Bucket and pitcher

Under the sink rests the plastic bucket with which the entire family bathes. It’s been more than twenty years since the pipes collapsed and to use the bathroom they have to carry water from a tank in the patio. When winter comes they prepare a lukewarm bath thanks to an electrical heater made from two cans of condensed milk. None of the children in the house knows the sensation of a jet of water falling on their shoulders. Since the water comes only once a week, no one can waste it in a shower.

To the rhythm of a pitcher rising and falling, the majority of people I know groom themselves. The decline of the hydraulic networks and the excessive prices of plumbing parts contribute to the calamitous state of the toilets. The act of washing the body, which should be an intimate and pleasant time, turns into a sequence of inconveniences for the better part of my compatriots. To the poor state of the infrastructure we must add that to buy shampoo and soap we need a different currency than that in which they pay our wages.

Juan Carlos and his wife know well dry spells and nights monitoring the pipes. At their house the precious liquid comes every seven days and the only water pressure comes from a pipe stuck in the ground. For this couple, the bucket and pitcher are essential tools without which they couldn’t cook, wash or clean the house. So many years without being able to open the tap and rinse their hands has forced them to develop a method that they explained to us today through these images. It’s a brief demonstration—in the words of my thin friend—“that will make them laugh, but it’s pathetic and tragic what’s happening in this country.”


4 thoughts on “Bucket and pitcher

  1. when I realized what is actually going on in this video I was dumbfounded even tho the workings of a cuban rural households plumbing is no secret to me. When I describe this to my friends they have a hard time believing it. These are the stories about everyday struggles the people must make to have what so many take for granted that the World needs to see.

  2. That operation, or procedure, what ever anybody wants call it,,,,has been like that for more than 40 years in Havana Vieja, Centro Habana, Luyanó, San Miguel del Padrón, and, almost every “Municipio” (municipality) of Havana City.

    Mainly, because all the hydraulic system (pipelines, pumps, etc) have not been replaced, or the maintenance has not been done properly, but, the curious case, is that this situation, is not the same in the houses of Fidel Castro, his brother, or the members of their “maffiosa gang”, as well as, their families, etc,,,,,is something exactly equal that with the people that went to a foreign war, where a lot of Cubans were killed, but, none of those dead had included a member of Castro’s family or any body else from their “maffiosa gang”,,,,,the dead were always simple and poor people, that went to war, and were killed following Castro’s instructions!!!! while he, and his gang were enjoying the happy life of being a “king in this paradise, his paradise,,,,,just for him!!!!


  3. I am sorry to infrom you, but “Generation Y” as you call it is not a generation. It is a female clique of girls who’s names begin with a “Y”.

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