the school could buy a new tank of water.  Nearly every student paid the 5 pesos.  However, one week later, the water has not appeared and the student population is still upset.

“Up to the moment, nothing has been cleared up”, said Cedeño Hernández, “the conditions in the Antonio Maceo Grajales school are still critical”.

For more information from Cuba:

Caridad Caballero Batista – Cell Phone: +53-629-740 // Twitter: @caricaballero

Lack of Water in Secondary School Sparks Student Protest in Holguin, Cuba

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