I finally took a trip I’d been planning for years. I knew it would be a different kind of trip, more serious and personal. In some countries more than others, maintaining contact with family is difficult. Historically, Cuba has been one of the more difficult countries, as home phones were a luxury shared between several neighbors and communications are still monitored and intercepted as seen fit. Through a burgeoning access to the internet, my own family, now living in Miami, was able to make contact with family members still living in Cuba, after 30 years of silence.
Staying in the home of family members I had only known through my mother’s stories felt like watching figures of the past come alive. In the short week I spent on this tiny island with a massive world presence, I came to know myself through knowing the many women of my family who call this country mother.
I’ve written one of my most personal essays yet for La Liga Zine. You can read it here.
These photos and this essay are extremely close to me and as such are that much more important for me to share. I know the feeling of being part of a diaspora and tracing your lineage isn’t exclusive to Cuba, so I’d love to hear how you personally relate to this experience! I’d also love to hear any and all feelings A Country Named Mother brought you, so please share either in the comments or on social media here and here!
*If you enjoyed this essay about Latin American identity, you’ll probably want to know about this problem facing indigenous South Americans.