Juan Bautista González Sacramento

The Popular Savings Bank (BPA) will soon be 40 years old. What is behind that formality, circumspection, and rectitude that its workers project? Beyond that perception, we discover the emotions of those who have dedicated their lives to an institution that is part of the daily life of millions of Cubans.

Las Tunas, Cuba.- Asking Juan Bautista González Sacramento what his working life at BPA has been like is listening, between reflection and reflection, one and a thousand stories, with more than one interspersed lesson. That didactic vocation, he admits, would be a mark of that young emerging Spanish teacher who, just out of the military service, entered, perhaps for the first time, a banking institution to work there on October 17, 1977.

"In my family, we had nothing to go look for in a bank; nor a credit because there was nothing to pay it with; no deposit because there was nothing to deposit,” he says.

It has rained a lot since then, he confesses, but they were days that he clearly remembers. Especially since he saw the birth of BPA. This, he explains, began to take shape first as a department and then with a group of offices within the then Cuba National Bank (BNC) to capture the temporarily free resources in the hands of the population and, in addition, to promote a culture of saving. "Then, he adds, on May 18, 1983, Decree Law 69 was issued, which officially created the Popular Savings Bank, after which the network of branches was formed."

In those founding days, he wrote down maxims that would accompany him in subsequent decades. “They bring me some manuals that had about a thousand pages. And well… I start to study. At first, I got bored because they were subjects that were completely foreign to me and spoke of models that I had never seen. Before the end of the year, the first audit came, from which I came out quite well for the short time I had been working. Then, one of the auditors told me something that I have never forgotten. 'Every time you are asked to do something or told to do something, do it! It will seem to you that they are giving you tasks that do not concern you, that they are recharging you, but always see that as helping you.'”

“Since then, wherever there is an opportunity to do something, to learn from whatever comes my way, I have accepted it, I have assimilated it, I have done it and I think that gave me a lot of the experience that I now have.”

A branch director, deputy director, provincial head, general auditor of the BPA; as well as the vice president of the Exchange House (Cadeca), are some of the stops on his long service sheet. In the most recent stage, he returned to Las Tunas, but he does not forget his roots in his native Chambas, of which he always has in mind the brotherly dispute between the neighborhoods of Gallos and Gavilanes in the Parrandas.

Belonging to the BPA is a large part of Juan’s life: "The Bank is transparency, honesty, like someone you can count on, like that entity that helps you."