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Showing posts with the label Cuban culture

Masticate and Swallow - Book Review

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In this endearing memoir, Masticate and Swallow, by Fabio Alberto Hurtado, we learn of a young Cuban boy from the 1970’s, who emigrates to the United States. Hurtado sets the stage with a series of short stories from his childhood in Cuba, highlighting his relationship with family and the state. Masticate and Swallow – A Heartwarming Story He speaks of hardships living in a Communist country; yet he does it with humor. One of my favorite stories centers around a family game of Parchesi, where the family has only one die to play the game (The other was lost long ago). The game was competitive, and both Fabio and his cousin Sara did not like to lose. Fabio was one roll away from winning the game. Rather than lose to Fabio, Sara swallowed the die! Now, in Cuba, one cannot simply go down to the local store and purchase a new set of dice. So, what was anyone to do, but to wait for the die to appear again. As Fabio put it, “I do remember playing Parchesi again a week or so later with a shin…

Catholic Kids' Book Introduces Teens to Faith Under Fire

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Threats to religious liberty are nearer to us than most young people imagine, and the story of Castro's Cuba brings that lesson home in a powerful way. Born of Cuban exiles, journalist Liz Lantigua has written an eye-opening fictionalized account of a Catholic family escaping Cuba on a small raft with a mission to achieve freedom in the United States. Lantigua's book, Mission Libertad, cleverly weaves true historical details with a compelling plot and introduces readers to common Spanish words and sayings along the way.

The main character is 14-year-old Luisito, who braves a dangerous sea crossing with his parents in order to reach their relatives in America. Luisito's elderly grandmother has insisted that he carry a secret message to a priest in the United States once Luisito arrives there. The message involves Luisito in a cat-and-mouse game involving Cuban spies, FBI agents, and international smuggling.

Mission Libertad offers teens a surprising view of the United State…