21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Cuba Libre ( Always Say Yes)

In February 2020 a week before COVID shut down the world. I planned a trip to Cuba with 2 other photographers. A long standing dream to go back in time, which is it seems like the island is stuck in the in the late 1950's early 1960s. Mostly due to the Cuban Embargo. So when the trip came to life I told myself, stay in the moment, stay engaged and " Always say yes". This gentleman I had encountered 3 days earlier him and his friend having a opportunity to photograph him. Fast forwards the 3 days after breakfast, myself and the 2 other photographers going our separate ways this gentleman saw me on the street we exchanged a hola. Then he invited me to have breakfast with him, but I'd just eaten and said no. Then I remembered what I told myself "always say yes" he hadn't made to the other side of the intersection and I was right beside him saying yes I'll join you. He had breakfast I had coffee. In the misdt of us connecting and having conversation about myself as well as him he trusted me to take images on the other side of the table. We spent over an hour together and he even had me drink a Cuba Libre ( rum & coke) before noon and I don't even drink rum. It was one of my most memorable encounters while in Cuba.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 02.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2023
Photo Location: Havana, Cuba
Camera: LEICA M10
Copyright: © Chaz Niell
Photo of the Day: 04.10.24