Saturday, 23 April 2011

A very special post for a very special place - Alta Gracia

Alta Gracia is a small town about 30km south of Cordoba. Buses depart every 15' from the bus station, so getting there is really easy. Apart from the Jesuits related history of this place, which dates from back in the 17th century, with very well preserved Jesuit museums, vineyards and estancias, I visited Alta Gracia for one and only reason: This is where Ernesto "Che" Guevara lived his early years. More specifically from the age of 4 until he became 15. The dry climate of Alta Gracia was perfect for the asthma attacks he so often had. 
The place where he grew up is converted to a brilliant museum with many of his personal belongings, notes, letters, pictures, newspaper clippings, etc.

VILLANYDIA at Calle Avellaneda 501.
This is where the young "Tete" grew up to become Commandate "Che" Guevara

Everything in the museum is put in chronological order. From Ernesto's early years in primary school, to his motorcycle trip with his friend and his days with Fidel Castro. 
Che is a legend for Argentinians and it was the most striking moment in my trip so far, to see people reading his letters to his kids just before he got killed, and not being able to hold their tears....  

"A mis higos" - To my kids

Dear Hildita, Aleidita, Camilo, Celia and Ernesto:
If you ever have to read this letter, it will be because I am no longer among you. You will almost not remember me and the littlest ones will remember nothing at all. Your father has been a man who acted according to his beliefs and certainly has been faithful to his convictions.
Grow up as good revolutionaries. Study hard to be able to dominate the techniques that permit the domination of nature. Remember that the Revolution is what is important and that each of us, on our own, is worthless.
Above all, try always to be able to feel deeply any injustice committed against any person in any part of the world. It is the most beautiful quality of a revolutionary.
Until always, little children. I still hope to see you again. 
A really big kiss and a hug from Papa.

Ernesto Guevara's student ID in Medicine School

With his bicicleta

The type of his legendary motocicleta

and was there !!!

Pictures from Fidel Castro's and Hugo Chavez' visit in Alta Gracia, in 2004