Bringing Latin America to the Scottish schoolrooms.
Please CLICK ON any images to enlarge
In Scotland, I become a sort of a cultural worker engaged in
activities around the theme of music, poetry, tradition, identity and memories which had allowed me to do social and solidarity work in this country.
Part of this work has been to research, document and write a history of the Chilean
refugees in Scotland. This is important because it is about a drama that began in Chile on the 11th of September of 1973. On this date, a bloody coup d' etat took place with terrible consequences for the country. https://vimeo.com/40838254
The coup was staged by the army General Augusto Pinochet, with the support of the Government of the United States, against the democratic elected Socialist Government of Salvador Allende. It is against the backdrop of this sad experience that I found myself doing things that I never dreamt of doing. My story, a labyrinth, evolves round two very different countries miles apart in distance, history and culture. I just wanted to share my experience!
In May 2010, for example, The Scottish Refugee Council and The United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees.(UNHCR) asked me to support their activities to commemorate the 60th anniversary of The United Nation Convention on Refugees. With pleasure, I accepted their invitation because I knew so well that this organization had played a great role during the dictatorship. One of the highlights of these activities was to have tea at the Home Office with the Home Secretary, the conservative Minister Theresa May. I was one of three refugees in Britain invited to the Home Office. For the record, May was not a good Home Secretary according to The Expectator: “Theresa May’s record as Home Secretary is alarming, not reassuring”
In a press interview, soon after our tea meeting, May spoke very highly of individuals like us and our contributions to the UK. (This interview was until recently on YouTube and was removed for some reasons.) From 13 July 2016, two days after becoming leader of the Conservative Party, May was appointed Prime Minister and despite all her positive appraisal towards the refugees people in the UK, her government so far (Feb 2017) shows an appalling records towards the refugee people.
Another interesting experience for me has been to become a Unison Shop Steward to represent the Support Staff in my place of work. I hate the idea of history passing me by my side - I want to be part of it!