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"We are bringing young people who couldnt fulfill their dreams in the United States," said Rev. Lucius Walker, as he accompanied a new group of US students to the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Havana.

ELAM began primarily as a center to train doctors from the Central American countries hit by hurricane Mitch in 1998. Soon after, it expanded to accept low-income students from around Latin America and more recently has also given underprivileged young people from the United States the opportunity to study medicine.

Rev. Walker said that the new students are themselves victims of "the values in our country" that turns medicine into a commercial product and of a deficient public health system. He noted that these young people havent lost their dreams and now can continuing dreaming thanks to Cuba.

"We have a marvelous task through Pastors for Peace "which each year sponsors a caravan to Cuba in defiance of the US blockade against the island", but we have never been part of a project that brings so much joy as the Latin American School of Medicine, said Walker.

After expressing his gratitude for all that Cuba does, Walker asked that Fidel Castro be told "the immense appreciation we feel for him, for his ideas, and also reiterate to him our commitment to continue working together for this project."

The new US students, seven women and six men, were welcomed by ELAM President Dr. Juan D. Carrizo Estevez. With this new group, a total of 88 young people from the US are now studying medicine in Cuba.

Source: CubaNow

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