Photos: Courtesy Leandro Valdes.
A Prestigious Cuban Pre-University Becomes Yet Another Ruin
28 / abril / 2023
Not much remains of the Vladimir Ilich Lenin Vocational Pre-University Institute of Exact Sciences in Havana, known as La Lenin. In 2017 it was news that four of its six buildings would be converted for “other uses”. Now in 2023, a large part of its facilities are in ruins and others were ceded by the school to the Customs office.
La Lenin continues to graduate young people every year despite the poor nutrition and the school materials in a sad state, as well as classes with few experienced professors. If these graduates continue the path of some of their predecessors, it is likely that they will emigrate looking for a better life.
I graduated in 2012, it was the school’s 38th graduation. To set foot there is to feel the memories come back. Many of us spent three of our best years with scholarships there, in our big blue house, as we call it.
That time was special, because of the people and what was learned. What made the difference for my generation was the professional and human quality of the teachers, who dedicated their lives to the vocation of educating. Today you can hardly count on that; and it is difficult to remember the potential of this educational project in its best years.
The dreams of so many generations have been abandoned. La Lenin can no longer accommodate the aspirations of those who pass through its corridors.
*This gallery is courtesy of Leandro Valdes. The author invites you to visit La Lenin through the virtual tour: https://app.lapentor.com/sphere/ipvce-lenin-la-habana
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