Saint Lazarus Under Police Surveillance

14ymedio, Havana, 17 December 2021 — Like every December 17, the island’s believers honored Saint Lazarus on Friday, syncretized with Babalú Ayé in Afro-Cuban religions, at the El Rincón sanctuary, in the province of Havana. Patron of the sick and the poor, his following has been increasing in recent times. This year of extreme crisis, of course, the number … Continue reading “Saint Lazarus Under Police Surveillance”

Cuba: The Devotion to Saint Lazarus / Iván García

Ivan Garcia, 18 December 2017 — On the night of Thursday, 14 December at night, after fifteen hours on the road under a copious downpour, from Sagua de Tánamo, in Holguín, province 530 miles northwest of Havana, in an old General Motors truck from the 1950s, Erasmus and his wife arrived in Havana ready to fulfill … Continue reading “Cuba: The Devotion to Saint Lazarus / Iván García”

Vespers of Saint Lazarus / Rebeca Monzo

Tonight and throughout the night to go on any street and you will see the number of people walking or crawling with heavy weights, and despite the bitter cold, they head to the shrine of El Rincón. Many are walking, others are in rented or private cars, most come in buses, whose lines, fortunately, the … Continue reading “Vespers of Saint Lazarus / Rebeca Monzo”

Lazarus, of the Dogs

14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Generation Y, Havana, 17 December 2019 — He stops, takes a breath and continues to drag his stone. The pilgrim is one of the hundreds who, on Monday, started their slow walk from Havana to the Sanctuary of Rincon. They are moved by devotion to Saint Lazarus, the patron saint of the … Continue reading “Lazarus, of the Dogs”

The Thaw and St. Lazarus Fight Over a Date: 17D* / 14ymedio, Orlando Palma

14ymedio, Orlando Palma, 17 December 2015 — Dawn broke, this Thursday, to hundreds of pilgrims and promise keepers in the sanctuary of Rincón, south of Havana. The front pages of the world’s newspapers celebrated the first anniversary of the announcement of the thaw in relations between Cuba and the United States, while the people of the … Continue reading “The Thaw and St. Lazarus Fight Over a Date: 17D* / 14ymedio, Orlando Palma”

Old Lazarus / Yoani Sanchez

At the entrance to the house is a life-size sculpture of a man with a beard and crutches. Everyone crosses themselves before him. Also of wood, there are two carved dogs as his side: skinny submissive strays. The image of Saint Lazarus plays a special role when the festivities for his day approach. He is … Continue reading “Old Lazarus / Yoani Sanchez”

St. Lazarus Day / Yoani Sanchez #Cuba

A man crawls on his knees in the street, carrying on his shoulders timbers made into a cross. He is traveling on the avenue that leads to the airport. The cars stop and let the penitent take his time. It’s December 17, the day dedicated to Saint Lazarus, syncretized into African beliefs with the orisha … Continue reading “St. Lazarus Day / Yoani Sanchez #Cuba”

The Government of Our Saints / Miguel Iturria Savón

I agree with Jesus, friend and owner of a Moscovitch car from the eighties, who tells me his ex-wife is very ill but has not gone to Rincón to pray to Saint Lazarus, but he had to accompany nearly thirty neighbors and relatives who hired him to drive them to the famous leper colony of … Continue reading “The Government of Our Saints / Miguel Iturria Savón”

A Violin and a Bicycle in the Streets of Havana

14ymedio, Pedro Espinosa, 27 February 2024– Of everything that Reniel carries with him, on his miles-long bicycle trips through Havana, there is nothing more important than his violin. With the case open and the bow taut, the young man of 30 from Havana performs in all kinds of improvised settings in the capital: squares, parks, … Continue reading “A Violin and a Bicycle in the Streets of Havana”

Obispo Street, the ‘Beggars’ Boulevard’ in the Cuban Capital

14ymedio, Pedro Espinosa, Havana, 21 December 2023 — The belongings of old Orlando, whom everyone in Havana knows as El Barba [The Beard], can be counted on the fingers of one hand. With fingers left over. A quilt, a couple of shirts, some pants, his crutch and a small box. His 86 years are also … Continue reading “Obispo Street, the ‘Beggars’ Boulevard’ in the Cuban Capital”

In Cuba, Bread and an Ideological Circus for Jose Marti’s Birthday

14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, 28 January 2022 — “What a way to have bread here!” said a resident of Infanta Street in Central Havana, speaking sarcastically this Friday while waiting to shop at one of the improvised kiosks in Martyrs’ Park where, for the 169th anniversary of the birth of José Martí, the government … Continue reading “In Cuba, Bread and an Ideological Circus for Jose Marti’s Birthday”

“15 Years Ago, They Told Us That They Were Going to Demolish the Building That Fell This Thursday”

Luz Escobar, Havana, 18 December 2021 — At 9 p.m. on Thursday, December 16th, on the eve of Saint Lazarus Day, Miguel Alejandro Alderete Recio and his 81-year-old mother, Rosalba, were listening to a radio program, El Nocturno at their home. A roar broke the tranquility. A wall of the adjoining house, at the corner … Continue reading ““15 Years Ago, They Told Us That They Were Going to Demolish the Building That Fell This Thursday””

In Rincon It’s August in December

14ymedio, Bertha K. Guillén, El Rincón | 18 December 2019 — For eleven and a half months nothing happens in Rincón, a town located near Santiago de las Vegas and Bejucal, at the point where Havana, Mayabeque and Artemisa provinces meet. But that all changes when, in mid-December, thousands of pilgrims make their way to … Continue reading “In Rincon It’s August in December”

Cuba: Toys Only for Hard Currency / Ivan Garcia

Ivan Garcia, 8 January 2016 — When Fidel Castro came to power in January 1959, one of the first things he proposed was doing away with the legend of the Three Wise Men. The government tried replacing the tradition, which originated in Spain, by offering rationed toys through its shops. Now it does not even … Continue reading “Cuba: Toys Only for Hard Currency / Ivan Garcia”

Cuba, One Year After December 17, 2014 / Ivan Garcia

Ivan Garcia, 14 December 2015 — In a basement blackened by humidity and soot, Leonardo Santizo and two workers make cookies, candy and peanut nougat, as a private enterprise. At the back of the room, piled up in nylon sacks, are hundreds of kilograms of unroasted peanuts, bottles of vegetable oil and all-purpose flour. On … Continue reading “Cuba, One Year After December 17, 2014 / Ivan Garcia”