Daily Life in Santiago de Cuba

August 14, 2012 | Print Print |

Photo Feature by Janis Hernandez

Fixing the car.

HAVANA TIMES — A friend of mine recommended that I do a photo feature on daily life in Santiago de Cuba, showing how people are in the streets, their the habitual ways of life.

Ordinary life for a Santiago resident takes place under the same circumstances as any other Cuban citizen’s. From the eastern Punta de Maisi to western Cabo de San Antonio, Cubans coexist in a constant and distressing routine for survival.

Small differences exist from one region to another. The provincial capitals (like Havana and Santiago de Cuba, as the capital and the second largest city) receive larger allocations of some of the basic food subsidies, such as a pound more of rice or a few ounces more chicken than the municipalities.

But except for those distinctions, photos taken anywhere will be the same…“people struggling with life,” as goes the popular saying that defines our day-to-day existence.

Without analyzing the causes of these scenarios, the fact is that these are some of the images revealing how we live in Cuba. There are only nine photos, which isn’t the most prolific example of our everyday lives.

Of course there could be many more, perhaps less depressing ones, but those are not what detail our everyday life or the lives of the majority of people.

I hope my friend is pleased and no one misunderstands the purpose of this material.

Click on the thumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery

 


What's your opinion?

  • Andrea Tompos

    Thank you for the photos, Janis.
    They give us a great insight into your everyday life.
    You are right. More photos are needed, so I hope you will take some from time to time to share them with the readers of HT.

  • Michael N. Landis

    Great fotos, Janis! These are scenes I’ve seen every day during my visits to Santiago–and just about anyplace ekse in Cuba (although the buses are fare more jammed in Habana, and the horse drawn passenger coaches tend to be more typical of the provincial towns). The “almondron” in the first foto is the same make (late 1940’s Dodge or DeSotoa) and color as my next door neighbor’s, outside of Philadelphia, in the early- to mid-1950’s. I second Andrea’s motion for more fotos. Incidentally, many fotos and videos on typcial Cuban life are available on YouTube, but you have to pick and choose between a lot of drek, (typical tourist videos) and a few artistic videos much more worth your time (examples of the latter are Orlyohan’s Ciego de Avila’s videos, and Cousteau’s “Baracoa a Guantanamo” video. Also, over on Vimeo the short film “El Bombillo” (The Lightbulb) by Juan Soto, and the videos “Radio Cuba” and “Habana Vieja” are good examples of artistic videos which also capture the essence of daily life.