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companero che .com - the truth about Ernesto Che Guevara
Argentina South America Mexico Cuba Soviet Union Africa Bolivia
  - first year        
    - meeting with Fidel        

  - prison        

1954 - 1955

On 21st September 1954 Ernesto Guevara went to Mexico by train. During the trip, he met Julio Roberto Cceres (El Patojo), a Venezuelan with whom he struck a warm friendship. The first months in Mexico were not easy. Guevara had no money and no work. He bought a camera and started to work as a street photographer with Cceres. In the parks around the city, they took pictures of passers-by with a rather cheap and common camera.


"El Patojo had no money and I, just a few pesos. I bought the camera and together we embarked on the clandestine job of taking pictures in the parks, in partnership with a Mexican who ran a small laboratory where we developed our films. We came to know all of Mexico City by walking all over it from one end to the other to deliver the lousy pictures we took".


His first impressions of Mexico were far from pleasant:


"Mexico is entirely given over to the Yankees. The press says nothing at all. The economic situation is terrible, prices are going up at an alarming rate, and the disintegrations is such that all the labour leaders have been bought off and sign unfair contracts with the Yankee companies, in return for suppressing strikes. There is no independent industry, much less any free trade".

In November 1954 Ernesto Guevara got a job as a doctor in Mexico City. He worked in the allergy ward of the capital's General Hospital. He also started seeing Hilda again. Thanks to her he began making contact with militants and politicians from other countries. Then, in the hospital where he was working, he ran into Antonio Lopez (ico), his Cuban friend he had met in Guatemala who came in the hospital for a treatment.


On 20th March 1955 with Julio Roberto Cceres and Cuban Severino Rossell, Ernesto Guevara covered the Fourth Pan American Games held in Mexico City. Previously, he had met Alfonso Prez Vizcano, an Argentine doctor who headed the photography branch of Agencia Latina. Ernesto Guevara agreed to freelance for this agency as a photographer. He had some experience as sports photographer, for in his early youth he had worked for Tacie, an Argentine magazine.


In his free time, he wrote scientific research papers on allergies and attended a congress in Veracruz. Thanks to these activities he finally got a grant from the General Hospital which made his life easier. He then went on exotic expeditions that were a sheer madness for asthma sufferer, such as climbing the Popocatepetl and the Pico de Orizaba.


In July 1955, through "ico" Lopez, Ernesto first met Ral Castro, a Cuban student leader recently released from a Havana jail. A few days later he met Raul?s brother in the home of Cuban Mara Antonia Gonzlez at 49-C Emparan Street. And so, in the summer of 1955, Ernesto Guevara met Fidel Castro and discover the path that would eventually lead him to glory.

<- Che in Guatemala Meeting with Fidel ->

A detailed chronology of Che's life you can find
in this book "A Brave Man" on Cuba Directo website


©2008 Nigel Hunt - All Rights Reserved.

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