Cuba Pobre : Poor Cuba
Cubans showed me that in some ways their country is one of the richest places on Earth. The music, the culture and the spirit of the people are so strong. So alive!
But economically, many Cubans are struggling. Even with food rations that the government provides for the population, people are struggling to survive on wages which average just $15 per month.
In March 2012 I shot a photo essay for Newsmax, documenting the poor side of Cuba. Completing this assignment lead me to meet and spend time with some outstandingly wonderful human beings whose spirits actually shone stronger because of their hardships. It lead me into buildings that were literally crumbling where families still lived and into a world where I got a brief sense of what life is like in a city where food is so scarce that a cup of rice or a couple of bananas are hard to come by.
And all these hardships just make Cubans stronger; more unified and more positive. They are people who live for the moment, enjoying life simply because they were lucky enough to be born Cuban!
A Havana local outside a dilapidated building on Habana Street, Old Havana (The city’s tourist centre). Shells of colonial buildings stand alongside lived in homes throughout Havana.
An old car sits in front of a building facade which has crumbled internally. Old Havana, Cuba
A mother and daughter in their family home, in a block of flats in Central Havana. The room pictured is the entire living space of the family: a shared single bed on one side and toilet on the other – separated from the living area by a plastic curtain. There is no running water so the buckets are filled downstairs and stored in the room.
A single bed and rocking chair are the sum total of the household furniture. Mother and her daughter sit on their bed while the neighbor visits, Central Havana neighbourhood.
A store in Central Havana with sparse supplies of tobacco, cigarettes, salt, rice, sugar, beans, oil, coffee and juice
Lazaro has been homeless for 3-4 years. He sleeps in the street. His wife is dead and his children have moved to Mexico. The white bag contains his belongings. He told me he cannot work because of his crippled hand. He said “Many people here are homeless.” Lazaro is the most memorable person I met in Cuba.
My favourite photo from my whole trip to Cuba. Three homeless men waiting outside the Comedor in Central Havana, for lunch to be served.
A view looking over Central Havana from Hotel Parque Central, on Paseo del Prado
Broken building on Amargura Street, Old Havana
Old Havana, Cuba
Entrance to residential building in Central Havana, the electricity wires run from the meter box up to each individual residence.
Wooden supports on a building in Central Havana
Homeless man looking at clothes in the trash on a popular tourist street in Old Havana
To see more of my published photos please visit www.aliciafox.net/published/