A Deep Breath of Cuba

Cuba’s has a deep heart that pours out into its streets like a tapped fire hydrant on a hot summer day. There is a spirit that engulfs every one of your senses, should you decide to accept the challenge. I say challenge because it is not as simple as what’s pictured in those typical photos, constantly chosen to show a “frozen” country.

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The old 50s American car may be a staple on the postcard, but not until you pop open the hood and visit the visual Frankenstein underneath, will you understand your first piece of being a Cuban. They may have to duct tape a fuel line, but it still runs with no complaints or excuses. There’s the common phrase, “if walls could talk”, but in this case if the Disney movie Cars came to life and governments could get along, our planet would be filled with far more Pantone beauty, mojitos muddled to perfection, and hugs that wrap you in immediate happiness.

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For the past 5 hours on a plane, I culled over and over trying to pick an image indicative of my Cuba experience. But I had to admit defeat. To pull a single image to represent this whole place is simply impossible. There are too many stories inside of stories that deserve more than just one image and one moment to shine. So I settled here. On an image that just barely scratches the surface of feelings in my heart right now. There was a constant contrast of modern meets past that I tried so hard to capture. And even more so, understand. As I was chauffeured around in our 1950s American car, outside were people on bicycles and scooters, next to giant tour busses and coche de caballos all sharing the same narrow dirt street. All using a system that they’ve made work for the drastically different modes of transportation. But that’s just it, they make it work! Cubans have decided to take the route of no excuses and live as much as they can without complaint and love as deep as they can with a beautiful sense of sarcastic humor. I admire the ingenuity, the brilliantly creative, the humble, and the humorous that makes Cuba, Cuba.

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And not until you’re there in real life, staring into someone’s eyes, sharing the same space, can you even understand an ounce of this important place. I dare you to see Cuba. See Cuba for everything poured onto those streets from that full beating heart.

-E

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