Tommy, former ballet dancer and instructor alongside Alicia Alonzo and Carlos Acosta, sits outside of his home’s restaurant, or paladar, to begin each day with tea and people watching. Paladares are fundamentally directed to serve a more vivid interaction with homestyle, Cuban food. La Guarida, the most famous paladar in all of Cuba, is open for business just down the road.
Arte en la Rampa, on Havana’s main strip, gathers musical concerts, food, drinks, art. Hundreds of people traffic in and out of the venue daily.
A crate of eggs falls and breaks at the back entrance of the event.
The red car near Tommy’s house.
“The first thing that I'm attracted to visually for my photographs is the textures of walls.” - Villarreal, Jorge
The car seemed simlar to the wall, in texture and wear. Villarreal took several images of this wall and car, also seen in his "All My Friends are Sketchy" series, a mixed media art project.
Elbía accepts a crown of bright flowers from locals outside of the main bar, La Bodegita.
Over the years, she befriends Villarreal, inviting him upstairs, and over to her home on top of the bar, where she sings to him.
Elbía says she is 28 years old.
Water at the entrance to the Port of Havana.
Throughout history, Havana has learned to defend themselves against naval attacks. At 9pm each evening, the city is informed by a single canon shot that the port is closed, and chains are raised.
Hundreds of ships have sunk from trespassing, leaving treasure also. China has offered to clean the water in exchange to keep all treasure they find.
Elbia poses outside her home
The streets of La Habana Vieja, Villarreal captures people’s anticipation for the emerging relations between Cuba and the US.
A man walks in front of Che Guevara in American flag shirt, shorts and shoes.
A child watches as Cuba raises the American flag for the first time since 1961.
This night marked a historic ceremony to reopen the diplomatic outpost in Havana, and normalize the relationship between the two countries.
A corner meat market on Lagunas St. Religious motifs displayed publicly in the background.
Deep within an alleyway of Centro Habana, a private invitation is exchanged of calls ‘chulo,’ ‘guano,’ ‘papi.’
Man poses while showing off his motorized bicycle.
A decade after an economic collapse forced women and men into prostitution, Cuba has become something of an anomaly in Latin America: a destination for sex tourists where AIDS has yet to become an uncontrollable pandemic.
Although illegal, prostitution is a profitable hustle. One CUC amounts to 25 national Pesos.
Pedro Pulido gets a hair cut before his graduation from the Universidad de La Habana
4am, outside of an apartment window, two drunken men argue over their broken down car.
Man sits and plays the French Horn on the Malecon.
Joking he asks if they can hear him in Miami.
A market table sorts pig parts at a grocery for Shaman’s rituals.
The beginning of a cleansing Santería ritual to last approximately 6 hours, and after an intricate assemblage of the person’s profile drawn and translated onto cloths.
The pigeon would be soaked in rum, and beat against the person’s face and body until the bird died.
Boys play pelota, or hand ball, a popular street game among Latin American countries: Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Cuba.
The hand of Elbía.
Walking the Malecon during sunset, kids play and swim before night fall.
One of two birds decapitated for a ritual.
The chicken was drained and defeathered as an offering to the god represented by a bucket of twenty machetes.
While photographing a mural of Che Guevara on Ave San Agustin, Kids pass and say hello.
Nicknamed "Polly" or "La Guera," Graciela has become one of La Habana's most iconic faces. Her sudden death in October of 2012 gave the opportunity to her best friend and roommate Elbia to come to follow in her footstep and become an icon as well.
Fishing supplies are very hard to come by in Cuba. Many fishermen improvise with what they have to catch a fish. Condoms are used as a floater and can keep the bait from sinking to the ocean floor.
Part of a finance building in Centro Habana, and the end of Cuba as an untouched treasure before major change.
The seat of Wilber. Although most cars in Cuba originally have gasoline motors, many people customize they're cars so that they run on diesel gas because it is a lot more economical.
Closet of the witch doctor’s inventory.
Among other shelves: tiger bone, rhino horn and herbs.