A stroll along the famed malecon or boardwalk of Havana that stretches from Old Havana through Central Havana and ending in the Vedado neighborhood is a must if in Cuba. This stretch of coast is full of life. People walk along the coast and fish during the day and when the sun sets, music begins to play while young and old hang out and drink rum. On my trek to and along the malecon, I was lucky enough to talk to one particular local named Elizar who shared his story with me. 35mm photos of these moments below.
Azul es el color del cielo, azul es el color del mar, azul es el color de los Campeones de la Capital.
Eliazar is originally from Santiago de Cuba, a city on the other side of the island. He is a dancer and dance teacher as well as a plumber and on this day a fisherman too. Most people in Cuba have various occupations and hustles as the monthly wage is quite limiting. Eliazar follows Santeria, a syncretic religion based on the West African religion of the Yoruba people and Catholicism. When a person practices this religion, in their initiation, they are named the son or daughter of particular deity or "orisha." Eliazar is the son of Yemaya the orisha of the sea and Chango the orisha or lightning and drums. He shared the story of Oshun the orisha of the river, fertility, and beauty summoning Chango from the mountains by covering herself in honey. We sat for an hour speaking about the Santeria spirituality among the crashing of the waves onto the concrete of the sea wall. In Cuba, the ocean represents freedom, repression, and abundance simultaneously.