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Espina Pérez, Darío (1920-1996) | University of Miami Finding Aids

Name: Espina Pérez, Darío (1920-1996)

Historical Note:

Darío Espina Pérez was born in Limonar, Matanzas, Cuba on October 25, 1920, to a family dedicated to beekeeping. He received his elementary education in public school and through exams received a scholarship from the Ministry of Agriculture to study to become an agricultural sciences teacher at the Alvaro Reynoso Principal Agricultural School in Colón, Cuba. After earning a bachelor of science degree, he attended the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Havana, where he graduated with the degree of Agricultural Engineer in Sugar Chemistry. He later returned to the University of Havana to earn his law degree.

Espina's activities in Cuba were centered in the banking and agriculture industries. He was part of the accounting department at the Banco Continental Cubano, chief of construction for the Public Works Ministry's "Via Blanca" project, a math professor in the Alvaro Reynoso Provincial Agricultural School, inspector at the Provincial Schools of Agriculture, held various posts at the Banco de Fomento Agricola e Industrial, was consultant and deputy administrator at the Banco Núñez in Havana, manager of a branch of the Banco de la Construcción, professor and Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural Engineers of the University of Havana, professor of the Faculty of Law of the University of Pinar del Río, chief of the appraisal department at the National Institute of Agrarian Reform in 1959, and finally, officer of the Banco Nacional de Cuba until he left Cuba in 1961 during a scientific congress in Spain.

In 1961, Espina was granted asylum in the United States. Outside of Cuba, Espina continued to be an active professional through his position beginning in 1962 as sector specialist, consultant, and project manager with the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, D.C. Espina worked and lived in various countries in Latin America, including Honduras, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Ecuador, Haiti, and Costa Rica.

In 1981, Espina retired from the IDB and settled in Miami, Florida, with his wife, lawyer Hilda Díaz Espina, and their three children, physicians Hilda Tejero and Darío M. Espina and management and information technology specialist Carlos Espina.

Espina authored nearly forty technical and literary books and co-authored several more, all edited in collaboration with his wife, Hilda. In 1989, he founded and directed La Academia Poética de Miami literary society. His writing has received various awards, including Premio Garcilaso de la Vega in 1995, given by the Instituto de Cultura Peruana for his poem La Naturaleza and the Premio Carlos Márquez Sterling in 1992 for the best journalism article on the reconstruction of Cuba. Espina has received many other numerous awards for his engineering work. These include: the Víctor M. Peraza award (1948), recognition from the Municipio de Guamacaro en el Exilio (1989), the Primer Poeta Épico award given by the Colegio Nacional de Pedagogos en el Exilio (1992), the Alvaro Reynoso award from the Colegio Nacional de Ingenieros Agrónomos y Azucereros Cubanos (1992), the Premio Certamen Poético García Lorca (1995), and the Premio Instituto de Cultura Peruana (1995). In 1995 Espina was recognized as the teacher of the decade by the Cuadratura del Círculo Poético Iberoamericano.

Espina passed away in Miami on September 6, 1996.

Sources: Biography written by Darío Espina Pérez and translated by his daughter, Hilda Tejero. This information is included in the collection file. Edits by Sarah Block.

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