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A proud Cuban family business

My name is Alina Diaz Massino. I am 36 years old. I live in Havana, Cuba. I and my father make a living by running our own store, "MEMORIAS", where people can find all kinds of posters, magazines, art and music, crafts, etc.

I have a brother who is 3 years older than me. I take care of my niece and my nephew. I guess you could call it a big family.

I studied at the University of Havana. I was supposed to be a translator and interpreter, but I didn’t like it since it was too stressful for me. After my graduation, I taught at the university for 3 years (which was my mandatory social service), and after that, I left and started my own business. My brother didn’t want to take any part in it because he had other interests. The responsibility of carrying our family tradition and continuing my father’s work fell upon my shoulders.

Even though my country is a small island, we are known for having great painters and musicians, which makes our culture a very rich one. 

Our products appeal to a very specific group, so there are weeks when we sell nothing. The good side of our business is that we don’t have to invest in it every day. When we sell, it’s a plus, and when we don’t, our merchandise is still valuable. 

I wish for my family to always stay together.  I hope to see my son grow up and become a very successful person. I would love to see him continue our family business. I don’t have big ambitions; I just want to continue doing what makes me happy.

Alina Diaz Massino 
Havana, Cuba, 20 December 2018

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A boxer's passion for salsa

My name is Michel Yordenis Colas. I was born and raised in Santiago de Cuba. I am 34 years old, and I am happily married with three children.

I have studied physical-fitness exercises and sports. My family encouraged me to be a boxer, as they were involved in boxing too. Besides, boxing is the second most popular sport in Cuba, after baseball.

I have had the chance to visit and compete in many countries all around the world, such as Russia, France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Venezuela and Colombia, thanks to this sport. I have become a world champion in Russia, and I also won the Cuban National Championship twice. I fought 272 times in my boxing career. As a matter of this course, I took some very hard hits to my face, but my look didn't change a bit. I am still very handsome.

Now, I am coaching twelve talented boxers in a gym that belongs to the government. I love my job very much. We have trained many champions here, but in Cuba, there are gyms for children too. One of my boxers became a champion at the International Boxing contest in 2013. It made me so happy and proud that I realized the importance and value of my job once more.

The sole purpose of my life is to be a better man and make contributions to the development of boxing. I make my children endear boxing. I am also training them. This year, my eldest son has become a champion in the youth category.

Salsa is another passion of mine, besides my family and boxing. Although they seem completely different, salsa and boxing have a lot in common, like coordination, moves and rhythm, but they will never be the same for only one reason: the fire that you feel in your face when you fight.

I am very happy to live in Cuba. Even if I had a chance to live in another country, I couldn't bear the longing to return, and I would come back for sure.

Michel Yordenis Colas
Havana, Cuba, 21 December 2018

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Never give up chasing your dreams

I am a 26-year-old Cuban musician of Spanish origin. I have been playing saxophone since I was thirteen years old.

I met music for the first time when I was at the church's elementary school. I graduated from the National Conservatory of Music in Havana almost two years ago.

I make my living by playing at various places with different bands. I have two siblings. My two sisters are living with my father. I live with my mother.

Like all young people, I want to travel the world and explore new cultures.

My goal for my near future is to improve myself in music and share it with many more people.

My favorite song to play with the saxophone is Henry Mancini's “Pink Panther”.

Never give up chasing your dreams; keep on walking the path that you choose, life will eventually reward you with your dream. 

Guelmis Morilla, saxaphonist
Havana, Küba, 20 Decrmber 2018

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