Raíces Poderosas - From Cuba, always in my heart.

Introducing our new Blog Series where we are celebrating our roots, sharing stories of our experiences, acknowledging people who have had an impact in our life, and celebrating our journey. Diaspora Diaries. Raíces Poderosas.

Let me tell you a story of a woman larger than life. One that would stand at the balcony waiting for her grandchildren to arrive and would make sure the entire neighbourhood knew they had come home late.

A woman who chased her son-in-law around a store hitting him with her umbrella because he dared say something rude to her. A woman who would not mind her business, who most definitely would go up and scold you if you did something she thought was unjust.

The righteous anger that Ascención Lydia Cuellar López carried was due to a lifetime of being trampled on by people larger than her. So she became larger than life, reading every book despite not being allowed to go to school and learning every instrument and dance to express herself. She became so large that I can sometimes feel her presence shouting "¡comemierda!" with indignity.

Ascención Lydia Cuellar López was born, lived and died in La Habana, Cuba. I carry her with me always. This woman, larger than life that gave me the love of my life, my grandmother. This woman who wielded righteous anger for a better future, I will let you guide me, and maybe someday I will return to walk your footsteps. Por ti y contigo, abuela Lili.

Isabel proudly representing Cuba

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