Bean field waiting for more water.

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Farming in Cuba

Daniel Hoffman | Cuba

When people think of Cuba, they think of classic cars, resorts along beautiful beaches, or stories of "old" Havana.  Most of that is true, but deep in the countryside of this relatively small island is a group of farmers working to support their families as well as the economy of Cuba.  The work on this collective farms exists despite the challenges of a government that doesn't always seem to function as well as it should.  

This collection forms a visual documentary of the farmers supporting Cuba’s complicated agricultural system.  The farmers in this project exemplify how Cuba imagined agriculture could exist to support a social economy.  However, it also shows how the people doing the work and the impact of their work on their lives versus the government is a contrast to the spirit of Socialism and they know it. Coming from varieties of backgrounds, from children of Santeria priests who in a home on a road deep in the mountainside to university educated economists to men with multiple jobs and even small businesses thanks to their ability to work around the system to men who basically take whatever work someone needs done to a mechanic who has cattle that he supports by fixing basically anything from an ancient lawn mower to tractors or bulldozers.  Yet, for six to seven hours a morning, from just before sunrise to the beginning of the relentless afternoon sun and heat.  In between the work and sleep is the essence of a collective community where people support each other, enjoy each other’s company, and handle the challenges of living in Cuba with grace, humor, and solidarity.

Daniel Hoffman

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