While wandering around Havana, I found my way in front of the capitol building, better known as El Capitolio.
This prominent landmark is surrounded by a well-manicured lawn, distinguished busts of historical figures, and your standard 40-meter tall Royal Palm garden to pull it all together. The building stands across the street from the Hotel Inglaterra, a popular tourist spot to catch a ride in one of the hundreds of vintage cars found around the country. So it came without surprise that the necessary measures were taken to construct and maintain such an important building that's to visited by thousands of tourists throughout the year.
Feeling satisfied with the photos taken here, I turned to head further down the street to see what else I could capture. As fate would have it, this building directly across the street from the capitol caught my eye.
The colors, ruggedness, and character that this structure exuded triggered one of my creative moments as my camera busily snapped away.
I glanced up to make sure I wasn't blocking the walkway for other pedestrians only to see that an older gentleman with concern in his eyes had stopped to speak with me. He asked me if I'd seen the capitol building across the street. I said that I'd just been there and found it beautiful. "Then why are you taking a photo of this building?", he asked in his native Spanish tongue while pointing at the colorful building in front of us. I then explained how both buildings possessed a beauty that deserved to be appreciated equally.
My new friend, Victor, then told me that in all of his 70 years he'd never heard a perspective like that. And he completely agreed with me. He told me he was born, raised, and resided in Peru his entire life. This was his third time visiting Cuba, returning each time to discover more of what the country would reveal to him.
There were a few other moments like these I had with locals inquiring about my interest in the "feo" and less on the "lindo." It's moments like these where I can explain the vision behind each of my photos that I cherish the most. This world is so achingly beautiful, and being able to pull out the beauty in all things is what will ultimately make us more accepting of other people and cultures that otherwise would be overlooked.
Want to see what other beauty was captured during my trip to Cuba? Check out the gallery for more!