Hernan Bosch, who was a child when participated in the Literacy Campaign

Hernán Bosch looks back and remembers in detail everything that happened 61 years ago. There is brightness in his eyes; there is firmness in his words, although at times, emotion fills his speech and he has to overcome nostalgia. Today he knows that it was a feat, but in those days of 1961, it was just an adventure, the adventure of a boy who was only 10 years old. Who followed his older cousins through the landscapes of his native Puerto Padre, in the province of Las Tunas.

Then, even when some thought he was to be taught and mocked him to his face, he, with his undisputed talent on his shoulders, introduced the first letters and words to three people, one who was three times his age, and two other cousins whose names he even remembers: Maria Antonia and Marlenis Corrales, who were close to 20 years old.

Hernan Bosch was a child when participated in the Literacy CampaignAnd he remembers the old Hernán, his father, a man upright in his actions, who lied about his age to be admitted as a brigadista: "You see him so small and skinny, but he is already 12 years old and finished the fourth grade," he told those in charge, because for him, a revolutionary without blemish, he was proud that his eldest son was the protagonist of one of the greatest events of the incipient Cuban Revolution: the Literacy Campaign.

In addition, the boy went to the mountains. With his manual, his primer, his pencils, his lantern, and his asthma breaking his skinny chest, he marched towards the countryside in the style of Che Guevara, with the crises that drowned him during the nights, but with the fortitude of not turning back, because he could fail neither his father nor the Revolution; much less him, in the firmness of his 10 years.

He had no height, nobody, his toes only reached the laces of the huge boots because there were no sizes for him because the task was at least for young people, but never for a 10-year-old boy, that when he was in the Varadero resort during the preparation for the task, he bathed in his underwear on the beach and no one would see him, because that was typical of a child of his age.

It was common during that immense stage, that the young brigadistas helped the peasants in the daily work because the classes were given at night, by the light of the lanterns. But Hernán could not be proud of that, because how could he help in the hard work in the fields if he was not big enough to do it? A child at last, during the day he would get together with the little ones in the neighborhood and go "hunting" with his stone thrower. But at night, when everyone had already eaten, he was the first one by his lantern and gave himself body and soul to the difficult task of teaching peasants submerged in the illiteracy of the years, until they knew how to read and write.

Already at the end, on December 22, 1961, when Fidel Castro proclaimed Cuba an Illiteracy Free Territory in Havana's José Martí Revolution Square, Hernán had an intense asthma crisis, but he stood firm under a fine drizzle, steep, trying to fill his eyes with the legendary figure of Che Guevara at Fidel's side. And he succeeded with flying colors, despite the adversities of his broken health.

Afterward, he continued studying, but with a different way of thinking, because his feat marked him forever, and perhaps without realizing it, he had his pride on the surface, although he did not express it because of his modesty. And he studied Secondary Education in Havana, and by those coincidences of life he was in the capital when Che, his undisputed idol, his guide until today, was assassinated, and again in the Revolution Square he participated in the evening in which Fidel gave the news of the death of the Heroic Guerrilla, and he felt an immense sadness before that fact that shook the world, but, above all, the Cuban people; but, it served him as inspiration for his future life.

Although he liked being a teacher very much, he always had it as a second option, because since he was in sixth grade he knew he was going to be a journalist. He even wrote it down in that composition commissioned by the teacher under the title: What would you like to be? And he became a journalist of the good ones, and took his profession to the maximum expression, perhaps with the firmness of the character forged in the Campaign, with his dreams on his shoulders, those that could have begun the day he decided to become literate, and that has helped him to live until today when at 72 years of age he enjoys his retirement. Since 2019 he holds the Rosano Zamora Paadín Provincial Journalism Award for Life's Work, always with his pen at the ready, from which he cannot detach himself.