With a population of over 11 million people, the stand out observation when visiting this island nation is the diversity of its inhabitants. Cuba is a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds. As a result, some Cubans do not treat their nationality as an ethnicity but as a citizenship with various ethnicities and national origins comprising the “Cuban people”. Nearly all Cubans or their ancestors immigrated within the past five centuries.
With the indigenous population being transformed by the arrival of Spanish conquerers, followed by the importation of African slaves and then a steady stream of European and Chinese migrants through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the country now has an Intermarriage between diverse groups so general as to be the rule.
With a reputation for being the home of vintage American motor vehicles and elegant Spanish architecture suffering from disrepair and poor maintenance, it was the proud stance of the Cuban people that attracted my lens.
Only a few square blocks in size, the historic plaza area has cobblestone streets, houses in pastel colors with wrought-iron grilles, and colonial-era edifices such as the Santísima Trinidad Cathedral and Convento de San Francisco.
Coupling these backgrounds with the wonderful people I was observing, these little vignettes were what made the Cuban trip so exciting and stimulating.