(In Memoriam Ana Cándida)

Andrés Núñez Leites

My mother was the director of school 145, in Tacuarembó, in the late 1980s or early 1990s. At about this time of year (September), the supplies for the dining room ran out, and the children were eating a sancocho that was a a kind of broth with what little there was: rice, corn flour and whatever could be thrown into the pot. The point is not only that it was not tasty, but that it was not nutritious. And they were poor children, from the beloved Montevideo neighborhood of Tacuarembó. She spoke with her inspector, who replied that "there were no more items." My mother told her that she was going to make a public call for solidarity and the inspector threatened her with summary and dismissal if she did such a thing. The next day, my mother phone called the central journalistic programs of Radio Zorrilla and Radio Tacuarembó (the biggest local radio stations) asking for dry food because the children were starving. I heard the call; She spoke from the heart, from the pain that teachers feel when see children suffer and cannot give them relief. There was a very strong economic crisis, but the people's response was generous. The companies donated, the families donated and the radios organized the collection and the transfer to the school. The food received (two trucks) was so much that it was decided to distribute part of what was donated to two other schools in the area. There was no summary. There were yes, children smiling and with full bellies.

To all my colleagues: Happy teacher's day. To Ana Cándida, my mother, thank you for the moral example. Deus guarde a tua alma.