The network of Loyola Centers in Cuba
Luis Fernando de Miguel SJ (Loyola Center, Cienfuegos) and Maite Pérez Millet (Loyola Center, Santiago) – Province of the Antilles
[From “Jesuits 2022 – The Society of Jesus in the world”]
After a 60-year hiatus, the Society of Jesus resumes its educational apostolate in Cuba.
To note that the works of the Society are devoted to education, artistic training or the encouragement of small businesses, is hardly original. However, this is new in the Cuban context, where for more than six decades education was the exclusive prerogative of the state. During this time, Jesuit activity was almost entirely limited to spirituality and parish work. More than 50 years had to pass before the Jesuits and a large team of partners could return to the field of education, this time through Loyola Centres. This apostolic initiative began at the end of 2013 in Havana, but quickly spread to Santiago de Cuba, Cienfuegos and Camagüey. Later, two other centers joined us from the neighborhoods of Juanelo and Diezmero, both south of the Cuban capital. This is how the Loyola network was created.
Each center has its own history and is autonomous, but tries, through joint projects, to transform itself into a place where people can mature into responsible citizens who, from an early age, engage in their social context. They become so by developing human values and participating in civic life and a stronger civil society. The list of projects and activities we carry out grows daily and includes out-of-school tutoring, arts, language and computer training, social analysis and research, and work with families. We also offer training on creating small agricultural or manufacturing businesses, as well as on Ignatian spirituality and interreligious dialogue courses. The number of people we reach is also increasing.