Tag Archives: Cuba

Cardboard

Pushing a home-made cart with used roller bearings for wheels, this man covers a lot of ground collecting cardboard for recycling. I’m sure it doesn’t pay much, but in Cuba every little bit helps.

On this day, I found him almost 3  kilometers from his home in Centro Habana. Keep in mind that many streets are not good and his cart does not roll well.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Somewhere under this pile of ropes, strings and flattened boxes is the cart he pushes daily.

 

Regla

Regla Is one of the many neighborhoods, or barrios, of Havana.

It’s across the bay from where the cruise ships dock. The easiest way to get there is on the ferry that runs back and forth all day long. For five pesos you can cross the bay in minutes.

The port of Regla. This building is in no better condition than any other building in Havana.

People walk the streets and try to stay cool.

Cheap rum and free conversation.

People shop for fruits and vegetables.

One of the attractions is Colina Lenin with its bronze likeness of the dictator embedded in the stone wall atop the hill. A series of steps lead to the top.  An August noon-time hike will test one’s stamina.       ( there is also a road)

Even the monument to communism is crumbling.

See a previous post on the hill of Lenin:

https://wp.me/p4fUlX-Cq

 

Where They Live – Cira

Cira lived in a rough part of Havana, Barrio Cerro. I say lived because I have learned that she and her 9 year-old son escaped the island. She sold the two room apartment and everything in it and paid for passage to a country in South America. She was upset with her circumstances ….. no job, no money, no hope for her son’s future.

It takes a lot of courage to leave one’s life behind and attempt to start over in a different land. I wish her well.

Someone else will live here now. Probably happy to have a solid roof overhead.

Basically, the apartment is two rooms and a bath with no running water.

A success Story – Part 5

Thanks to generous support from my small group of friends, Kate, Louise, Pam, Matt, Susan, and Robert we were able to continue to support this wonderful family.

Over the past three years other necessities were purchased for this family.

We purchased three new beds and mattresses.

A new semi-automatic washing machine (no more hand-wringing the wet clothes) and paint for the walls. We have also purchased and installed new windows and doors.

The youngest girl needed to have her adenoids removed. This  entailed a costly trip to the hospital which was 60 km away and a stay of two days. The expense of such a trip for the average person is beyond their means. We were able to help.

Smiles

Tayluma has a talent for manicure. It helps her to earn a little money. Whenever I visit, I bring supplies for her.

 

 

 

 

A Success Story – Part 4

Rebuilding  the kitchen.

Because we are able to transfer money to Tayluma, she now did all the buying of materials and the hiring of the workers. This greatly improved her confidence and self-esteem too.

There was no way to clean this area to make it sanitary. We worried about the health of the mother and children.

The wiring was a mess.

A new counter was constructed and tiled.

We bought her new cookware, hot plates, and replaced the refrigerator.

The house was completely rewired.

The children are growing and much happier too.

Many thanks to my friends Kate, Louise, Pam, Matt, Susan, and Robert for providing encouragement, support, and money to help this poor family.

Next – Other improvements

 

 

 

A Success Story – Part 3

Many thanks to my friends Kate, Louise, Pam, Matt, Susan, and Robert for providing encouragement, support, and money to help this poor family.

We build a bathroom.

Before, the toilet had to be flushed with a bucket of water from  these barrels.

Construction has already started here. The piping is in place for the new sink, shower, and toilet.

The shower.

A water tank was installed on the roof.

Outside faucets were added for laundry.

Cell phone images sent to me of the tiling of the bathroom:

Part of the deal when hiring workers is that one has to feed them.

On my next visit I get to see the completed work. For the first time in their lives they have a shower (with HOT water) and a modern bathroom.

Before painting the finished work.

On-demand electric hot water shower.

Next – We rebuild the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Success Story – Part 1

It’s time to tell this story.

Fellow travelers and friends Kate, Pam and I met Tayluma in  January 2015 in Trinidad, Cuba.

She returned my wave when we were passing by her house so we stopped and she invited us in. She proceeded to give us an earful.

Cubans can get in trouble for being too friendly with tourists, especially inviting them into their homes, so it was a shock when she unloaded on us.

She was upset and crying, but fighting for her children. ” I don’t care who knows. My children should not have to live like this.”

She showed us everything:

Leaking roof

A toilet and a hole in the ground for a bathroom.

Empty refrigerator

Electric bill in arrears

The two girls were sleeping in one bed, feet to feet, with clothes piled up to make the mattress long enough.

Kitchen that was not sanitary.

Bad Wiring

Storing water to “flush” the toilet.

The children were precious. Well behaved, quiet, and intelligent.

I shed tears as we walked away and vowed to try to help.

The next day we returned with a fellow traveler to translate for us.

I brought a bag of bread and cookies that I was able to sneak out of the hotel breakfast buffet.

We photographed and listen to her story:

Her husband moved them into this house to take care of his dying uncle. When the uncle passed, the husband left town and Tayluma was left alone with her two girls and the house.

The immediate concern was the electric bill and a roof that leaked for about half the length of the house.

The problem was that our tour was leaving the next day.

We left her with money for the electricity and food.

I was able to establish e-mail contact with Tayluma. It was a dial-up connection and not very reliable and she had to walk to the internet business, rent a computer one for one cuc/ hr. and learn how to use it. Finally she emailed me. It was her lifeline.

I got all her information and set her with up an AIS debit card account.  We were then able to transfer money to her. At least we could keep the lights on and food in the house.

Part two – We repair the roof.    https://wp.me/p4fUlX-W9