Patria Chica, four years later

Patria Chica, four years later

Patria Chica (Small Homeland) is a local development project created in the town of Baire, municipality of Contramaestre, dedicated to book lovers. This 2023 it reaches the IV edition of its literary contest. The main event will be held on November 4 on the occasion of the 262nd anniversary of the founding of the town of Baire and the 155th anniversary of the first machete charge carried out in Pinos de Baire.

A few days before the literary event, we talked to Osmel Valdés, writer, literary instructor and founder of Patria Chica.

Journalist: When did Patria Chica start?

Osmel Valdés: The event arises at the beginning of 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. Almost all the events of social and mainly cultural character, were depressed; hence the first versions of Patria Chica, were virtual, although until today we have managed to celebrate the act of awarding randomly to November 4 and in a presential way.

How was the idea of creating it born?

“A friend named José Manuel had made a monetary donation for us to buy books and exchange them in a small book club and I proposed to the other beneficiaries that we use that money to sponsor a local contest for new writers. We all agreed and that’s how the first edition of what is today Patria Chica began to take shape, which I named and still organize with the permanent collaboration of Mailín Castro and Juan Carlos Roque, as well as countless sponsors including Yendrik Mora, Yaniel Valdés, Alexis Arévalo, Daniel Reyna, CEPADEL, UBPC February 24 and Tropical Contramaestre S.A.”

What is the purpose of the literary event?

“The event is the visible and so far achievable part of a local development project that aims to influence 5 daily spheres: literature, history, traditions, the leading role of women and the environment. All this in response to growing problems and needs in the locality that have a disfiguring effect on our Patria Chica.”

Who participates in the event?

“Children and young people in their majority, without neglecting the other age zones and writers who struggle to make themselves known; whatever their age or genre they cultivate.”Children and young people in their majority, without neglecting the other age zones and writers who struggle to make themselves known; whatever their age or genre they cultivate.”

Results shown by Patria Chica in these four years?

“It has managed to develop without a budget from the Culture sector. It has managed to involve not only writers and troubadours but the whole artistic community and the whole country. It has the (irregular) support of a few local actors: individuals, companies, Mypimes, self-employed, artisans and others. It has grown from year to year from a local event, to municipal, provincial and this year, to national. It has generated the emergence of other artistic movements such as the Verbun Literary Group and the movement of librarians for the promotion of reading: reading Nao. It has also survived all the shortcomings and is growing as a form of cultural resistance.”

What is new in this IV edition?

“The novelty lies in the extension of the contest to the whole country, the participation of guest artists from other provinces and the simultaneous celebration of spaces for children and adults. This year the number of works in competition has doubled and a little more than in previous years.”

Patria Chica will continue to be the place where the literary creation of new writers with dissimilar themes will be agglutinated, giving the necessary value for their work to show that it is essential in our country.

By Daniela Reyna, Journalism Student

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