Juan Suarez Cedeño in the town of Los Negros takes days away from time. The 110th birthday on September 27th is a challenge to life or a teasing to death.
We have known Suarez Cedeño since 2013, when we learned of his long life that few people and families enjoy.
Six years later we returned to his home. There, sitting as usual in the doorway of the house with his brown skin even more fragile, his eyes lost the light and his voice and ears are extinguished like smoke. However, about 36 years ago his body did not get sick and the family has not heard any complaints beyond cramps in the limbs.
A long time has passed since 1909 when María Cedeño and Aquilino Suárez were born on Pio Rosado Street in San Luis.
Son of Mambí, he carried in his blood liberating ideas, so he arrived to the Sierra Maestra and he was a coffee pruner in Lico Gala’s farm. For one peso a day he worked from morning to night, but his honesty earned him the kindness of the owner of the land.
Between the hills of Naranjo de China, in 1937 he met Julia Enamorado Sánchez, a young woman who, barely 17 years old, gave him his love for life.
Happy for her more than 70 years of marriage, Julia confesses:
“I have been with him all my life. He never mistreated me. We had 14 children. Always together, we went to parties, we danced; always with good relationships with everyone…”
Agricultural work was the livelihood of the large family. Fourteen children were born in the village of Los Negros, where they went to live after their retirement in 1969. They, the 27 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren celebrate each September grateful for the life and teaching of their father, grandfather, and great-grandfather Juan.
“It is a source of inspiration to continue living, he was always strict, so was his teaching: to respect, to be honest, to love the Homeland. He was fighter of fight against bandits in Gunatánamo, Buey Arriba. He gave us all the education…”, said one of his sons.