On the distant outskirts of Trinidad, Cuba, my fellow travelers and I discovered a group of eight women making baskets. One woman, obviously the boss, invited us into the old cattle barn and allowed us to photograph.
This woman was stripping the stalks in half lengthwise.
Bundles of material ready to weave.
Working near a window for the light.
This woman never looked up from her work. Not knowing who we were, I think she was a bit afraid to stop.
While exploring a dirt road on the distant outskirts of Trinidad, Cuba my fellow travelers and I were waved into the homestead of Antonio and Jose Manuel Verde. These two brothers wanted to share their hospitality and show us around their farm.
Antonio did most of the talking, explaining when the mangoes would be ready to pick and guiding us through all the different crops that they harvest.
Cooking with charcoal.
Jose Manuel made us some of their home-grown coffee.
The tres is a guitar-like three-course chordophone of Cuban origin. The most widespread variety of the instrument is the original Cuban tres with six strings. Its sound has become a defining characteristic of the Cuban Son music style and it is commonly played in a variety of Afro-Cuban genres.
It seems as though the Tres that my friend Hector senior has played for years was not his. The owner wanted it back while I was there in Trinidad. No problem. A nice used tres was found and purchased for 125 cuc. I think he actually cried. He said it was a gift from God. I don’t know about that, but it was certainly good luck that I happened to be there at the right time.
If you happen to be in Trinidad, Cuba check out the great sounds of Hector and Hector senior at the Bar Canchanchara.
After one too many rums on another visit to Trinidad, Cuba, I heard myself promise again that I would bring a guitar for Hector.
Hector and I have been friends for over three years. He is the leader of a high energy group that plays their own versions of traditional and “Son” Cuban music.
Hector has never had his own guitar. Instead, he had to rent one or use the “house” guitar at what ever restaurant the group was performing.
When Hector wrote to tell me that he and Yanet were marrying, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass. I purchased a guitar for my Cuban friend. It would be a wedding present. Having his own guitar would allow Hector to earn more money and be more independent.
Simple ceremony with a justice of the peace.
At the club before the wedding.
While not the official government propaganda, many hand-painted signs can be found in Havana and other cities.
Yo Soy Fidel is particularly cleaver. It translates to – I am Fidel (Castro) and also I am faithful (to the revolution, to Castro)
I have encountered many older Cubans who continue to believe that Castro has improved their lives and if it were not for the revolution, they would not have survived.
When I travel to Cuba now, I like to go where few tourists go. In Trinidad, one area I prefer is what I call … up on the hill.
Up on the hill there are no paved roads, no quaint cobblestone streets, and few areas that don’t slope toward easier walking.
But, the people up here are just as nice and the photos are everywhere.
Simple things can provide genuine enjoyment and funny moments.
Bring some balloons and make a big deal out of blowing them up. You know, the old Tom Sawyer and the fence white-washing scene. (You tell them they cannot possibly blow up these balloons and they will tell you that they can.) Soon you’ll have a crowd of children and some adults wanting to get in on the fun.
Easy start with his hat on.
Soon realizes the difficulty and loses his hat.
Expressions are priceless.
Confidence. “I got this”
The hat goes back on.
Husband and wife
Their son actually has an easier time.