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Poetry: Maria Cristina Camilo and the afternoon

Meet Maria Cristina Camilo, a pioneer in communication in the Dominican Republic and an advocate for the rights of the elderly, and the moving poetry that challenges stereotypes about aging, showing that the afternoon of life is a time of experience and wisdom.



What makes something "go viral" and be shared by thousands of people around the world? The answer lies in the ability to relate to the story and underlying values, as well as the emotions the moment evokes in people. This is precisely what happened with a video in which a 102-year-old woman, Maria Cristina Camilo, recited a poem. The setting was an event dedicated to the elderly in the Dominican Republic, aimed at addressing the challenges and opportunities faced by the elderly population in that society. This gathering brought together government officials, representatives of civil society, and members of the country's elderly community, covering a range of essential topics such as health, education, employment, and the rights of the elderly.


woman and poetry

María Cristina Camilo: A Life of Achievements in Communication


María Cristina Camilo was born on December 25, 1921, in the Dominican Republic, and she is a passionate advocate for the rights of the elderly.


According to her biography (link below), she lost her mother at a very young age and was raised with love by her aunt. She completed her education at Inmaculada Concepción School, studied and worked as a nurse for nearly twelve years, and married at a young age. With a great talent for the arts, she learned to play the piano, the mandolin, and painting. However, in 1952, her life took a turn that would define her path: an advertisement was seeking individuals with impeccable diction, and that's when Maria Cristina presented herself at 'La Voz del Yuna' to become the first national announcer to speak for 'Voz Dominicana.' Her contribution to Dominican television was also significant as she inaugurated local television with the program 'Romance Campesino.' Throughout her career, she received various national honors and was also awarded the 'Grand Golden Microphone' in 1991, along with two Casandra statuettes for her contribution to media in the Dominican Republic. In 2021, she was honored for her uninterrupted career of over 70 years in media.


The poem "Aquí no hay viejos, simplemente nos llegó la tarde" ("Here, there are no old people, we simply reached the afternoon")


The poem is a reflection on stereotypes. It states that there are no old people; there are only those who have reached the afternoon of life. In the poem, 'old' refers to the sea, the sun, and the moon, but we, as beings with wisdom, have simply reached the afternoon of life. This moment is not one of weakness or uselessness, but an experience to be valued by those who feel and are younger because, for them, the afternoon will also come.


Below is the translated poem, but don't forget to access the video and be moved by Maria Cristina's powerful voice in the following link:


LINK TO THE VIDEO ON FACEBOOK: https://fb.watch/n5wgzmvou3/


Here, there are no old people,

Only the afternoon has arrived. Here, there are no old people,

Only the afternoon has arrived:

An afternoon filled with experience,

Experience to offer advice.

Here, there are no old people,

Only the afternoon has arrived.

The sea is old and majestic,

The sun is old and warms us,

The moon is old and lights our way,

The earth is old and gives us life,

Love is old and encourages us.

Here, there are no old people,

Only the afternoon has arrived.

We are beings filled with wisdom,

Graduates in the school of life and time,

Which has granted us a master's degree.

We've climbed the tree of life,

Gathering the finest fruits,

These fruits are our children,

Whom we care for with patience.

This patience is repaid with love.

They were children, they are adults, and they will become old.

Morning will come, and the afternoon will arrive,

And they too will offer advice.

Here, there are no old people,

Only the afternoon has arrived.

Young one: If on your journey you encounter Individuals

with steady steps,

With kind and affectionate gazes,

With wrinkled skin and trembling hands,

Do not ignore them, help them,

Protect them, support them,

Offer your friendly hand and your affection.

Remember that one day,

The afternoon will also come for you.



References:


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