Lisandra Díaz Padrón

Lisandra Díaz Padrón

It’s still blue

It’s still blue

Dawn caught me that summer day in Puerto Padre, and with the crowing of a rooster, the first heralds, grandparents in search of bread for breakfast, a sweeper insisting on leaving the environment impeccable, a simple meadow that leads your steps to the sea. Thus began another day in this magical town, not for its humility and some deterioration cease to be so. That picture was the first thing I witnessed when I first arrived to the town some people calls the Blue Village or City of Mills. I do not know if it was the desire for national tourism, or legends that seduced me like those of the Storyteller did to me as a girl; the truth is that it made little difference to me the long distance and what it implies. I just wanted to see for myself what I had heard, if you really feel you stop in time, if you can miss a place while still being in it. Well I did to make the trip, reaching it almost at dawn, place myself below the Quixote next to the mill, to see with my own eyes a fountain by the sea, bask with fine sand and...

The hill and its cross

There are more than 400 steps. One by one they lead you to it. Then you arrive and find it stunning, watching, in its place nothing escapes her. At her feet everyone is, some watch, others freeze it in a snapshot that may land on a table or on the door of a refrigerator, are those who kneel in supplication and whisper begs and promises. While the candles melt at the altar, more than one visitor contemplates the city she seems to dominate. Holguin is a bunch of tiny squares from the Loma de la Cruz, that's why people get carried away with the climbing, because nobody wants to miss the breeze, the view, or the Cross that grants wishes. There is no Holguin without its mystical summit, and neither is without its famous Romerias (Pilgrimage). In May , a crowd populates the streets at all times , and the former Cerro Bayado is at his old place, letting them walk over him, custodian of all , symbol of a legend , keeper of untold secrets. The cross we see today was built in Caguairán tree, as the 1790 original [gallery columns="5"...

Software made in Cuba

The opening of self-employment had Cuban start thinking on how to create jobs that wouldn’t focus only on bars and cafes. The alternatives are already visible; although some remain somewhat hidden due to the lack of legal frameworks that regulate and protect them. Among them is software development, an activity that appeals to more than one computer professional looking for options that will provide them with some income. Anyone with a degree in Cybernetics Mathematics, Engineering in Computer Science, Computer Engineering or other career where they have learned some programming language, knows he has in his possession the ease of exercising a very popular activity in the world today. In a context that has increasingly requires that know-how, coupled with the large number of professionals in the industry (only from the University of Computer Sciences until 2012 over 10 thousand people have graduated), it is not uncommon to run into more than one group that operates the world of software as a business. Incredibly, in Cuba is done from mobile applications to enterprise systems (for customers or foreign entities). The limit to the imagination is just in the technology. To generate content designers are also involved in this stage and...

Art to make pressure

It all started during last Havana’s International Biennale. Ideas, matrixes, outlines, then pieces and their speech. There, in those huge halls, they remained still, paralyzed but coquette, waiting to be observed, anxious to say something, scream, sing. If anyone would stop, they would loose control, they would go unbridled to a conquest fight as an unconditioned reflex. They were born in a workshop, some of them cameout from the womb of a press, others just let go by a skillful hand using two or three tools. They were born in different ways but with the same purpose and pretext. They were made to reflect, applaud and immortalize a context, and they ended up paving a way that has not found its final destination in the map yet. Cuban engraving is still a means of expression because it still relies on the necessary raw materials and energy for not getting trapped by silence. Havana’s 11thInternational Biennale set the starting point for a Project organized by young engravers. They decided to get together encouraged by the single purpose of enhancing graphics, a manifestation that has established significant guidelines in the Cuban plastic arts, but that has lost strength in recent times. HaciendoPresion...

Cuban energy industry is expanding

For some years the Cuban oil industry has undergone a major expansion, to the point some considered it as one of the most dynamic activities in the present. About 84 % of the country's electricity is generated from domestic oil. The production of natural gas has risen considerably over 600 million cubic meters, as a result of the commissioning of new wells and the use of more advanced technology. In Cuba, in general, natural resources are scarce; yet, non-renewable (oil and gas) have been the basis of its energy support even in difficult times. In the west of the country are constantly updated technologies that enable its transformation into usable items for society. The oil fields from Matanzas to Pinar del Río are explored and exploited by the West Oil Drilling and Extraction Company (EPEPO) responsible for the increased production of oil in the country. It is also responsible along with the joint venture ENERGAS for the obtained gas for electricity generation and consumption of the population. In 1998, at the Boca de Jaruco site most of the wells on exploitation of the western region were concentrated, with a total of 147, to cover 87 % of all wells within...

Biogas: Cuba’s potential exceeds four million cubic meters per year

The current socio-economic and environmental landscape of the planet requires finding ways to generate energy. A barrel of oil, besides being a finite resource, costs currently around 100 dollars in the international market. Cuba. For not having great rivers that can be used for obtaining electricity and doesn’t have (yet) sufficient reserves of hydrocarbons, it is required the use of alternatives that are in fashion, even in developed nations. The use of renewable energy sources set the pace to new prospects of savings and environmental health. Today the word biogas is not strange to many. Although the use of this energy carrier is not new, the use of fossil fuels had led it to neglect and underestimation. However, the Cuban government intends to leverage the benefits offered by organic waste. From the proven and accepted experience, this strategy is growing stronger every day, prompting experts to continue to demonstrate its feasibility in various fields. The guideline number 247 of economic and social policy calls for boosting the utilization of various renewable energy sources like the use of biogas , biomass , wind , hydro and others, prioritizing those with greater economic impact in the short term . The new projections...

Genix : the company that was reborn

In many cases the wise decisions take the reins to a problem, or just change the course of events. Genix Labiofam , for example , is a company that rose from the ashes thanks to a smart arbitration . Today, it is within the business group Labiofam as a producer and marketer of natural products and works to have a happy ending to his story. We cannot speak of Genix without mentioning the Spirulina development in Cuba. Once discovered its use as a nutritional supplement, the country invested in infrastructure and human capital to meet the needs of athletes primarily and health institutions. Then the entity was created under the company name of Microalgae and Derivatives Production and Marketing Company, which later was extended to include diversification with recognized value added, such as Royal Jelly, Noni, Ginseng and Vitamin C. Genix started in 1996, under the Ministry of Agriculture. To its insertion in the Labiofam Group Spirulina production was fully subsidized by the state, the company failed to self-finance and there was not an agency or entity that invested in it. The year it produced the most only reached one million and a half pesos. “For a long time we...

Omi Hernández: from here and there

The young singer and songwriter Omar Hernandez, better known as "Omi", strongly emerges in the current Cuban music scene. He shares with popular musician Descemer Bueno the authorship of the ballad ¨Ella¨ (She), which has been successfully acclaimed by the public of the island. Recently, he has decided to pursue a solo career, because he was previously creating for others. For this purpose he gives the first steps in Cuba, despite residing for the last 9 years in the United States where he has worked with major artists such as Oscar de Leon, Pitbull, Willy Chirino and Luis Enrique. He returned to his homeland, preserving that Cuban identity that makes us so unique and different. H e intends to get into the world through it, without losing the link with that other side where he was forged as man and artist. To know details on his musical formation and professional work in Cuba, Omi spoke with OnCuba: “My training in music began very early, thanks to my family. My father, Omar Hernandez, was bassist of Afrocuba band for long time, my uncle, Miguel Ángel Bárzagas worked as sound engineer for Silvio Rodríguez, and my mother, Maria Leonor Fernandez studied music....

An unusual Italian

That a foreigner is living in Cuba like at home, and on top of that with his own ration card and in a humble place, can be for many an act of madness. Rafaelle Testagrossa (a Cuban nationality Italian citizen) illustrates the example. On the outskirts of the city of Las Tunas is very possible to find him dealing with his muses, clinging to our daily lives as a man born on this island. "The Cuban is rich and does not know it. Nowhere else you can live like here. I know well the life outside this country. "The phrase does not catch much, as the ease and simplicity with which it is said. And while his lips are closed, the vocal cords of the time reflected on the face and the expression of his face still articulating truths from silence, perhaps on behalf of unease and insecurity felt by visiting his homeland, or of those memories that move him to a too hard childhood, there, to imagine wrapping Yam Rafaelle and Denise Raffaela, two offspring for whom he will breathe Cuban air until the end of his days, here. "I wanted to know Cuba, he says, had heard that...

Buffaloes: from resistance to acceptance

Eulogio tells us that at the beginning people thought he was crazy. He even received subtle disrespect when announcing the project. Who would want to work with an animal so brave and also virtually unknown in Cuba? But the situation warranted taking risks, not just luck, also men and horses to carry out an impossible catch. Thus began the story between a declining company and 240 head of buffalo that made it be reborn. In the young province of Mayabeque lies the El Cangre Buffalo Cattle Company. Eleven years ago he received in nine of his milking areas the first buffaloes that determined that today he works 100 percent with this type of animal. Eulogio Padrón, Director of Technical and Development and President of the Buffalo Society of the province, still remembers the first steps towards the replacement of cattle. Eulogio Padrón In 1983 the first buffalo entered the country, brought from Trinidad and Tobago, then from Australia. The specimens were received in the Los Naranjos livestock enterprise, in the former province of Havana, now Artemisa. There he conducted studies and came to experience the mixing of species. The amount of them gradually grew and was redistributed in some parts...

Heberprot-P: medical breakthrough and commercial promise

Heberprot-P: medical breakthrough and commercial promise

A product of Cuban science has benefited more than one hundred thousand patients. Since  itsimplementation began, the Heberprot-P has become hope and comfort to thousands of diabetics, not only in Cuba. It was born in the laboratories of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (IGBC), thanks also to the human capital that devoted countless hours to study and research. The drug has been created to care for Diabetic Foot Ulcers (UPD) advanced aspect that positions it as only one of its kind worldwide. Until 2007, the year in which is recorded in Cuba, no product for this condition had slowed slightly this hardly asked-for medical option: amputation. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 366 million people suffer from Diabetes Mellitus. It is suggested that between 10 and 15% of patients develop a UPD at some point in their lives, and of those 10 to 15% ends in amputation. The therapeutic indication and the medical problem that the new drug is facing, mostly focuses on chronic terminal injuries, which involve a risk of mutilation over 90% of the times. The finding goes back almost half a century of research on the Epidermal Growth Factor discovered by American scientist...

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