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Celebrating Puente de Amigos 25th Anniversary . . . and Beyond!
We celebrated Puente de Amigos 25th Anniversary in style at Sessions this year! We were blessed to have Cuba Yearly Meeting's Presiding Clerk, Odalys Hernández Cruz, with us. Also, her daughter Melissa (who will attend George School for the 2016-17 academic year), and Cándido Quelvys who represented our partner, Miami Friends Church.
Betsy Cazden reviewed some of the history, taking us back to 1991 when the decision to develop a relationship with Cuba Yearly Meeting arose from the body in a Spirit-led discussion. Many New England Friends have now had a chance to travel to Cuba and experience the spirited and Spirit-led worship unique to Cuban Quakerism.
The program has also brought a number of Cuban Quakers to New England in a manifestation of the equity that has been a principle of the partnership since its inception. Their presence and their prayers have yielded up lasting memories. We are especially grateful to Susan Furry and Benigno Sanchez-Eppler for their ministry of translating Quaker documents into Spanish (www.raicescuaqueras.org)
This is a time of flux as our two nations sort out their tangled history. Odalys emphasized repeatedly that the relationship is even more important than ever. To that end, we will send an inter-generational trip in 2017; also a Young Adult Friend, Julian Grant of Hanover MM, will live among Cuban Friends for six months in October 2016. With your help Puente will continue to send laptops and anticipate supporting their social enterprise projects, too. Puente looks forward to the next twenty-five years.