The Second Full Day
By Miraisy Rodriguez
Despite dancing and other fun things late into the night before, Saturday morning at Transformacion found Roots of Hope Conference participants alert and engaged.
During the first panel we tried to understand economic reforms taking place in Cuba through a self-proclaimed leftist, and two other gentlemen, who when compared to the leftist were a bit and quite a bit more conservative. The different perspectives were well received by both panelists and participants. I heard everything from “top down entrepreneurship will be hard to create” – in reference to the Cuban government preparing to eliminate 1 million public sector jobs and instituting microloans, to “Cubans need to be infected with the ability to dream” – suggesting that dreams are what create the entrepreneur.
The participants’ questions were insightful and often difficult for the panelists to answer. They ranged from the technical to the philosophical.
-”What size microloans are likely?”
-”How can the population’s moral and ethical values be reformed? Too many things are excused by the ‘necesidad.’”
The best part for me wasn’t that first panel, it was the second half of the day. I got to fulfill one of the “high expectations” from the day before. During workshops (I attended one on academic travel to Cuba) and time between things I got to enjoy my fellow roots. Guess what?! We’re branching out! Not everyone is from el quinto piso de la Habana…I spoke with at least three other friends from Santa Clara. As always I was impressed by recently arrived Cuban students who were attending honors colleges and major universities and speaking perfect english. But I was equally impressed by the number of non-cuban supporters and enthusiast.
So I’m pretty much keeping the perfect record of being inspired by Raices conferences and can’t wait to get home and get to work!
Miraisy Rodriguez was born in Santa Clara, but raised in Miami. She is a second year law student who likes to blog on her free time and volunteers with the Miami Roots’ Network.