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Black and white photograph of a man sitting on Havana

“For over 100 years, the malecón (seawall), dividing Havana from the ocean, has protected the old city from storms and flooding. But for most Habaneros, ‘el Malecón’ is the site for nighttime gathering, loving, fishing and reflection. A stormy afternoon close to the sea, smelling the salty air mixed with seaweed and oil fumes, is a much needed moment to unwind the life frustrations of the island, as perhaps this man is doing. Stretching only 90 miles to the north, the United States offers Cubans hope and opportunities, and many from my generation have left, as I did in 2004.”

—     Photo by Abel Valdivia, a Ph.D. ’14 candidate in biology whose research interests center on marine ecology and conservation biology. He is currently focusing on understanding the dynamics and structure of coral reef ecosystems under human and climate change impacts in order to better support conservation efforts tailored to preserve these fragile ecosystems. His photo was a winner in the annual Carolina Global Photography Competition. See more photos from the competition.

Published in the Spring 2014 issue | Finale

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