It was November 25th, 2016 when everyone in Miami, Florida celebrated Fidel Castro’s death in Little Havana, Calle Ocho for two days. When I was watching the news in the morning about his death, I rushed to Little Havana with my camera to document this exciting moment in history. I was shocked how happy everyone looked, but my first thought was how terrible it must have been for Cubans living under Fidel Castro’s power. When I used to live in Managua, Nicaragua, my dad lived under FSLN, a Nicaraguan group that overthrew President Anastasio Somoza in 1979. My grandfather had to make an important choice of sending my dad to the United States because Nicaragua was going to war. My dad didn’t know any English and he made the choice of going to university. He had a tough time passing his classes and learning English, but he managed to get his degree. When I found out about this, I realized how lucky he was to be alive. It’s frightening how this war is still happening in Cuba even though we are not able to see it. Cubans are still fighting against their government, but I truly believe it will be over soon.
My interest in photography started when I was younger and my parents bought me first Canon point shoot camera, however, my mom has always disagreed how dangerous it’s for me to go outside to photograph events. It hasn’t stopped me from photographing, but i’m always trying to be careful of my surroundings. While I was photographing, I happened to notice a couple who were crying out of happiness and I just captured this raw moment of being vulnerable. For me it represents vulnerability because it shows how Cubans have been living under Castro’s government for years and they’re celebrating his death. Going to this kind of events has taught me how valuable life is and how important it’s to document history.