We rented a room in a beautiful colonial house in Trinidad, right before the sunset. The city is located in south central Cuba and is also known as the Museum-City. The next morning we woke up at 6:30 am to enjoy Trinidad’s early morning, people going to work, children going to school, no tourists…
I was kind of worried that they wouldn’t like me taking photos of them so early. After strolling up and down an amazing and extremely poor neighborhood, I saw this man sitting in an old chair at the door of his house, surrounded by hens and doves, with a beautiful view of the street and the city. However, his eyes were fixed straight ahead and you could tell he was not seeing anything at all, he was just lost in his thoughts. Not very uplifting they seemed to be.
I desperately wanted a photo and, even though I was not close enough, I took the first photo. The minute he saw me he ran inside his home and I felt terrible, thinking he was mad at me for taking his photo in such an intimate moment. But my fears dissipated when he came back out bringing lots of ‘guiros y maracas’ (musical instruments made from a fruit, very used and sold in Cuba) and a piece of cloth. He spend some crazy seconds trying to arrange his ‘products’ in a nice way for the ‘tourists’ who were already there (sadly, I have become a tourist in my country).
I smiled at him, relieved, and stopped to check out the rustic and badly-made maracas. I asked if I could take a photo of him and he said yes, while looking very disappointed. Still he smiled for my camera, trying not to look sad. His eyes tell me he was worried: he needed money, not photos. His eyes talk about disillusionment, maybe tiredness. That kind of tiredness so frequent in Cuba when you care to look beyond.
He smiled while we walked away, leaving him with all his maracas, guiros and some money in his hand.