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The Cuban Refugees at La Cruz de Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

During the Christmas season of 2015 I traveled with my photo equipment to La Cruz, a small Costa Rican town near the northern border with Nicaragua. The reason for my journey were the 6000 Cuban migrants that got stuck in that frontier on their way to the US. On November 15, 2015, the Nicaraguan government had decided suddenly and without further notice, to close their borders to the Cubans in transit.

The Cuban Odyssey had started in Ecuador, then thru Colombia, Panama via Central America and Mexico to a hopeful destination to the US.

We often hear of the Cuban “Balseros”, people who try to reach the US crossing the Straits of Florida in makeshift vessels. The Central American migratory adventure is, in the case of Cubans, a new migratory phenomenon.

Ecuador had become an exit door for the Cubans because it was the only country in the hemisphere that did not require a travel visa from the Cuban citizens. The people who dare to exit Cuba this way, usually sold everything they possessed to pay for the journey. This is a very dangerous route. Many fell victims of the coyotes who took their money and belongings, or were pray of the military, the Colombian guerrilla and the drug Cartels that physically abused and extorted them. Many cases of rape had been reported.

The migrants face this dangers and abuses amid the scarcity of food and lack of sanitary and sleeping conditions.

Quo Vadis Cuba is a series of photographs portraying what I believe to be the third most important Cuban migration crisis since the massive 1980 Mariel boatlift and the Balseros in the 90’s.

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