Reflections from our Friends in Cuba after the Tornado

Below you will find a series of messages sent to us from our friends and family in Cuba -- compiled and translated by Anara Frank (Director of MetaMovements Artist Collective). We wanted to share them with you all here, because they felt so inspirational and exciting for us to read as they came in... and we imagined it would feel the same for you.

We've also linked a facebook photo album below that we thought highlighted how dramatic this storm was. It's amazing to see the words of our friends juxtaposed with these images. Despite this scary situation, they feel empowered and optimistic.

Thank you for taking the time to read -- feel free to share this text with your friends and family!

"Thank you so much for keeping trying to call. Electricity, phones and internet are in and out, so I am glad we can connect and hear each other!

The tornado really tore apart some municipalities, but for example it didn’t touch Playa at all. All of our friends and family are checking in and everyone is safe, as are their families. But we are all so sad for the people who are experiencing this disaster.

Everyone is getting to work though, as always. In addition to the government helping, neighbors are helping each other too. Of course the damages are severe, but natural disasters are a part of life, and we will face this head on, and come out strong.

There will be scarcities in food and utilities for a while, but we Cubans know how to manage when there are scarcities. We will help each other and we know how to struggle, help each other, and survive in this type of situation.

Sometimes people outside take moments of disasters like this to spread big lies about the situation, lies that work against us who are here. Natural disasters do happen in any part of the world...this is not about us in particular. Who can control mother nature?

The most affected areas around here are Guanabacoa, Regla, 10 de Octubre, Luyano. 45 schools and 2 nursery schools were damaged, as were 4 health centers and a maternity hospital. There are now 4 people who have died and 195 who were injured.

The whole situation is very sad for all of us Cubans, but we know what we have to do. We are all checking in on each other and looking for ways to help. They are already bringing cooked food to areas without electricity and gas. Clean-up efforts are already starting. We will keep updating you as long as we have internet. Sending hugs & kisses to all of you!"

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