Memories intertwined: Revisiting David Alan Harvey´s Trinidad (Cuba)

Rosa Orbea and her niece Annalien Santander Orbea, who appeared in National Geographic Magazine´s article “Cuba’s Colonial Treasure,” October 1999. Photograph © KIKE CALVO.

For those of you who have been readers of National Geographic for years now, you may remember a beautiful and visually captivating article on Trinidad, Cuba, with images by David Alan Harvey, published 14 years ago.

In one of the photographs, Rosa Orbea was combing the hair of her niece, Annalien Santander Orbea. Annalien was wearing a crisp, bright white dress, and getting ready to celebrate her ¨quinces¨, a very meaningful celebration that occurs when a girl becomes a young lady, turning 15 years old.

As an expert for National Geographic Expeditions, I join our travelers in a search for unique places around the destination country. On this occasion, we went to visit the home of horse whisperer Julio Muñoz, who is none other than Rosa´s husband.

To say the least, luck was on my side when I found out the Annalien, now a mother, was visiting for a couple of days from Miami. As a photographer, I was thrilled by the opportunity, so I inquired the location of that white, now less sparkly, ¨quinceañera¨ dress. Sure enough, they found it.

Thanks to David for allowing me include his original photograph on my article. Photograph © David Alan Harvey


The room in which the photograph was taken years ago, is now being refurbished as part of the the family’s new project, a bed and breakfast. We sat together in the living room, a beautiful colonial space with high ceilings mosaic tiles. As we spoke about their appearance in National Geographic magazine and how that influenced their lives, I took some photographs to immortalize such a unique coincidence. These images of past and present display a perfect picture of change.


Meet the Author
Award-winning photographer, journalist, and author Kike Calvo (pronounced key-keh) specializes in culture and environment. He has been on assignment in more than 90 countries, working on stories ranging from belugas in the Arctic to traditional Hmong costumes in Laos. Kike is pioneering in using small unmanned aerial systems to produce aerial photography as art, and as a tool for research and conservation. He is also known for his iconic photographic project, World of Dances, on the intersection of dance, nature, and architecture. His work has been published in National Geographic, New York Times, Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, among others. Kike teaches photography workshops and has been a guest lecturer at leading institutions like the School of Visual Arts and Yale University. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic blog Voices. He has authored nine books, including Drones for Conservation; So You Want to Create Maps Using Drones?; Staten Island: A Visual Journey to the Lighthouse at the End of the World; and Habitats, with forewords by David Doubilet and Jean-Michel Cousteau. Kike’s images have been exhibited around the world, and are represented by the National Geographic Image Collection. Kike was born in Spain and is based in New York. When he is not on assignment, he is making gazpacho following his grandmother’s Andalusian recipe. You can travel to Colombia with Kike: