April 5, 2017

Pinar del Rio

Rodney Fernandez (Keenan’s uncle) and I made a trip to Cuba during November, 2016. We traveled with a small group from Friends of Caritas Cubana, the US arm of Caritas Cubana. On this trip, we targeted the area of Pinar del Rio, a Province southwest of Havana. It is here where we hoped to find a connection for Keenan’s Kids to do its work. Well, we were blessed to discover three guarderías (day care centers), all facilities substantially supported by Caritas Cubana. It was a perfect fit for Keenan’s Kids!

The guarderías each care for approximately 40 children, ages 1 to 5 years old, while their parents go to work. We spent a great deal of time with the care providers at each facility and familiarized ourselves with staffing levels, food menus and their outside sources of financial support. Later on, we spent time with Vicente (the local Supervisor of all the guarderías) to understand where and how food for the children is purchased and stored. We also met with the local Bishop who provides some financial support, and helped us to understand the church’s function in the Caritas operations.

Finally, we got to spend time with the children at all the guarderías. This was the real highlight of our trip. I couldn’t help but feel Keenan’s energy as we immersed ourselves in their activities. Missing you sweetheart!!!