On November 23 rd, 1959 , Che made come true the first calling intended to do hours of voluntary work through his own example. That fact can be picked up in our history through the construction of the “ Ciudad Escolar Camilo Cienfuegos ” in the “Caney de Las Mercedes”, located in the heart of the Sierra Maestra.
That Saturday together with a numerous group of followers, the legendary commander participated in a hard “jornada” that took many hours. From that moment on, despite all the responsibilities heaped upon him, it was usual to see him each Saturday engaged with different construction works.
With all the modesty that characterized him, Che was one of the persons who went to the opening act on July 26 th, 1960 of Ciudad Escolar where he had poured so much sweat in silence.
The Cubans of that time keep with themselves several anecdotes raised as a result of the voluntary working hours. Che not only worked as a construction worker but also as a cane cutter in the zafra (sugar harvest). Besides, he worked as an operator in a factory, which constituted the first sector of the economy in the country. He used to go to any factory of the capital with his co-workers from the Ministry of Industry.
Many factories were inaugurated by him in different provinces. He worked in most of them devoting time to the voluntary works.
People who shared those days with Che, tell that he did not tolerate the least disorder or formalism. On Sundays when he attended any factory or farm and found out any problem, he immediately established serious discussions with the responsible persons being in charge. The legacy of the voluntary working hours can be still appreciated in the island. To fulfil it, means to honour the man who sowed this idea, just eleven months after the triumph of the Revolution.