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Me in as a kid in cuba 1972 

By  Alexis Martin

I grew up in a small town of Matanzas Cuba, my maternal grandfather was a “Carretero”, taking sugar cane from the fields to a centralize location with a bullock ox cart. This was a big two-wheel cart pulled in many cases by one to three pairs of oxen, the workers were paid by the weight of their cargo. Many times, the work consisted of walking along the cart while guiding the oxen.

Carreteros Cuba

Carreteros Cuba

I remember riding with grandpa on horse. I have early memories of him teaching me to identify the birds by their calling sounds, the trees and learning to orientate myself on the land. My love for nature comes from those early memories to this day I like to listen to bird callings and been able to identify them, it always takes me back to those days.

My grandpa’s name was Leopoldo Garcia, he was an honest and hardworking men, he will collect everything he found on the fields, every nut and bolts, every piece of iron or rusted tool. He kept these “treasures” on his backyard shack, friends will come to the house asking him for permission to look thru the boxes in search for something need it. Grandpa build this little chair I’m sitting on this picture.

Alexis Martin Cuba 1972

Alexis Martin Cuba 1972

Abuelo Leopoldo was so generous, I also remember him sharing part of his crop from a small garden in the backyard with neighbors and on a weekly basics he will take groceries by horse for a friend who lived in a nearby mountain, I will tag along for the ride uphill and enjoyed the rest of the day fishing on a lake near his friend’s house.

Looking at this picture It brings me back to those days to my grandpa.  As a kid I used to run around the town with friends hunting with a slingshot, collecting fruits, and playing. I feel very lucky to have all these memories as a kid and I fell also very fortunate to have the sample of Abuelo Leopoldo, his honesty and work habits.

Alexis Martin


I'm a first-generation Cuban immigrant. I have a passion for everything Cuba. I love to share our culture and my expertise in the world-famous Guayabera Shirt. On December 18, 2002, I sold my first Cuban Guayabera shirt online. I fell in love with the process and the fact that this is a business, you always have to be willing to learn. Many things have changed since then, new software services, new concepts. At Mycubanstore.com, we had been able to ride different market waves. We are always humbled and grateful for this privilege of building a future in this great country.

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  1. Thanks fort the story, it reminds me of my days growing up in Trinidad and Tobago West Indies I too had the same challenges in my youthful days just the same as you too numerous to mention but keep going forward my brother never backward. RevRaymond Isaac.

  2. Muchas gracias por compartir tus memorias,todo muy hermoso , me hizo recordar todas esas memorias con mis padres alla en cuernavaca morelos Mexico, muchas gracias por compartir la foto y todas esas memorias con su abuelito, muchas bendiciones para usted y toda su familia

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