Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation Appoints Miamian As Executive Director

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Our children, the library that sows the future for the fallen in the Andes

Montevideo, Oct 11 (EFE) .- Sowing small seeds of the future through books is the impulse that, despite the evolution of generations, keeps alive the library founded by the mothers of those who died fifty years ago in the tragedy air of the Andes to calm a pain that “is always there”. A small white pot with a clover accompanied by the motto “Valor y fe” welcomes the path dominated by green that leads to the historic house in the Montevidean neighborhood of Carrasco where, since 1973, the Nuestro Hijos library has been operating. THEIR SECOND HOME There, in a row, grow the plants of its founders: Sara Vázquez, María Gelsi, Selva Ibarburu, Nene Caubarrere, Gladys Rosso, Lita Petralgia, Raquel Arocena, Raquel Paullier, Stella Ferreira, Helida Riet, Bimba Cornah, Agnes Vallendor and Ana María Nebel: the mothers of those who “did not return” from the Andes. “Thirteen mothers got together, those who could, and asked themselves: “What can we do?” They shuffled many ideas until Agnes Valeta decided to make a free student library,” Stella Pérez del Castillo, one of the sisters, tells EFE. Marcelo, who died 17 days after falling in the Andes. Ferreira’s daughter also remembers the family’s reaction when, accompanied by the others, her mother raised the idea barely nine months after the rescue of the 16 survivors. “We told them that they were out of their minds for starting something of that caliber. In the end it was wonderful. Mom always said that at the beginning they talked about ten percent of what the play was going to be and ninety percent of the accident, but at It was the other way around in the end.” Claudia Pérez del Castillo, Stella’s sister, remembers how difficult it was at that time to experience the return of those who survived. “We had the bad luck of having to endure this bitter pill. To this day I remember the moment they said the list at home and it was a horror,” she recalls. Stella, who today forms part of the library’s board of directors together with Claudia and other relatives, explains that in that space the mothers found “a second home” who despite the silence of each one “knew that the others were feeling exactly the same” . THE PAIN IS ALWAYS THE tragedy remains latent in the families fifty years after the accident that grabbed the headlines of the world press due to the lengths to which the survivors of the Uruguayan Air Force plane that left for Santiago de Chile had to go to stay. and after a stopover in Mendoza he fell on the Argentine side of the Andes. Because despite the fact that the authorities terminated the search on the tenth day, the relatives “never lost hope.” Stella and Claudia’s mother came to resort to two seers in search of information on the whereabouts of her son Marcelo, the captain of the Old Christians rugby team that organized the trip. “Mom went with a friend and a sister to another seer, here in Uruguay, who touched Marcelo’s garment. It was October 28, the lady touched the garment and said: ‘this is hot, I smell chocolate, a lot of chocolate, so there is life, but they have to find their son today,'” he recalls. The desperation was evident in the family because the father had died three years earlier and his brother Marcelo became “like a father” for them, who to this day feel an enormous emptiness due to his absence. “The pain is always there, only a little calmer inside the heart. In the name of your children or your brothers you are helping and, although it seems that it is a droplet, it is part of the sea”, reflects who remembers his brother as ” lovable being.” PASSING THE TORCH Following the initiative of her aunt, María del Carmen Perrier, one of Stella’s daughters, recently published a book entitled “On the other side of the mountain,” which narrates how the accident affected families. The library, which will also soon pass into the hands of new generations, has a reading club and a scholarship system for low-income students. The center began operating at a time when “the internet did not exist”, but now it has found an ally in the virtual, explains Stella. One of the initiatives to keep it updated is the computer classes that are taught in the library, which also seeks to be “a house of culture.” For this reason, the Nuestro Hijos library continues to break new ground, in its eagerness to contribute to the education of children and adolescents. Computer classes and very soon also English, scholarships, new projects and thousands of visits a year. “A pampering to the heart” for the boys on behalf of the families who suffered the loss of their loved ones in that fatal accident. Alejandro Prieto and Santiago Carbone (c) Agencia EFE

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Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation Appoints Miamian As Executive Director