The 50 year economic embargo against Cuba made many things on the island stagnant — 0ne of those things was fashion.
Now, since Raúl Castro’s government has allowed internet use, young people are eating up what their peers are wearing around the world. They love seeing what a hipster sports in Brooklyn — flannel shirts, ripped jeans, and all.
One of these young people is Gille Mesa Valdes, a tattoo artist who travels to France and imports clothes, ink and needles. He’s been able to earn up to $50 dollars per design, which is more than a doctor makes in a month!
Most can’t afford those luxuries and resort to extreme measures to look fashionable. It’s as extreme as using shoe polish and the insides of batteries to dye their hair.
“They’re taking a risk because it’s toxic,” said Andy Gomez, a former University of Miami professor. “But desperation is a powerful thing. Looking in the mirror and feeling hip, attractive — and free — is an escape from the world they live in.”
COVID-19 hasn’t been easy for Cubans. Not only have Cubans been physically affected by the virus like the rest of the world, but the drop in the island’s gross domestic product has stymied local economic productivity. The island can no longer look to tourism to add to their GDP.
Because of this drop in GDP, food shortages on the island have become more severe than in recent memory. And Cuban cooks are feeling the effects.
Cubans must stand in line for hours at markets with no guarantees that the ingredients that they want will be available.
This way of living is especially hard for Cuban cooks, like 39-year-old Yuliet Colón. For Colón, cooking is both a creative expression and a stress reliever. “The kitchen is my happy place, where I am calmer and I feel better,” she recently revealed to the Associated Press.
Yuliet Colón is one of the creators of a Facebook page called Recetas del Corazón that has changed the cooking game for thousands of Cubans.
Now, thanks to Colón and other curious and generous Cuban cooks like her, Recipes from the Heart is now 12,000 members strong.
The goal of the page is to help struggling Cuban cooks cope with food shortages. Members of the page share creative recipes, tips, and food substitutions. Launched in June of 2020, the page was an instant success. Its success proves that Cubans have been desperate to find ways to adapt their cooking to the post-COVID-era.
To AP News, Yuliet Colón laments about the lack of rice, beans, cheese, fruit, and, most of all, eggs. “What I like the most is making desserts, but now it’s hard to get eggs, milk or flour,” she revealed.
In America, Cuban cuisine is known for popular dishes like papas rellenas, arroz con pollo, and pastelitos de guayaba. But nowadays, authentic modern Cuban food is different.
The brightside is, however, that Cuban cooks are finally able to share food-related tips and tricks with each other on a much larger scale than they were before the internet became more widespread in the country.
Now that many Cubans have access to communication apps like Facebook and WhatsApp, they can now connect with one another and make the most of what they have–however little that may be.
When it comes to heels the options can beyond overwhelming. From stilettos and block heels to wedges and kitten heels, these pumps are proof that when it comes to shoes it’s not always a one-size-fits-all kind of game.
Women on Reddit recently gathered around on a discussion board, to share their best type of heel advice for women.
Check it out below!
“Sarah Flint is great if you really want to invest. Cole Haan is my personal go-go, but I’ve had success with Corso Como as well. J. Crew also has a surprisingly good selection of footwear and I snag trendy or statement shoes from them from time to time. All of these makers have small sizes in-stock as part of their standard offering.
For heels in particular I think committing to leather is important–if you buy them in the proper size they’ll “mold” to your feet in a way that synthetic materials never will. Pretty important for us wee ones who often have to deal with things running large to begin with.
“Thanks for the advice! Every pair of Cole Haan shoes I’ve tried haven’t been my favorites, so I’ll check out the others!”- mimosaandmagnolia
“While decidedly not an expert on heels, I checked the gf’s closet and found lots of Cole Haan and Burberry. She’s on her feet all day doing rounds at the hospital so she’s literally put a premium and is willing to pay a premium to be comfortable when she dresses up (however infrequent that’s been in the last year).
These may be outside your budget if purchased new, but may be brands to keep an eye out for at Nordstrom Rack, etc.”- itsonlyastrongbuzz
“Cole Haan for me. I have a pair of navy capped toe pumps that have lasted me for years and are very comfortable. For particularly small feet, I would recommend a Salvatore Ferragamo Vara pump. They’ve got a nice low heel, come in loads of colors, and they too last a long time if you take good care of them.”- Foxlurker8
“Hi! I think Franco Sarto makes a super cute block heel. Practical but still chic. I usually just go to nordstroms and try a bunch on.”- billnyegirl
“I bought a pair of heels once by Franco Sarto and they left blisters on my feet. I was so disappointed because after wearing them for a day my blood stained the tan leather.”- mimosaandmagnolia
“Definitely an investment but it may be worth looking at M Gemi? I bought a pair of their suede loafers on sale and love them — they are so comfortable! Looks like their heels go down to a size 35 (EU) which I think is close to your size?”- WannaWearMyRedShoes