Calle 8 Street Angels
Little Havana is one of Miami's most picturesque and beloved neighborhoods. It has some of the oldest and most historic buildings in Miami. Ever since the Cuban immigration started in the 60s this neighborhood became the home of many Cuban families. Later, it became also home for immigrants from Central and South America. This community of immigrants has helped Little Havana to shape and reinforce its strong and proud Hispanic identity. Walking by Calle 8 (8th street, the area's main drag) you always find either at or around Domino Park or at El Exquisito or at El Pub restaurants or at any other of the small businesses between SW 12th Ave and SW 17th Ave, people who by their charming personality or by their clothing or by their engaging conversations always proudly display elements of their homeland, but also about their new home: Miami. These people, who are mainly residents of the area, for years have helped keep up the charm of Calle 8. Many of them know each other; they interact, they share their lives, they know their stories, they are like a big family. However, Little Havana is at a crossroads with the hyper-gentrification process that is currently happening in the area, and as such the neighborhood is changing. The important presence of these men and women is starting to fade away since they are aging and dying or because of the inevitable change brought by the gentrification process in the area and the large amount of tourists that daily flock the streets of Calle 8. This photo series is a celebration of the lives of those characters that for years have been like angels roaming the streets of Calle 8 serving as ambassadors of the area and defiant symbols of its rich cultural and historical heritage.