Havana, Cuba—El Malecón Habanero. In the summertime, it's where you will find the best breezes. When it's cold, it provides shelter against the marine gales. At night, visitors will find themselves wrapped in the magic of the melody, thanks to local musicians who ply their trade along the seawall.
The Malecón consists of a wide avenue, six lanes across, and a seven-mile wall that extends over the entire northern coast of the Cuban capital. The beginning of its construction dates back to 1901, during the era of provisional, American government on the island.
Its construction was conducted in successive stages and lasted about fifty years. Today, the wall is one of the most emblematic places in Havana—it provides beauty to the city as well as a point of pride for its citizens.
The wall has its own nature and breaths by itself. In the day, it is a place where the aroma of roasted peanuts, popcorn and more...prohibited scents mix together. In the night, the wall has nocturnal flowers—Chanel-perfumed beauties that open at dusk and close at dawn. At all times, the Malecón happily admits any kind of visitor. It does not distinguish race, age, sex—not even political affiliation. It is free for all to enjoy.
Besides the sights and smells, the sounds are key. The wall's many musicians sing traditional and contemporary songs. The singing begins within the strings of their guitars but suddenly, everyone is singing along, joining their voices in chorus.
You might find couples there: long-time lovers or uncertain individuals on their first dates. Some people are sharing a drink while others share just a brief chat about the weather. A teenager does a pirouette, receiving a nice compliment from an admirer.
The divine Malecón—a place of encounters, where unpredictable things occur. If that seawall could talk, how many stories would it tell?
Editor's Note: Eduardo Garcia's photographs will be shown at the Angkor Photography Festival, which is running from November 29 to December 6, 2014 in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Keep an eye out for our weekly previews which will feature different parts of the Angkor Photography Festival's diverse and exciting program.