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Some 200 young Colombians travel to Cuba to study medicine

ELAM estudiantes mnedicinaOn August 13, a group of young Colombians traveled to Havana to begin their studies at the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM), as part of an initiative of the Cuban government to support reintegration of participants in the country’s long conflict, with the signing of a Peace Agreement. The selection of the date was not a random decision; but rather intentional, to honor a person who conceived a new way of seeing medicine and turned a profession, which, like others under capitalism, was seen as a safe route to financial success for those who could pay for medical school, to a profession of service, dedication, and solidarity.

“What you are doing is Fidel Castro’s dream. Without his idea it would not have been possible to have a school that has trained students from Third World countries, who would not have had the possibility of studying medicine had they not been given an opportunity at this school, of a scholarship that provides everything free of charge,” stated the Cuban ambassador to Colombia, José Luis Ponce, speaking with the young people and their families at El Dorado International Airport.

“We are sure that you appreciate the love with which we give you this and how we share what we have, not what we have left over,” said Ponce on a day when Cubans commemorate the 93rd anniversary of Fidel’s birth.

The diplomat said that over the next two years, 1,000 students on scholarships, donated by the Cuban government to the Colombian people, will begin their studies in Cuba to support their re-integration into society with the signing in 2016 of the Peace Agreement between the Colombian state and FARC-EP guerrillas.


Victims of the conflict, former guerrillas, relatives of troops, and the population in rural regions of the country, according to Prensa Latina, are included in the group of approximately 200 young people who will begin their studies at ELAM this year.


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