Lady in red!


“Los Benavides” street in Luyano, Havana 1996.   “El período especial”… no more Soviet Union, no more economical assistance. This meant tough times for the Cubans.

Un litro de leche!

At the end of 1993 I stayed in Luyano, Havana. It was the “período especial”. Several years of hardship for the Cubans.

This particular picture was a result of an hour or so waiting at the Calzada Luyano for something to turn up (it always does in Havana!)

I caught the attention of the father passing by with the daughter sleeping in the bicycle carriage just in time to make him stop and give me the chance to take some pictures.

It could have been a propaganda picture for the … government campaign at that time  “one liter of milk per day to each child”

2010. Seventeen years later I found the Facebook group “Solo gente de Luyano”
(Just for people from Luyano)

added the photo (also the one where you see the father) and the comments and additional information poured in!

Click tag Luyano to see more material from this part of Havana or just check this link


Oh my God I have seen this photo many times and now I understand that it is Omar!!!!! my life long friend …. but this photo is very old, what has happened with his life?????

Rodrigo and Hector!

  Playing in their house at Calle Melones 360. Havana, Cuba. 1993

Here´s another picture and more information of the brothers.
You can also click on tag Luyano to see more photos from the barrio

Jugando en su casa en Calle Melones 360. 1993.  Aqui otra foto y mas información de los hermanos.
Tambien puedes hacer un click en el “tag” Luyano

Mirror mirror on the wall!

  This guy had a really hard time to let go of the mirror…

Walking down Porvenir street my left eye suddenly get a glimpse of an interesting hairdresser scene. Immediately an intensive negotiation process starts in my mind between the photographers ambition to achieve a good picture and my instinctive inhibition against sticking my camera under the noses of people I don’t know. The photographer wins the battle but a small sacrifice is needed…

I turn around, walk back and step into the hair salon asking.. can you cut my hair

Havana, Cuba 1996.  Click on the picture for full size view

Mayari and Miringuita!

My first trip to Cuba 1993 I lived with a family in the district of Luyano, Havana.
This was the so-called “período especial” and in practice it ment a decade of misery for the Cubans.

Mayari sat at the corner of Municipio and Melones trimming the hair of his dog Miringuita.
Of course I could not resist picking up my camera!

Seventeen years later I stumbled upon a page on Facebook “Solo gente de Luyano”

(Just for people from Luyano) The fantastic thing I realized a little later when I started to
contribute my photos (most of them almost forgotten and deep down in some old analog archive) to the group, is that the responsable person for the site was Reynier Perez.
Reynier was just a kid back in 93 and lived upstairs in the same house where I stayed and I had caught him in my pictures playing with the children of “my” family.  (i´ll post some of this in the future)

Internet, Facebook can sometimes be a fantastic media to reconnect people. Many Cubans have left their country and are spread out all over the world. On “solo gente de Luyano” they can make contact with old friends and neighbors!

The additional information I get referring my photos from these comments in the Luyano page
increases the documentary value a lot. The picture of Mayari for instance no longer just represents an image of an odd character!

Listen to the following quotes (translated from original Spanish)

Yanliet Linares: Sitting outside of what used to be his house. An unforgettable personality from Luyano

El Lachy Pons: A personality from Luyano. He is dead now.. lived a block from my house

Claribel Alvarez Sosa: Mayari was well known? “look at me women, play with me, look here I am single now”. Fantastic personality, a skilled tailor and as you say Reynier he liked sports and he participated in competitions, he was strong

Armando Mandito Valdes: The old Mayary lived beside my house. Sometimes they came and emptied his house. It was filled to the ceiling of stuff that he found walking around. It could be of use to somebody . I lived close by. I moved to the states 1980, never saw him again. HE WAS A GOOD PERSON


Eduardo Somoza Rios: He used to whip me when we played chess, the day I beat him was our last match

Yohandra Ramos: He died some time ago, he lived near my house

Grettel Llana: My God whats he doing to the dog????

Grettel Llana: Looks like he wants to cut his tail..

Yanet Viamontes: Por dog!!

Reynier Perez : I can assure you that MAYARI never would cut the tail of the dog because it was his only friend he spoke to him and prepared food for both of them. The hands holding that scissors is hold by an excellent tailor.. a surgeon with his cloth

mayari, the revolution gave him everything ?????? (ironically)

Keyla Roymer Barrientos: mayari, everybody knows mayari, this is great!! What memory’s really this page is really good

Encuentro con Eduardo!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Always when I go to Havana I visit Luyanó. It´s the “barrio” where I stayed on my very first trip to the city 1993.

Eduardo is the grandfather of the children in the family I lived with.

He invites you a glass of his home-made wine, and starts telling his story.

It´s more or less the same theme every time.. the Cuban history, the liberation from the Spanish colonialism and of course the revolution.

Eduardo has lived that history since the beginning of the last century!

Siempre cuando voy para La Habana, paso por Luyanó. Es el barrio donde
me quedé en mi primer viaje a la ciudad.

Eduardo es el abuelo de los niños de la casa donde yo viví.

Te invita un vaso de vino de la casa, y empieza a relatar su historia.

Es mas o menos el mismo tema cada vez.. La historia Cubana, la liberación
del colonialismo Español y por supuesto la revolución.

Eduardo ha vivido esa historia desde el comienzo del siglo pasado.

Calle Melones, Luyanó

Hector and Rodrigo. End of 1993.The brothers playing outside their house on calle Melones in Luyano. Havana, Cuba.
Hector now living in the USA. Rodrigo, despite that KO punch, is a renowned ballet dancer travelling around the world..

Parents must be proud!