The Weeping Park, a Place for Change
There is an area on the outskirts of Havana; a place filled with hope and heat break. Here is where the United States Interest Section where hundreds of Cubans line up in the early morning attempting to gain access into the US. Officials yell orders from megaphones at the crowd lining them up into two groups. Temporary visas and permanent visas are both hard to get.
(This video was created for the United Nations PLURAL + Youth Video Festival. It looks at Cuban to US immigration and travel from a personal stand-point taken from my time spent in the Weeping Park.)
Families such as Breece and Eleane wait months to get a date for their interviews. Breece said she hopes to give her daughter a better future in the United States and already has a brother living in New York. They have been through 3 rounds of interviews already, and this day is their last step before obtaining an immigration visa.
After Cuba opened up travel this past year, thousands of Cubans have been flooding this area especially attempting to visit relatives in the US or move there permanently. Many there cite the need for more oppertunity for success outside of Cuba, but all the people I spoke with said they will miss "their" Cuba. Less than 10 percent of temporary visas are accepted by the US each year and even smaller numbers are accepted for migration so chances are most will not get the chance to cross the water.
As for Breece and Eleane, they obtained their visas and moved to New York state in early June.