Cubans are the kings of recycling
The shortage of products on the island, combined with the low salaries of the budgeted system and the poor implementation of forms of payment in the state sector, make the Cuban "on foot" become a magician to meet their needs basic
Recycling, therefore, has become part of the "day to day" of the citizens of the national territory, considered as the best in the world in the reinvention of products.
"Nothing is considered junk," said Stephen Friedman, the correspondent for the international travel insurance company, World Nomads, recently in a short documentary dedicated to this topic.
In the video, Friedman interviews the Cuban Omar Montalvo Favela, originally from the central province of Villa Clara, who currently works in the capital of the country to work as a mechanic and driver, to survive.
"I repair the cars when they have a break. I'm looking for second-hand pieces, for use ", describes Montalvo, about his way of life. "There are people who sell spare parts in private homes."
According to the Cuban, to be a mechanic on the island, one must have an "open mind". Everything is used and reused, whether it be "a small piece of wire, a piece of angular, a planch, (...) the motor of a Russian washing machine".
For Omar it is not important that a piece be "of use" or be defective, since everything can be exploited, to "the Cuban form".
Last 2018 the figure of the average monthly salary in Cuba reached 740 Cuban pesos (CUP), equivalent to 29.6 dollars. An insufficient amount in relation to the costly that certain products on the Island become, such as those related to: food, hygiene and construction. Other goods, such as car parts, are simply non-existent.
Recycling has become a way of life not only for mechanics but for other professions such as designers of clothing and household items. Artists often have to rummage through garbage bins and find sidewalks, wood chips and obsolete electrical devices.