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I’m waiting for the boat.
It will be a forty-five minute trip.
There are a lot of people.
The bay is a horizontal column between the big city and this town.
Between the land people and the sea people.
Until recently it was raining.
Everything is dirty and calm.

The fishing community of Castillo-Perché is located in the northern part of the bay of Cienfuegos, in the south of the island.

If someone asked me what the sea looks like to the south, I would not know how to answer.
I only know that the water currents here are weak.
Although in the rainy season the influence of the rivers is accentuated, especially in Pasacaballos: the narrowest entrance to the bay.

We head for Castillo-Perché.
It’s a quiet trip: we look at the water, we look at each other.
Faces, bodies, animals, objects: they form the story that appears and disappears.
Most of the people on this small boat have shared a trip more than once.
Complicity is in the air.

Castillo-Perché is more than two hundred years old. In 1733, during the colonial era, the Spanish began the construction of an important military fortification to face the attacks of corsairs and pirates. This attracted many people who settled in the area. Today the town has about 1,400 inhabitants, most of whom have a long fishing tradition.

I look at the sky.
It could rain again.
There is a moment during the trip where you can see the reactor installations.
But it is far away, apparently.
Near me there are several signs hanging:
«Batteries» «No alcoholic beverages» «Electric panel»
«Maximum capacity of the ship: one hundred and eighty people.»
I also have the feeling of having lived this moment a thousand times.

If someone asked me what the sea looks like to the south, I would not know how to answer.
I only know that in this village the food has a special taste.
The inhabitants of Castillo-Perché are simple, communicative, enthusiastic people.
They have a great sense of belonging.
They do not conceive of themselves outside of the economic activity that sustains them: fishing.
In addition, they build charcoal ovens: essential fuel to prepare food, especially after the worsening of the economic crisis in recent years.

I stood in front of the bay and saw the blue boats.
The horizon with cargo ships, cruise ships and tourists.
The sea and its boats are marked by custom.
I thought of all the people who deserve a better future….

On dry land I’ll take off my shoes.


Video: Rimantas Ribaciauskas
Text and voice-over: Alessandra Santiesteban
Editing: Alessandra Santiesteban