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Winchester Reads 2015 Panel Discussion: Cuba Past and Present – 1950s to 2015

October 13, 2015 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


An informative panel discussion to complement and enhance appreciation for this year’s book selection, Carlos Eire’s Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy. Panelist will include Lou Alvarez, Maria Nicholson, Luis Domench, and Dr. Yamil Kouri. Dr. Kouri will discuss Cuban history and all will share their experiences of being refugees from Castro’s Cuba.

Lou Alvarez emigrated to the U.S. with her parents in November of 1960. She had to learn English and get used to the loss of family, friends and lifestyle, but says it was much harder for her parents. She went to St. Joseph’s School in Belmont, then to Mount Trinity Academy in Watertown for high school and to U/Mass Boston for BA and Boston University for MS. She taught at Winchester High School from 1972–2008. Now in retirement, she is doing volunteer work along with medical interpretation work and some teaching.

Maria Nicholson was born in Cuba but her parents were born in Spain. Her family left Cuba and moved to Spain and then the U.S. in 1968.  After a career in sales and time raising her family, she became an active volunteer and now works as a medical interpreter. She has been living in Winchester for 22 years.

Luis Domenech was born in Cuba and came to the United States with his family in 1965. He has been living in the Boston area for over forty years and before that lived briefly in Miami and then New Hampshire. His first trip back to Cuba was in 2010 and he now travels back to visit family almost annually.

Dr. Yamil H. Kouri comes from a family of prominent physicians, researchers and professors in the medical sciences in Cuba and also as exiles in the US. He was a political prisoner for 15 years under the communist regime and was freed in 1978 thanks to the intervention of President Carter. He has a Masters degree and PhD from Harvard University School of International Public Health.


Winchester Reads is sponsored by The John & Mary Murphy Educational Foundation with additional support from Book Ends, the Friends of the Winchester Public Library, the Winchester Multicultural Network, Winchester Public Schools, and many enthusiastic volunteers. This panel discussion is the first of two events related to this year’s book selection. For the second of the two events we invite readers who have enjoyed Carlos Eire’s Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy, the follow-up to his 2003 National Award-winning Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy  

to join us for …

An Evening With Carlos Eire 
Tuesday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m. at McCall Middle School. Eire will discuss his book Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy, a memoir about his experiences as an 11-year-old who was part of the airlift of Cuban children sent to Florida from Cuba after the Castro revolution.


October 13, 2015
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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