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A Place She Called Home

  • Published in Holguin
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ashley reportaje 1Photos: By Alexis del Toro and the author.
 
The life of Canadian family Schlag changed on August 28, 2012. That day, the oldest daughter, Ashley, was the victim of a traffic accident on Highway 206 south of Dugald, Canada.
 
The girl died, but her legacy is kept in a Bar Café at the Holguin hotel Guardalavaca, a tourist facility with 746 rooms, divided into four sections.

ashley reportaje 2
 
In 2003, the parents came with the girl for the first time to this place, when she was eight years old. From that stage until 2012, they visited together the Atlántico Guardalavaca on every Ashley birthday.

They repeat the visit each March 12, Ashley’s anniversary date, to spend their vacations when the cold ravages their country, and also in clear relation with the meaning that the facility had for the young girl.

"We like its people more than all, that is, hotel workers, and of course, the environment. We have been to Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, for example, but here the love and affection is excellent.

ashley reportaje 3
 
What Ashley liked best about it was dancing, sharing with the Animation staff. We love being in the Memorial Café and on the beach, another unforgettable place, "says Nicole Schlag, mother of the deceased girl.

The father, Graham, recalls that Ashley was fascinated by football: "She was a goalkeeper and started to practice it when she was five or six years old. It is more common in Canada to play football now, but not so much at that time.

Despite her frequent injuries, she was still active, even in a final they played, she played more than half of the game with a broken hand. She was a member of the Manitoba provincial team and her dream was to integrate the national squad into the future. "

"Each year, we fund two scholarships in Canada, for teenagers between 16 and 18, among whom we look for girls with potential and few economic resources, who wish to continue their careers as footballers or practitioners of other sports; in March, we announce the beneficiary for one and the other in June. We also organize volleyball, ice hockey and soccer tournaments,” explained Nicole Schlag.
 
They had heard that something was projected in homage to Ashley. When they arrived in March 2013 at the spa of Guardalavaca, they were surprised by the allegorical Bar Café.

They were here during the opening of the Bar Café. They also have great friendship with Humberto Lahera, painter of the mural that remembers the soccer player there.

Dianelis Almaguel, commercial deputy director of the Atlántico Guardalavaca, says that the Café Bar opens at 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm, entertained many times by instrumental music.

It is the only bar specializing in coffee at the hotel, with greater acceptance the cappuccino and Spanish coffee, although there is one with the name of the honoree.

At this time, other members of the family are also in Holguin, such as the younger sister, Madison, and one of the grandmothers. On each trip, the Schlag enrich with objects the Bar Café and the service staff.

The period of more arrivals of Canadians to the Atlántico Guardalavaca is that of the months of January, February and March, in the so-called high season. At the end of 2018, the percentage of tourists from that nation represented more than 40 of the total number of guests of the facility, says the Commercial Assistant Director.

There are prospects that in the week of Ashley's birthday, in 2020, there will be a soccer tournament in Holguin, between Cubans and Maple Leaf Country athletes.
Nelson Rodríguez Roque
Author: Nelson Rodríguez Roque
Licenciado en Estudios Socioculturales Periodista Deportivo y de temas Históricos y Políticos
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