In the Aftermath of Fast and the Furious in Havana

Mercedes Gonzalez Amade

Vin Diesel in Havana. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — The capital was recently stirred up by the filming of scenes from the eighth film in the “Fast and the Furious” series. They’re in high-demand. But, that’s just the way show business is and that’s not what concerns me.

They were filming along the central part of Havana’s Malecon and it just so happens that the place I’ve been training at for years now, didn’t escape the film’s influence. This commotion lasted for about a month, between setting up the area and filming.

The badminton court became the dining room for staff working on the film; the main actors’ trailers were on the running track and for that reason (and many others), those in charge of security really made an effort to step up the level of vigilance around the area.

However, there were many positive changes to the fences, repair to walls and improved lighting. Garbage containers were installed in order to keep the place clean, and they painted it all over which gave it a completely new look.

Another important thing to mention is that filming really helped the sport center’s employees, as they were well-paid for their services.

The hullabaloo eventually calmed down and everything went back to normal. However, returning back to my usual training routine, the improvements that had been made were clearly visible.

If only more celebrities like Vin Diesel came to Havana, if it truly brings about real benefits. It’s really sad to see how a well-known place in the capital crumbles, such as that of the Jose Marti Sports Center, which so many of us go to. I imagine just like they fixed up this place, others have been just as lucky. I’m glad!

The Marti Sports Center.  Illustration: Carlos
The Marti Sports Center. Illustration: Carlos

Mercedes González

Mercedes González Amade: I'm 38 years old and physically challenged. I struggle daily in this life be it on crutches or in a wheelchair. I have a 12-year-old son who is my main inspiration and for who I have fought tooth and nail. I hold a position in the governmental institution that serves the handicapped in my part of the capital. In the afternoons I practice tennis well away from where I live. My intention with Havana Times is to help spread the desire to live and to do so with dignity, especially to persons with physical and motor difficulties.

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4 thoughts on “In the Aftermath of Fast and the Furious in Havana

  • As you know Gordon, Cubans are very grateful for tips as ONE dollar equals more than an average days pay. The Castro regime has turned so many of them into beggars.

  • Americans are very good tippers and Havana is going to see a lot more in the near future.

  • So nice to hear from someone who “gets it.” That production did nothing but positive things for Havana. They dropped a pile of money and local Cuban film crew received an enormous education.

    It was a win/win for everyone.

  • I admire your courage, keep up the good fight for you and your son

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