I walked a lot in Cuba. You see much more when you do.
A couple of weeks into my stay, on a humid and cloudy day, I walked from my apartment in Centro to Vedado. Past the schools, the monuments, the dilapidated homes, the mansions, I followed the yellow painted wall that curved along the road separating the living from the dead.
As I turned a corner, I suddenly found myself in a street party. Music blaring from a rusted old Mercury; men, women and children of all ages danced in the street—filling it from one side to the other. There is only one way to cut through a party in Cuba, and that is to dance. So, as I made my way through the crowd, swaying while saying hello, they smiled at me and thanked me for my participation. The music began to fade as I continued on my journey, leaving the living to visit the deceased. I could still hear the constant beat of reggaeton from down the road as I reached the front gates of Cemeterio de Cristobal Colon.
You are never alone in a cemetery. And today was no different. There are over 500 mausoleums, chapels, and vaults in Colon cemetery. As a matter of fact, it is counted as one of the great cemeteries in the world.
It was not busy that day, I was free to be silent with my thoughts and memories. I could not help but feel the emotion and heartache from the sculptures that stood tall above the resting souls of the past.
There is always something so poetic in their expression, guarding forever the loved ones lost.