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.