Adalberto,79, taught me the most valuable lesson of all the lessons I learned in Cuba…

He commenced his photography career at the ‘late’ age of 49. Yearning to take portraits, he saved money, bought a broken camera, was determined to repair it. Since then, he’s made a living taking portraits. His most successful endeavor has been selling portraits of tourist on the streets of Cuba.

Intrigued by his old-school-self-made camera and in support of his art I ask for my photo to be taken. He proudly directs me. “Parate alla” – ‘Stand over there’. Sets up his camera and shoots. He then proceeds to develop the photo right before my eyes. In the back of his camera. There was a tray set up with a liquid he described as ‘acid’. He placed his arm in a sleeve, moved a few things around and there it was.

He then proceed to ask why I was taking his photo and video. Hesitant I answered.

“I can tell you are doubtful. You can’t be doubtful. You know what your purpose is. Don’t be afraid of it.”

After speaking with him, he taught me to stop being doubtful. To stop questioning this passion I have. To continue feeding my desire to listen, dance, laugh with Elders, and, now share their stories.

“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”


— Just before I departed I ask “Adalberto, have you ever taken a photo with a digital camera? To my surprise, he answers:

“No. I have never taken a photo with these cameras that you instantaneously see the photo.”

I hand him over my camera. Give him a quick run down and he again tells me stand over there. And, he shoots! The photo depicted below was the only photo he took with my Nikon DSLR. He did well! He was so happy to see the results.

Thank You for your Bendición in helping me feel confident with my Wishes Adalberto !

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