Cuba – A Journey Through Time

March 12, 2016 by Rita F Preza | 0 comments

I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to join the National Geographic Expedition People to People Tour of Cuba.  This particular tour enabled us to have direct interaction with people from many walks of life with many stories to tell.  Cuba is an amazing visual dichotomy depicting old and new that includes not only architecture but lifestyle as well.  I hope these photos tell the story.

Bloqueo

 

 

 

 

 

On the road from the airport into Havana is a very prominent sign expressing strong sentiments about the embargo.  Maybe it will be lifted soon.

 People

It was my pleasure to meet everyone, to be invited into some of their homes and to be able to photograph them.

Cars

With more money trickling into Cuba, car owners are able to restore their classic cars but there is still an overall problem keeping them running.  Cubans can buy and sell cars now within the country but it is not likely they will be able to be exported.  Time will tell.

“Che” Guevara

Che is a national hero among Cubans and his image appears throughout the country on walls, tiles, clothes and buildings. His passion led him to be revered and reviled.  If you are interested, Motorcycle Diaries is a good film to see how he grew into his revolutionary mindset.

The Arts

From murals throughout the city to formal instruction in many of the arts, Havana is filled with creativity.  The Plaza de San Francisco currently features statues of cats that symbolize friendship and cultural exchanges.  The lady on a rooster is the work of Roberto Fabelo and is the topic of many discussions as to its meaning.  Any thoughts?

Cojímar

Ernest Hemingway used to keep his fishing boat docked at the village of Cojímar, east of Havana.  Today there is not much notoriety left but it is essential to the area fishermen.  A quick glance shows that they are only allowed to have small fishing boats – ones that are not likely to make it across the Florida Straits.

Street Scenes

The best way to experience Havana is walking through its streets.  It is lively, sensual, noisy, dusty, full of crumbling buildings and, even better, full of surprises.

  • Old cannons have been turned upside down in the street to block traffic.
  • Many streets and buildings are being repaired in preparation for President Obama’s visit.
  • They spray throughout for mosquitos to keep Zika and other viruses at bay; but the fumes are pretty bad.
  • Take a peek in doorways for a glimpse into hard living in old buildings.
  • Bicitaxis are the way to get around quickly if not hazardously.  A few members of my group can speak to that.
  • Dogs are everywhere in the city.  They have been known to take up with a group tour and protect us as we walked around the city.

 

And so we left Cuba behind with our hearts and minds open to the spirit of the people we met.

Hasta Siempre, Cuba.

Sunrise-boat

This gallery contains 4 photos

July 14, 2015
by Rita F Preza
0 comments

Costa Rica

I had always wanted to go to Costa Rica and we finally pulled it off this past June. It was the ideal vacation to meet up with family and spend a relaxing week swimming, surfing, exploring, eating and visiting. Since my … Continue reading

October 5, 2014
by Rita F Preza
2 Comments

Friends, Family & Photographs – a Tour through Italy

  A Southern Italy Family Tour Once again I was speeding through Italy on the comfortable and impressive frecciarossa going from Florence to Salerno, where my Italian cousins were picking me up and taking me to their home in Battipaglia. Although … Continue reading

September 28, 2014
by Rita F Preza
0 comments

Friends, Family & Photographs – a Tour through Italy

A Family Tour After bidding farewell to my friends, I spent the day walking around Milan.  Though it rained throughout the day, I did walk down to see the Milan Cathedral, the Piazza del Duomo, and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a … Continue reading

September 20, 2014
by Rita F Preza
0 comments

Friends, Family & Photographs – a Tour through Italy

I had the opportunity to spend a month in late Spring of 2013 in Italy.  Here is recap of those glorious days. A Friends Tour Several friends and I spent close to a year planning and saving for their first trip … Continue reading

September 14, 2014
by Rita F Preza
1 Comment

Santiago and Beyond

This is the sixth and final post in a series about my pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago. We found a nice country inn for our last night on the Camino, stopping early enough to get a room – the last … Continue reading

September 7, 2014
by Rita F Preza
1 Comment

Buen Camino

This is the fifth post in a series about walking the Camino de Santiago. We started out week three on a relatively easy walk, making good time weaving around main roads with many cafés and bars. We enjoyed walking through the Bierzo … Continue reading

August 30, 2014
by Rita F Preza
3 Comments

Making Up Time

This is the fourth post in a series about walking the Camino de Santiago. We completed our first week on the Camino and it was obvious by the time we reached Belorado, our eighth day on our journey, that our … Continue reading

August 24, 2014
by Rita F Preza
4 Comments

Heading Out

This is the third post in a series about walking the Camino de Santiago. We started our first day on the Camino early on August 30, 2011. It was a cool morning and we focused quickly on the sanctioned yellow arrows marking … Continue reading

August 19, 2014
by Rita F Preza
0 comments

Getting it Together

This is the second in a series of articles about walking the Camino de Santiago. When I retired in 2011, the first trip I wanted to take was the pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. My son, David, and I … Continue reading

August 1, 2014
by Rita F Preza
0 comments

Introduction – Pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago

This is a series of articles about my experience walking the Camino de Santiago.  I hope you enjoy them and I look forward to hearing from other pilgrims about your journeys. Introduction The Camino de Santiago, or the Way of St. James, … Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: