I was born on Feb. 18, 1944 in Havana, Cuba. My family was of humble origins and their cultural background was scarce. As they have told me, I always showed a keen interest and curiosity towards things and people. My early years were spent attending school, sharing time and games with friends – some of which are still part of my life – and readings comics. When I was around 6 years old, my family moved from downtown Havana to live in the outskirts of the city. This change in my life was fundamental and probably was the cause of my taste for open spaces and my love for nature itself. My taste for music, languages and dancing became evident and was developed during adolescence. That was a time of exploration along with friends. Some of these were not only friends but also dear members of my family. My father’s mother played a relevant role during my early life and kept me company in very difficult moments of my childhood. Her death, when I was around ten years old, was a hard blow and her abscence is still noted by me.
I left Cuba when I was 17 and went to live in USA. I lived there for the following six years. They covered my late adolescence and the early years of my adulthood. I had to work hard for survival and, following the advice of a dear friend, started to study at CCNY. I worked toward a BA in English Literature and Art. What I learned during those years have left in me an endless interest for the arts and a knowledge of the English language that make me hesitate at times when I am speaking Spanish; my mother tongue. I served the US Army. It was not an easy experience. I learned a lot from it, however. Persistence, faith in my latent resources, discipline, compassion and empathy as well as patience and tolerance became usual companions during that long year. They are still with me. When I was 23 I decided to start studying medicine, largely influenced by a teacher at the University of Miami.
So in 1967, I went to Spain. It was not an easy decision to move from America to Europe. I started my career at the University of Salamanca and finished it at the University of Santiago de Compostela, six years later. Those were years of discoveries, of fulfilment of the dreams of youth I had not had the chance to live before, due to the need for survival that was always present during my years in the States. These were years full of romance during which I established relationships which were to determine the rest of my life: friends – once again – and love. I met Maria in Santiago. She was to be mother of my children Carla y Mario.
I practiced rural medicine for one year in Avila before I was accepted as a resident in Psychiatry at Parayas Hospital and Valdecilla Hospital in Santander, Spain I have lived and practiced in Santander since. There I have established my home and my place of living. I still have a penchant for literature, music and my work. However, being a father has been the role from which I have learned most in my life. It is for this reason that I am most appreciative of those who have made it possible. I am also very appreciative of what have become basic values in my life; namely, friendship, honesty and loyalty. I have learned that these are qualities that are acquired early in life. I have also learned that is easy to fault them.