History

In the first years after the Cuban revolution, culture and education were the main target.

On January 1 1961 a massive “Literacy Campaign” was launched, the schools were closed for a year and 235.000 volunteers students sent to the villages to teach farmers how to read and write. In just one year illiteracy decreased from 25% to 3,9%.

In the same years, many education and training institutions have been created, among which the National Schools of Art, open to 3.000 students, including trainees from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Fidel Castro decided to build the Schools at the western periphery of Havana, on the site that, before the revolution, hosted the golf course of the Havana Country Club.

Porro, Gottardi and Garatti began working on the design of the schools in April 1961 and in the same year the construction of the five Schools began.

In 1962, with the October Crisis (Missile Crisis), all the projects not strictly related with economic production were reduced and most workers were redirected elsewhere.

In 1965, the construction was interrupted. The Schools were officially inaugurated on July 26, 1965 and officially declared finished without being completed.

The Golf Course and the Country Club. Photo credit: Roger Kellogg Stillson - New York 1936.