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Cuba’s Madres (y Padres) of Invention

Since the communist revolution of 1959, Cuba has been on an economic rollercoaster. The country has lurched from dependency to self-sufficiency, in a bubble of isolation where technological time stopped. Our correspondent, who in 2016 visited the artists and self-taught engineers who have kept Cuba running throughout its bizarre ride, updates us on Cuba’s declining fortunes in the years since.

Written and photographed by ROB WATERS

After a Glimpse at Free Trade, Cuba Spirals Downward

When I traveled in Cuba in the summer and fall of 2016 and met the ingenious people I describe in this article, prospects for renewed engagement between the U.S. and Cuba were at an all-time high. My first trip that year came just a few months after Barack Obama became the first U.S. President to…

Cuba’s Harvest of Surprises

More than two decades ago, a Cuban farming revolution that had nothing to do with ideology bore a bounty of fruit. What could the U.S. learn about sustainable agriculture from its much smaller neighbor?


Darianna Videaux Capitel: The Art and Craft of a Cuban Musician

Upon some people, full-sized acoustic basses are thrust—even when they’re just 9 years old. That was the case in Guantanamo, Cuba, when Darianna Videaux Capitel was in third grade and her music teacher told her and her parents that, partly because of her height, she would be a bass player. Darianna did indeed become a…

Watch “Papito and His 1957 Chevy”

Jesus “Papito” Hernandez spent his “entire life” saving up $7,000 to buy this car. Then he spent 5 years reconstructing it. Watch him tell his remarkable story in our mini-documentary.

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