Cuba - Carlos

          Carlos (the photographer) arrived after his day of work. This was such a great meeting. He used to be May’s mother painting teacher back in the days. He used to share his knowledge with a group of students at night, after work. He then showed interest, and started photography. He owns a Canon with cropped sensor, 8 MP and dream about a full frame. He reads magazine and is well aware of every new lens or body out there. He explained me how he loves to observe and photograph anything surrounding him. He works in an art conservatory department up in the mountains and makes about 30$ a month. He often takes photographs of birds or flowers. He is really passionate and I hope I’ll be able to help him one day. He is photographing for the Trinidad magazine and should be proud of it. Carlos is really humble and a smiling human being full of dream. He talked about how much he would love to travel, but feels like he is getting too old, although he is only in his fifties. He hopes for more opportunities for his son, working in a bicycle taxi. I told him he should be positive and don’t limit himself because of his age. The world is moving fast, and I hope he will one day get to travel. (Cuban can travel outside the country only since 2013. We talked for a little about the cost of life and how much of a struggle it could be. The jeans he had on would have cost him 25 CUC, but a friend gave it to him and it was a little too big, so he used his sewing machine to adjust it. Same price for the shoes. A month of salary for one piece of cloth. He told me he wants to print business cards, and he owns an old canon printer. They don’t make the ink cartridge anymore, so he has to fill the ones he has with ink. The problem is, to fill all of them, it is the same price that I would pay here, around 50$. So he is waiting…until he finds a solution. Talking with Carlos really made me realize that huge gap between salary and cost of living, and how it is becoming more and more of an issue. Like a lot of Cubans, he is trying to work now with tourist by giving photography tour in the mountains, and hopefully he’ll be able to make more money and pursue his dreams. He let me take a portrait of him, and although he smiles all the time, he wouldn’t for the picture because he only have a few teeth left in the front. I am thankful to May for making this meeting happen with such an honest and truthful person.