Tags / housing infrastructure
An elderly lady points toward a portrait of revolutionary, Camilo Cienfuegos. This 78-year-old woman shares two small rooms with her son. The original stairs to their home collapsed completely and were replaced by a four meter-high, rickety, homemade staircase. Ten years ago, this woman fell down these stairs and broke her shoulder, hip and all of her front teeth.
A young woman in her kitchen. The floor of the landing in front of this apartment has caved in and large marble slabs have fallen down to the hallway below. The couple who lives in this apartment have to walk carefully along the edge of the landing to get to their front door. They have no running water and have to carry buckets of water across the dangerous landing.
The room where this woman lives has no windows or any other ventilation, so she keeps her door open whenever she is at home. She is seen here standing just outside her room.
She said she wasn't worried about her safety at night because her neighbours also had their doors open and they would hear if anything untoward happened.
Fuse boxes in the entrance of a building in Old Havana. These worn and out-dated fuse boxes are very dangerous and can be seen in the entrances of most of the buildings in Havana.
Residents rarely have the means to call in professionals to fix things in their homes. They are forced to use whatever materials they can find to make repairs and they take risks trying to repair electrical malfunctions.
A cabaret performer dressing in his one-room home in Old Havana. As well as performing in clubs, he also teaches salsa to tourists.
A young man reflected in a bedroom mirror at his home in Old Havana. This man shares two small rooms with his boy-friend in this crumbling house in Old Havana.
Pre-revolution, Cuba had strict laws that criminalised homosexuality. However private, non-commercial sexual relations between same-sex consenting adults 16 and over have been legal in Cuba since 1979.
A communal hallway of a house in Old Havana. These loose hanging wires can be seen in most of the buildings of Old and Central Havana.
Neither the Cuban state nor the people have money for repairs and this lack of money has played a major part in the critical state of the buildings. Nicholas Quintana, a Cuban-born professor of architecture at Florida International University, said that the neglect of Havana's architecture was politically motivated and that it represented the work of the republic and, as such, Fidel wanted to see it eliminated. Other experts in architecture say that half a century of communist rule and embargos have indirectly saved the capital's architecture from developers, even though the lack of money for repairs has taken a terrible toll.
This lady shares her apartment with her daughter and grandchildren. Although the apartment allows in more air and is brighter than most, it can only be accessed by a crumbling staircase.
This woman's one-room home is immaculately clean and tidy. She has to share a bathroom and kitchen with three different families and her room is accessed by climbing a crumbling staircase.
Like many elderly Cuban ladies she carefully stores and displays her personal mementos. She was very keen to show me her vast collection of old family photographs as well as newspaper cuttings of Fidel Castro.
This man whose wife died recently now lives alone in this roomy house in Old Havana. He is struggling with his loss but does his best to get up every day and to keep his house tidy. The house has all its original features, but it’s damp and the electrics and plumbing are very rudimentary.
Paintings and photographs depicting key figures and moments of the revolution are still very popular among the older members of the population in Cuba. The younger generation are more interested in contemporary, Cuban and international, art and popular culture.
An elderly lady spends most of her day in her wheelchair in her covered courtyard because her tiny room has no light or air circulation.
According to the Communist Party daily newspaper Granma, Cuba's healthcare system is facing the urgent challenge of increasing its network of nursing homes and geriatricians to serve its aging population, given that the country will be among those with the oldest populations by 2050. Currently, 18.3 percent of the Cuban public is over age 60, and this represents more than two million of the island's 11.2 million citizens.