Cuba PeopLe and places

On February 4th, 2017, I embarked on a weeklong photographic journey to Cuba with the International Center for Photography. Joined by my dear friend Liz Hilpman, we were amongst a group of twelve using our cameras to explore anachronistic Havana, as well as the picturesque fishing village Cojimar, made famous by Hemingway, and the rural Vinales valley. It was a special and timely trip as Cuba is poised for change- the government has allowed privatization of certain businesses, Americans are now welcome, and the cruise ships arrive daily.

We visited Callejon de Hamel, a street full of shrines, diverse sculptural pieces, and colorful murals. It has been considered a public temple to Santeria and African influences in Cuban culture. We attended the fabulous Sunday rumba festival.

Apple has arrived on the island!

The people of Havana are friendly, welcoming and kind. Many invited us into their homes or workshops. The buildings, once lovely, are mostly crumbling but have an aged patina which is breathtaking in its own way.

Loved the t shirt and the pooch (referring to the dog)
On our way up to a 3rd floor restaurant , we passed a 2nd floor room of drying linens. Was so lovely in the afternoon sun...
Black market wifi- these ladies are Skyping with relatives in Italy with their granddaughter. .
Dominoes in the street is a very popular pastime
This woman and the one below were waiting to have their hair done in a beauty salon.
A carpenter's workshop, lit by a single fluorescent light. There must have been 50 years of sawdust layered all over everything.
Got cats?
And you thought your commute was bad?

A morning visit to the Escuela de Ballet, Cuba's national ballet school where dancers travel to study from all over the world. We were able to view a rehearsal and audition.

Curious eyes!

We also explored and photographed the fishing village of Cojimar and the Fishing Cooperative. Ernest Hemmingway spent a great deal of time here and was loved by the community. He kept his boat in the harbor of Cojimar and used this village as the setting for his story The Old Man and the Sea.

Hemmingway's boat (just kidding)

Our final day and night were spent in the Vinales Valley. We strolled through the beautiful valley visiting tobacco farms and drying barns that produce some of the worlds finest cigars. We spent the night at various Casa Particulars (B&Bs). Cuba's newest entrepreneurs, the homeowners have been licensed by the State to accommodate the influx of tourists in places where there are no hotels. Liz and I stayed at Casa Rolando.

Casa Rolando
Our hosts
My bed- note the chicken shack outside the bedroom window. Did you know roosters crow all night when it's a full moon?
The friendly neighbor
Liz in action
Even out here there are video games
Cuban cowboy
Drying tobacco leaves
Rolling cigars
Almost stepped on this cutie

And then the theme that ended many an evening....

Good to the last drop!

Thank you for letting me share my photos!

Created By
Jennifer Holt


@2017 Jennifer Holt

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