Photography by Ernesto Bazan
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Group El Campo

Another exciting week in the countryside during the tobacco harvest. The fondest memory of this wonderful multi-ethnic group (the students were from Canada, Cyprus, France, Holland and the US) is their generosity. Besides bringing to Cuba lots of things to give away, they all bought groceries and stuff to distribute to the many families that opened their door to us.

I truly felt moved to see that combined with the spectacular growth that each one of them experienced in the ten days that we shared. Several of them were total beginners with very little knowledge about what a good image is all about. A special note of appreciation goes to Willard taking her fifth workshop with me in Cuba.

As always, the first few days were an uphill struggle for most of them. My usual toughness was hard to digest.

Knowing that I was not going to look at their work in Viñales (with the exception of Nancy and Maria’s digital files), the first day in Havana I gave each one of them a very thorough and severe review of their portfolio during the welcome dinner hosted by my beloved Sissy at our house.

Throughout the workshop we had to overcome some unexpected difficulties including some torrential rain, but in the end when the editing sessions began, back in Havana, many pleasant surprises started to reveal themselves: the best payoff for their commitment and hard work.

The group El Campo truly deserves this name because each of their images convey the magic of the Cuban countryside and the infinite beauty its people.

Ernesto Bazan

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