San Lázaro

San Lázaro is the saint of sores and dogs; his saint’s day is December 17. His name has been given to a long street in Central Havana, filled with scars and abandoned animals. It doesn’t have the magic of the avenue that borders the Malecón along the waterfront and between its peeling facades flow the lives of thousands of people. For some years it was the street most commonly used to go to Vedado, and so enjoys the affection of a well-known place. To traverse it is to see the real Havana, that which the tourist ads show in different colors.

A few weeks ago I made the video I’m showing you today, because I have a premonition that a day will come when everything will look different in this street. My prediction doesn’t come—this time—from pessimism, nor from the belief that half the houses will fall down before repairs start. San Lázaro will heal and shrug off the ochre colors you now see. I will be there with my camera, to show it to you then.

* Music from the CD “Libre” of Boris Larramendi.

8 thoughts on “San Lázaro

  1. Pingback: San Lázaro | Cuba News

  2. im mexican and its no way near on some of the streets we find in mexico in cuba u blame the system in yhe u.s u blame the individual go figure. as for freedom in the u.s yes as long as u don’t agitate the buisness clas ay mas pobreza en mexico y otras partes de latino america que hay en cuba

  3. Que la llama violeta de la purificacion y la transmutacion te envuelva a ti y toda cuba! Algun dia se complira tu profecia y toda cuba renacera limpia y renovada, no solo la calle san lazaro.

    Desde el cristo que mora en el corazon de todos los hombres hago un llamado a la llama violeta transmutadora y le pido que trasforme a toda cuba a la perfeccion divina. Que el karma pasado presente y futuro de sus habitantes sea consumido por su fuego misericordioso. Ahora y siempre.

  4. .
    Hace muchisimo tiempo esta hipocrita de Yoani Sanchez tenia esos problemas, hoy puede que ella misma sea la encargada de entretener en otro sentido a esos grupos que tratan de tener acceso a Internet o postear en Internet dentro de la dictadura Castrista.
    Aqui les dejo algo que no es ni una uñita de la razon de mi nick.
    Veanlo antes de que el Gobierno de Cuba borre este comentario. se llama MORDAZA en el Blog de Yoani.

  5. San Lázaro is still a popular route to Vedado -the Viazul bus from Varadero drops passengers in Habana Vieja then takes San Lázaro all the way to the University where it also drops off. I’ve walked the street from Prado to the university and there are certainly many places where it does not seem safe to walk under the balcons. A “real” Habana street that could use some paint.

  6. I also wanted to thank you for posting this video of San Lazaro. I have many friends who live on or near this street, in the Vedado section. This is also how I would often ride to visit them. And yes this street, like many streets, really embody the truth about life in Habana.

  7. Here is a video shot by an Iranian women, in the evening, listening to the chants of Allah-o Ahkbar along with a very moving reflection by the videographer. This reminds me of a video Yoani posted on May Day, of people banging pots and pans near her home in Havana.

    Poem for the Rooftops of Iran: June 19th 2009

    Tonight the sound of God is Greater can be heard louder and louder than previous nights
    Where is this?! Where is this place where everything has been blocked?
    Where is this place where people are just shouting the name of God?
    Where is this place where the sound of God is Greater can be heard louder and louder?
    Everyday Im just waiting to see if there will be more and louder voices at nights?
    My body trembles
    …and I wonder if God trembles too?
    Where is this where we’ve been imprisoned so innocently?
    Where is this where no one gives us a helping hand?!
    Where is this place, where we are getting our voices heard worldwide through our silence?
    Where is this place where the blood of its young people is shed on the streets…, where people stand and pray on their blood?
    Where is this place where its people are named Gangsters & Thugs?!
    Where is this?
    This is Iran. This is my land and yours!
    This is Iran

  8. Your video show’s a street that look’s similar to a street you would in the older part of Karachi,where over 60 year old crumbling house’s stand;multi coloured,and the paint coming off,i am reminded of those house’s when i see your video.Brilliant blog.Continue to tell us more,and inspire us more.

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