“10th of October Manifsto 1867 Cuba”

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My father, uncles, and my grandfather all worked in a sugar mill owned by Carlos Cespedes. My family lived in a small shack on the estate of Carlos Cespedes as well, my name is Gloria Lopez I am only 14 years old I have three sisters Abelinda she is 12 years old, Rosa is 10, Silvia is 8 and two brothers Hector, he is 16 and Havier is the oldest in the family he is 18 years old. My mother worked in the kitchen in the main house my sisters and I worked in the shed in the back doing only liens and clothes. Mother had to wake up at four o'clock in the morning to make breakfast for the Cespedes family she would let my sisters and I sleep in till six thirty, she always wanted us to get as much rest as possible. I worked in the back shed from seven o’clock to twelve pm. There was always work to be done I usually never take lunch breaks because I wanted to get the laundry done so that I can go home early.

The head of the staff would always be in the shed trying to help my sisters and I. She was kind woman, She would always try to make work fun by telling stories and play games you could tell she was very dexterous. Her name was Dora I never knew how old she was but I could tell that she was her for many years, the hard work showed in her hands and eyes. Her skin was leathery like an old worn out horse saddle with deep crease lines on her face. She would wear her hair in a tight bun on top of her head with a small blue flower pin to hold her hair up in the back. She wore a long white dress with ruffles on the shoulders and wrists. Dora also wore a short black apron around her waist because this was the dress code if you worked in the main house. She would always race us when it we had to fold laundry, I am still the champion.
Although I knew that she would let me win half the time it made the work dualable. Me and my sisters enjoyed having her around. When work was done mother would come and get us and take us home, we always would help my mother prepare the night's meal for our family. Late at night I would lay in the small bed that I shared with my sisters. I would stay awake and listen to my father and uncles talk about the uprising of the people. I would feel this fire burning disconcert inside of me to hear, that the government and the rich felt that if you were born poor then you should stay poor. I woke up one night to my father speaking about Carlos Cespedes and that he would free his slaves, but he would be asking them to join the struggle. I didn't realize till that night that my family and me were considered slaves. I always thought that we were just another poor family, but my fathers secret conversation inspired me to believe that there could really be a change.

During this time, under the rule of Franciso Aguilera the suppression of the people was widespread and very inimical. Carlos Cespedes was so distraught, that even though he was a very wealthy man and fighting for the rights for the people was so important for him that his own son was imprisoned and executed because he would not back down to Franciso Aguilara and what he thought was right. When my father and uncle decided to stand by Carlos Cespedes to fight for the struggle, they knew that their lives would be in danger but they knew that this cause was worth fighting for. I remember being afraid that soldiers would take my family and kill them, but my father told me that it would never happen and he was right. I don't know what the future will be like tomorrow but I remember my father's words that if we have an opportunity to change and make things and life better, we should. When my father left I remember him standing outside of the front porch giving my mother a big hug and a kiss. I will always remember how he looked that day he had such courage no fear, he looked broad and sharp. With his dark black hair and his dark beard really matched his tan pants and jacket with red lace on the sides and on his sombrero. He stood tall with pistol on his hip and leather sling with rows of bullets going across his chest, proved that he would return and come back home. I saw my father walk away a proud man and he came back a the hero that he always was to me.





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