Boulder-Cuba Sister City Organization : bouldercuba.org
Arts and Education Committee
The mission of the Arts and Education Committee is to facilitate various types of educational and cultural exchanges and activities between Boulder and Yateras. In 2004 we sponsored an art exchange between school children of Yateras and Boulder. The goal of this project was to have the children of the two communities introduce their respective communities to each other through original works of art. The Cuban children's art work depicting aspects of life in Yateras was exhibited in public spaces in Boulder, and the Boulder children's art work was exhibited in Yateras. This project was funded by proceeds from the “Cuban Connection” dance benefit and a grant from the Boulder Arts Commission. The Boulder Public Library’s Children’s Library hosted the first exhibit of the Cuban children’s art from June through August of 2004. If you are interested in hosting an exhibit, please contact us at email@example.com (click here to view the children's art exhibit). The Arts and Education Committee also participated in the creation of a children's songbook and accompaning videotape featuring popular children's songs from the U.S. Copies of the songbook and videotape were sent to Yateras, and Boulder received a videotape from Yateras in return.
Currently the Arts and Education Committee is working to help renovate the Yateras community library, by sending office supplies, school supplies and other educational material to Yateras.
last updated October 2008
About Education in Yateras
Despite its small population, Yateras has 88 schools. 82 are primary schools, 8 of which have fewer than 5 students. No matter how small the school may be, it is equipped with a computer and video system and has a teacher. Some of the schools in the more remote regions of the municipality use solar panels for electrification. There are three middle schools, one university prep school and one technical school. There is also a school for special education students. Students who are especially talented in art, music or sports may qualify to attend specialized boarding schools in Guantánamo province. Education is free to all students, and books and supplies are furnished by the government. All students wear uniforms to school, which are also supplied by the government. On the primary level the prioritized subjects are: Spanish language, Math and Cuban History. Students begin learning English in Fifth Grade. In Cuba, school is compulsory until age 15, and the literacy rate is about 97%, comparable to the US, and among the highest in Latin America.
About Art in Yateras
The most well-known artist in Yateras is coffee-farmer-turned-sculptor Angel Iñigo Blanco, creator of the remarkable “Stone Zoo”, or “Zoológico de Piedras” located near the small town of Boqueron de Yateras. Iñigo began the stone zoo some 25 years ago when he observed that some of the huge stones dotting the hillside near his home reminded him of animals. His first carving turned a chunk of limestone into a jungle lion. Today there are more than 425 stone figures scattered about the lushly vegetated hillside. Several years ago Angel’s eldest son, Angelito, began working with him and has carved over 90 of the works. Not all of the scuptures are of animals. They have also recreated scenes from Yateras’ past, such as the scenes of a Taino settlement and of the capture of a run-away slave.