Santiago de Cuba is esteemed for its Carnaval celebrations. My father's late sister, Nena, who was one of my favorite people in the whole wide world, used to live down the hill from us in Santiago de Cuba, on a street called La Trocha. La Trocha is the main street where the Carnaval occurs. My cousin Papito, Nena's son, recalls how his mother used to rent out their front porch to the kiosk vendors of the Carnaval. This is particularly amusing to me, because my Abuelo José, who was a minister, prohibited his children (my dad and my Tia Nena included) to participate in the Carnaval even when they were adults, because of its pagan nature and because of the activities associated with it -- namely music, dance and alcohol.
To read a short essay I wrote with more information on this painting and carnaval, click here.