Photos: Beyond Cuba’s Tourist Boom

The economy in eastern Cuba is slower than in Havana, where money is coming in from tourism and business investments.

15 photos
1/15
AP
Children play on a swing in Santiago, Cuba in March 2015. The playground was set up for a youth fair in their neighborhood, and will later be moved to other areas of the city.
2/15
AP
A "Home for sale" sign hangs on a resident's home in the Chicharron neighborhood of Santiago, Cuba. Compared to Havana, far fewer people in Santiago get remittances from family overseas.
3/15
AP
Children play dice on a table at a youth fair in Santiago, Cuba, where cell phones remain a rare luxury and public Internet is available in one state center and one hotel.
4/15
AP
Children pause as they play after school in an empty food cart parked outside their homes in Santiago, Cuba. The explosion of private enterprise is only just beginning in the island's second largest city.
5/15
AP
A man wears a shirt with a U.S. flag design in Santiago, Cuba. It’s easier to get from Havana to Miami than to the island’s second-largest city.
6/15
AP
Transportation workers walk to work in the morning along the railroad tracks in Santiago. The workers are responsible for keeping all the highways and railways clean and clear of obstruction.
7/15
AP
A ballerina performs at a youth fair in her neighborhood in Santiago, Cuba. Santiago is poorer than Havana and isolated from the capital where detente with the United States has unleashed giddy waves of optimism.
8/15
AP
A cook roasts a pig over a charcoal fire before the start of a neighborhood street party in Santiago, Cuba. He roasted it for about five hours to sell and serve to residents at the party.
9/15
AP
A view of Santiago Bay from El Boniato Mountain. Many in the Patriotic Union of Cuba, cite eastern Cuba’s role as the historical birthplace of the country’s uprisings, from the 19th wars of independence from Spain to the revolution that began with Fidel Castro’s attack on the Moncada military barracks on a hilltop overlooking the city.
10/15
AP
A street performer, dressed as a police statue, kisses a girl's hand after she gave him a coin in Santiago, Cuba. The number of private business licenses in Santiago grew to 34,000 as of February, according to government figures, thousands more than in previous years but still a fraction of the more than 120,000 in Havana.
11/15
AP
A potato vender sits in the street as he visits with friends in Santiago. Cubans across the country complain about low salaries and high prices, but there’s an uncommon anger in many voices in Santiago.
12/15
AP
A toddler's parents paid a vendor to take her on a ride through the park. Residents say the government has dramatically eased the difficulties of starting a small business, allowing thousands more permits for businesses ranging from motorcycle taxis to air-conditioner repair workshops.
13/15
A portrait of Cuba's revolutionary hero Ernesto "Che" Guevara hangs inside a home in Santiago. The TV set shows Argentina's Lionel Messi, of Barcelona F.C., playing a Spanish league match against Real Madrid.
14/15
AP
Seniors dance in the street for tourists at night in Santiago, Cuba. A staggering economy pushes some towards new ways of living and others toward hopelessness, anger and emigration.
15/15
AP
A couple walk hand-in-hand after work in Santiago, Cuba. He wears a national police officer uniform and she wears a state security guard uniform.
Contact Us