From theater to baseball, from Cuba to Huesca

José Miguel Valdivia Bernal (Sancti Spíritus -Cuba- 1964), known by the nickname ‘Corojo’, is “son of a peasant family and I was born in Eden, surrounded by fruit trees, I lived among animals, horses, cows, dogs…, I know how to work perfectly in all the tasks of the field, riding a horse…”. With a marked Cuban accent, he says that after going to the school in his town, he went to a music teaching center “where he was the only one who did not study music”, although this experience “directed me and awakened my artistic vocation . I read a lot, especially short stories, I became very fond of stories, in fact I have two published books of stories and poetry”. And judo and baseball had already been installed in his life.

When finishing the pre-university baccalaureate -he adds-, “I was able to study a fighter jet pilot in the former Soviet Union and I dropped out, I was able to study MedicineI was able to study Naval Engineering, but finally I opted for the National School of Art (ENA) and studied theater directing”.

He returned to his city and became a drama teacher at the university. “I directed a group there for many years, I won many awards and I created a professional theater group, Teatro del Encuentro, and I had it for 18 years…”. Various premieres of works, including two written by him; humorous shows, “which in times was very popular in Cuba to survive and so on”, and, on the other hand, he directed ‘Artistas’, a softball group, “a substitute for baseball but with a bigger ball”.

He got married and they came to Spain in 2000. First to Zaragoza, he worked in several festivals in this city and in Jaca, La Muela…; then to Teruel, where his wife worked as a psychiatrist and he gave workshops on mask making, theater… His first child, Leo, was born there, and after a year, “In 2007 we came to live in Huesca, because we had some friends here. That year our twins were born, who are currently members of the club”.

Until 2014, he only dedicated himself to writing and caring for his children, “one hundred percent… Until one day my wife gave me a baseball glove and I had a ball signed by the Cuban team that was Olympic champion in Barcelona; with my son Leo, who had received the basics of this sport in physical education, We went down to the back of the conference center to play, and almost as if by magic, children joined in”. She proposed the after-school program at Colegio Pirineos and Amypa accepted it. He got the title of first level coach in La Coruña. He created the Huesca Baseball Club (Jabatos), to which his twins belong and which is nourished by, above all, graduates of the Colegio Pirineos, and he became a national baseball coach.

“I have won the Aragon series of school games several times in different categories, especially in Sub 11 and Sub 15, I have been a finalist in several championships, I have won cups from Zaragoza, I have been among the best Under 11 and Under 15 teams and this year we won the Under 18 national championship and we have just won the Under 11 national championship”.

In the meantime, “the theater is always there, it is a guiding vocation in my life”. “From the theater -he summarizes- I bring rigor, passion, dedication, study, self-improvement…, and from baseball, something that is part of the DNA of our region, of the Caribbean”.


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