Where They Live – Yulaime

In Centro Habana, well off the path for most tourists, Yulaime lives with her husband and three children on the ground floor of a seven story building. This floor has no windows, is all concrete, and has high ceilings. It appears as if it were at one time a parking area. To reach her home requires a long walk down a dark corridor past the doors of where several other families live.

Yulaime’s husband does not work. She earns a few pesos by selling shots of very strong, hot coffee and loose cigarettes late at night.













Where They Live – Ebon

Ebon is 48 years old and lives alone.

She’s a hustler. She works the streets, but not in a bad way. Ebon runs errands for restaurants and directs tourists to the best places to eat (or so she claims). If you need anything, EbonĀ  knows where it can be found. She’s always moving, not standing still for more than a few seconds.


At the end of a hallway.

One room with a divider. No bathroom

Standard water barrel for storage.


Double doors provide lots of light and fresh air.


Overlooking one of the busiest tourist areas in Habana Vieja.

Where They Live – Eriberto

Eriberto is 56 years old and works as a laborer. He earns the equivalent of about 14 USD/ month.

Eriberto and his wife liveĀ  in a space created by dividing Regla’s space horizontally and making two rooms out of one. To enter Eriberto’s home one has to climb stairs that look more like a ship’s ladder. The trick is to enter on your knees because the doorway is only one meter high. In fact, one has to start crawling even before reaching the top of the stairs.

The stairs.

Eriberto makes it look easy. It’s not.


The doorway.


The ceiling height is only about six feet.

Here one can see the top half of what used to be a huge window.

Well worn flooring.


Antique Singer.


Where They Live – Tanya and Michel

Tanya is 45 years old. She and Michel live next to Regla. Neither has a job. The only work in old Havana is in the tourist industry and one needs connections to get hired.


Michel lugs drinking water to the third floor for Tanya and some of their neighbors.

Their Kitchen area.


Some of their possessions.

A table and a bed.

Cheap cigarettes and cheap rum help pass the days.