Interview with a Santera

I saw my first iyabó on a dark evening in Vedado. I had recently arrived to Cuba and was out exploring the city with a newfound Cuban friend. “Look,” my friend said, pointing at the mysterious figure crossing the street. I glanced over at the back of the white-clad silhouette. “That’s an iyabó,” my friend continued. “A newly initiated santera.”

Just Between You and Me

I’ve spoken to several people in Cuba who have opened up to me about their political views and personal life experiences in this country. Each conversation is always proceeded by a verbal agreement to not repeat what is being told to me; the person then looks around to make sure no one else is listening, and, in a lowered voice, begins to tell me what things are “really like” for them here.

Three Assassins in Santiago

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was relaxing at the top of a tall peak called Puerto Boniato on the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba when I spotted them: three assassins, a long machete and their soon-to-be-dead victim.

A Safe Journey

Two nights ago, I boarded a bus in Havana and traveled across the island to Santiago, the second largest city in Cuba.

Carnavalling in Havana

Earlier this week, I discovered the dance company Carnavaleando de Alexis Matos, located on the corner of Jovellar and N Streets in Vedado. Salsa music can be heard blasting through the windows of this studio just about any day of the week. (11 photos)

A Strange Dream

I am in the middle of a strange dream – a collage of tropical flowers, ripe fruit and an oppressive sun that does not relent, even when the wind appears to greet me. This strange dream started when the airplane touched down in Havana.

The Cuban Adjustment Act 44 Years Later

In the middle of the night off the coast of Caibarien, Cuba, Miakiel Gonzalez waded the waist-deep Caribbean water until he stood a mile from the shore. Carrying nothing more than a bag packed with two changes of clothes, some drinking water and his Cuban ID, the 31-year-old waited several hours in the sea for the smuggler boat to arrive.