Ever since I can remember, I dreamed of an island the way one does of a parent never met or a sibling long lost. I thank my grandparents every day for their insight, as well as all of the Cuban poets and musicians. All of the artists who have bestowed upon me their memories so vivid of a time and place unparalleled, passed down story after story, directly into my heart. Cuba, this motherland of unknown dreams and broken promises, called to me - yet I hesitated to respond as I could not forget all the pain-filled years endured by my family and by all Cuban-Americans; the exiles who courageously sacrificed their homes for freedom and for that of their children. Until one day when the call became a cry, developing an internal yearning that I could no longer deny, and so I went. And my life has not been the same since.
Without losing sight of the political and economic struggles that affect the lives of all Cubans, I set out to create images that resonated the beauty and realities of my culture, as well as its many illusions. All of the photographs seen here were made prior to the embargo lift imposed by the Obama administration.