"Funny, but you don't look Cuban."

I get this all the time.

It's the blue eyes and fair skin that seems to confuse people.  Or maybe it's that all the news lately from Cuba seems to show a sort of third-world-dark-skinned population. And yes, many Cubans are black. And Chinese. And even Jewish. We Cubans come in all sizes and flavors. =D

To clarify, both my parents are Cuban. My grandparents back for a dozen generations on my mother's side are Cuban. Maybe there's a little Spanish (as in, from Spain) mixed in somewhere from my great-grandparents on my father's side...

My siblings and I were all born in Cuba. My kids are Cuban-Americans. My nieces and nephews are Cuban-Americans. And they look like everyone else. (go figure!)

NOTE: Our dear friend and next door neighbor is an amazing portrait/wedding/all occasion photographer and I asked him if he would please do something a little different as a gift for my mom's 95th birthday.  Notice how we hauled out my favorite red leather chair out onto the sidewalk and driveway?   God bless, Rafael who got out of his comfort zone to shoot us. (I think there were moments when he probably wanted to literally shoot us, but that's not important right now. =D)

All that to say this: We are all Cuban. And this is what we look like.

(as captured  by our great friend and fabulous photographer-of-infinite-talent-and-patience, Rafael, on the occasion of my mom's 95th birthday. Sadly, we are missing quite a few family members who were not available at the time of the photo shoot.)
Nat Luza Alina


Garcias 2

Helen & Ben

Fam b&w

3 generations





Ofie & Luza


Luza & Amy

Luza Helen

Garcias 3

Helen del

Great grands

Helen & Lucy

Gerbera daisies

E & M


And because it was a birthday party (as was declared by one of the 4 year olds ) everyone had to wear a hat!
The great hat photo

Thank you so much, Rafael, my friend, for capturing the LIFE of my big, fat, Cuban family.  =D

And for documenting such a precious milestone in our lives.