Cultural week arrived in Trinidad with Carnival rides and slides just as we were leaving. I went to the park to check out what a Cuban Carnival looks like. The rides and slides for the show were still being set up.
This Carnival is a wonderful example of the resourcefulness of the Cuban people. God only knows how old these rides are, but here they are all working but in a constant state of repair and repainting. This is the essence of Cuba, . Tricycles from the 1950s young kids lining up just to ride a bike, because they don’t own these things. Not a blue screen in site.
What I hadn’t known was that Cuba went through a ” Special Period ” from 1989 through to 1993…. When the Soviet Union collapsed, The Berlin wall came down Cuba entered a time of extreme rationing, like a war period. Within six months Cuba had no petrol so all transport ground to a halt, brown outs, hardly any food. In Havana people talk about eating rats, eating whatever you could. People in the country were OK for food, but there was no transport so people were completely cut off.
During this time children were given water with some sugar for breakfast …. So for these kids a working Tricycle is still pretty special.
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