The aroma of Cuban coffee filled the home of Maria Elena Harambourl as Commissioner Xavier Suarez stepped inside on Oct. 5. The walls of the house in the Shenandoah neighborhood were filled with old portraits of family and friends, paintings, as well as Cuban records on the shelves adjacent to a piano stand.
The group, all men but for Harambourl, stood up and introduced one another.
“So this is La Cuevita. Unfortunately, some of these guys spent time in a Cuban prison under Fidel Castro,” said Suarez, who is running for Miami-Dade Mayor.
“La Cuevita,” which means “the cave,” has been serving as a place for Cuban exiles and former prisoners to drink coffee and talk politics. Suarez has been attending, and presiding over, the Saturday event for decades.
One attendee, Jose A. Alonso, was imprisoned for four years in Cuba for conspiracy.
“The time in my life I felt most lost was being in prison,” he said.
I attended Santa Monica College not knowing my interest and major but I knew that I had to return to school. I took some photography because I had an interest in social-economic issues, history and politics and how photographs have the ability to captivate the narrative and atmosphere of these topics. Once I joined The Corsair newspaper I delved deeply into writing and photography. That’s when I decided to immerse myself in journalism. I transferred to FIU continuing my studies in Journalism and photography and I am proudly interning with the South Florida Media Network.