They watch from the streets, from corners, from steps, or they peer out of windows.

They sit, they stand, they pass the time of day, and they watch.

It may be because they want to escape their dark and dank living quarters. It may be because they have no job to got to. It may be because they have nothing else to do.

I believe it’s because Cubans are friendly and sociable people.
They like to smile and laugh. They like music and dance and they are ready to interact with fellow human beings.
It’s a pleasure to get to know them. I can walk a busy street in Havana, look everyone I pass in the eye, smile, and say hello. I get smiles and hellos right back. Try that in your average U.S. city of two million people, if you dare.

In the U.S., I might choose to give a posse of tough guys a wide berth, but I’ve not yet felt threatened while wading into a crowd or passing by a line-up of Cubans.

I might be naïve and I know I’m easily recognized as a tourist but I think I can judge character and for the most part, Cubans seem genuinely friendly. I get a good vibes.

_MG_9611 copy

_MG_9562 copy

_MG_8735 copy

_MG_2043a_b_c_fused copy

_MG_8227 copy

_MG_9597a_b_c_d_fusedAnd1more_fused copy

_MG_0640a_b_c_d_fused copy

_MG_9263 copy

_MG_1206 copy


No I-Pads or video games here.
This young man wanted to show off a bit and demonstrate his home-made stilts. Recalling my own youth, I immediately identified with his imagination and creativity. I too, constructed all sorts of “toys” out of old lumber, baby carriage wheels, and straightened out nails.


_MG_2250 copy

_MG_2242 copy

_MG_2246 copy

The Ultimate Poser

Ernesto Guevara, El Che or simply Che has become legendary with the help of Castro’s propaganda machine. Che images are everywhere and I’m certain no one dares to remove them. Che merchandise is for sale in all the tourist areas and his image is on the tres peso note.


_MG_0784 copy

_MG_9682 copy


IMG_2604_5_6_fused  b copy

_MG_0171  depth copy


I met this Cuban in a park just outside my Havana hotel.  I spotted him and feigned surprise about seeing a reincarnated Che. He went into his posing routine and played the part well. We both had a laugh and a cigar.

_MG_1278  B+W copy

_MG_1302 B  B+W copy

Anyone interested should read “Exposing the Real Che Guevara” by Humberto Fontova.



On the street it’s common to see men engaged in random games of chess or dominos. So I was pleasantly surprised to find the park outside my Trinidad hotel set up with a tournament for younger Cubans. Rows of desks and students with chess boards filled the park. Adults or older youth who were more experienced would play several games at once by going from desk to desk, making their move, and leaving the students to ponder where to move next. The children were all very well-behaved and seemed to enjoy the attention.


_MG_0304 b copy

_MG_0321 copy

_MG_0322 copy

_MG_0311 copy

_MG_0330 copy

_MG_0332 copy

_MG_0314 copy

_MG_0299 copy

Pre-Dawn Havana

Whether I’m in the mountains, the desert, or the city, I always enjoy the quiet stillness just before dawn.
In Havana the streets are mostly empty until people wake to start their day. The ever-increasing ambient light gradually combines with streetlights to provide unique photo opportunities.


_MG_8865a_b_c_fusedAnd1more_fused copy

_MG_7661a_b_c_fused   C  B+W copy

_MG_9872 fused   C copy



Old Folks

I like the term “old folks” and I like what it represents. To me it represents strength, wisdom, pride, dignity, and perseverance. In Cuba, these old folks have seen a lot of hardship since the revolution. Many remember the days when Cuba had the highest per capita income of any Latin American country and higher than most of Europe.  Jobs, food, and opportunities were plentiful. Cubans had a future to work for and a future to look forward to.
I’m amazed that their spirit is so strong. Old men are proud to wear a nice hat and a clean shirt when they can. Old women still fix their hair and put on jewelry.
They don’t complain. They probably wouldn’t even if they could.

_MG_2086_b_c_fused copy

_MG_2203   crop   depth copy

_MG_1322 copy

_MG_9653 copy

_MG_1643 copy

_MG_2098 copy

_MG_1377 copy

The Hat Lady

I met this lady last year and she was nice enough to provide a demonstration of her weaving skills. She had hands flying and straw whipping about and soon a hat started to take shape. It was amazing.
I visited her this year and she invited us into her home for a chat. She loved the photos I gave her and was happy to pose for more.

IMG_5505a_b_c_d_fused copy

_MG_2374a_b_c_fused copy



Cuba 2014