Andrea Santiago Orgaz
31 Mar 2021
Meet Víctor- a Cuban expat currently living in Madrid. We caught up online, and he told us about his life is in Spain, and how he keeps his family in Cuba topped up with Ding.
I grew up in the eastern part of Cuba, Sagua de Tánamo. It's a wonderful town surrounded by a river, I have very fond memories of the place.
Growing up, I admired the women in my family, especially my aunt Carmen Serrano Coello who is a magnificent poet! Her works include "Por aquí andan mis ángeles" and " Esas ovejas que nos balan dentro", which are renowned in Cuban culture.
I moved to Havana at the age of 20, to my aunt's family home, where I was fortunate to learn of her work in depth. Looking back, perhaps this is where I got my thirst for travel.
I left Cuba in 2017 to work for a cruise company, where I managed to visit 13 countries across three continents in one year! With this job I ended up in Madrid, which is where I am happy to call home.
Spain is a wonderful country, (besides the cold winter!) my life here is great. What can I say about Madrid! It has a lot to offer, the best food in the world, great wine, great nightlife, great people!
Unfortunately, I have only visited Cuba once since I left, back in 2019. I had planned to go last year, but with the pandemic, like everyone my travel plans have been postponed.
Perhaps I will visit next year, but this all depends on restrictions. I probably have less motivation to visit than others, as almost all of my immediate and extended family is now living in the United States and Canada.
Well, I don't know, the saying "never say never" fits perfectly here. For the moment, I am very happy with my partner here in Madrid. So for now, it's a no.
Of my family left in Cuba, they are dependent on tourism. So naturally covid has impacted their ability to earn. I think because of this I am checking in with them more than usual.
As the internet in Cuba becomes more accessible, it's becoming easier to stay in touch over WhatsApp or video calls.
In the past my mother or sister had to go to a park to connect to the public wi-fi. Now it's different, I just send them a recharge using Ding and they can chat from wherever it's convenient for them.
Most of their balance is used to browse online or chat on social media with their friends.. just like me I guess!
We do call every so often, however I usually wait for the Cubacel promotions that include internet bonus so they get the most from what I send.
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