Francisco de Paula Flores, a teacher from Matanzas in Honduras

Cuba and Honduras are two countries united by history. The life of Francisco de Paula Flores from Matanzas is an example of this intimate relationship.

In 1911, the town of Juticalpa, capital of the eastern department of Olancho, in Honduras, erected a monument to the Cuban pedagogue Francisco de Paula Flores. What were his merits to achieve such a distinction?

During the Ten Years’ War and, above all, after its end in 1878, numerous Cuban patriots settled in Honduras. Among them were José Joaquín Palma, Antonio Maceo, Tomás Estrada Palma, Carlos Roloff, Máximo Gómez, Flor Crombet, among others.

Among those who arrived was Francisco de Paula Flores, who settled in that country permanently in 1873. He was born in Matanzas in 1844.

A worthy heir to the fame of the teachers and schools of his hometown, Flores dedicated himself entirely to teaching. It was in a school in the city of Trujillo where he began as a teacher in Honduras.

Shortly afterwards he was offered the position of director of a primary school to be founded in Juticalpa. For this reason he devoted several years to educating children at the Higher Primary School in that city.

Over time the favorable results of his educational work were recognized. On January 5, 1880, during the government of Marco Aurelio Soto, he was appointed director of the newly created Normal School for Boys in Juticalpa.

In addition to contributing to the training of teachers, he also worked at the La Fraternidad school. According to the testimonies of his contemporaries, his teaching performance at this center was exemplary.

He was the founder of the first primary school in the La Hoya neighborhood of Juticalpa. He also opened a night school for adults, an activity that he carried out voluntarily, without receiving a salary.

Eternal memory

Francisco de Paula Flores died on August 10, 1891 in the city of Juticalpa, after 18 years of dedicated dedication as an educator. At this time he received multiple tributes of gratitude to “Maestro Pancho,” as he was affectionately called.

In 1895, the poet and writer from Olancho Froylán Turcios, one of his most outstanding students, wrote: “All the young people from our department who have won an honorary title were his disciples.”

Today, the main square of the city of Juticalpa is called Francisco de Paula Flores Central Park. It is a perennial tribute to Cuba, to Matanzas, and to the life of an exemplary teacher.

There, in the northwest corner, is the marble bust of the unforgettable Matanzas educator, placed on October 4, 1911. On its pedestal one can read: “Olancho To Francisco de Paula Flores, Illustrious Cuban pedagogue. 1911.”

Translated by Casterman Medina de Leon

Acerca Luis Ernesto Martínez González

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