Cuba, is a distant island not far from my heart where my parents and grandparents were born. It is a place I heard about much growing up in Miami. My grandparents would talk about how white and pure the sandy beaches were. They would talk about the Sunday drives to Havana and life on the ingenio (Sugar Mill) in Violeta, Camaguey was. How everyone who worked at the ingenio (Sugar Mill) was provided a home and was well taken care of. How my mother wrecked havoc in her school as a young girl.
I have never been to Cuba, but my mother was fifteen years old when she found refuge in the United States. She raves about how by middle school she was doing trig and calculus and how superior the education was there. She comments on how by fifteen years old you were ready for college.
My mother spent her childhood summers on the beach in a little beach in perfect freedom, released from her boarding school, El Estonac.
I don’t know how many times I heard how Cuba was a magical place where the middle class was steadily growing and there were no class structures like in South, Central, or North America to divide the populace. In Cuba, your status came from your education not the wealth one had.
I am writing a book but not just a book, I am translating a very old Cuban Cookbook into English and mixing it with the memories of growing up Cuban in Miami and how the American-Cuban influence has enriched my life and made me who I am today.