Yoel Camayd-Freixas




“Yoel was a brilliant man.” – Michael Dukakis


Yoel Camayd-Freixas, “a distinguished academic dedicated to making life fuller for the Latino and underserved populations,” lived to tackle complex challenges. He created the Boston Public Schools’ research and evaluation office, engineered the election of Massachusetts’ first Latino representative, and – at Jimmy Carter’s request – helped convince Fidel Castro to allow family reunification visits to Cuba.

His talents extended beyond, too:

He was “a great cook of Cuban food,’’ said José Massó, a longtime friend who has the “Con Salsa’’ program on WBUR. At family urging, he recently wrote a cookbook.

Our classroom, alas, lacks a kitchen. But we did learn from his obituary what “advocate” and “viable” mean, and examined their Latin roots vox and via, both of which aptly symbolize the life of Yoel Camayd-Freixas.