Cuban refugees have contributed to the growth and expansion of the cigar industry since the first Cuban seed tobaccos were planted outside of the Caribbean island.
Outside of cigars, Cuban refugees have contributed in areas of music like Celia Cruz, Gloria Estefan and Armando Christian Pérez, a.k.a. Pitbull.
Pérez, a first generation American, is the son of Cuban refugees who arrived to the United States during the Peter Pan Project (mother) and his father via the Mariel boatlift in the early 80’s.
Jeff Bezos, was raised by Miguel ‘Mike’ Bezos who came to America from Cuba at the age of 16 with nothing to his name. Jacklyn Gise gave birth to Jeff in 1964 at the age of 17, but his biological father did not remain in Jeff’s life long.
Jacklyn married Mike in 1968 and together they instilled the values that helped shaped the mind, heart and spirit of the richest man in the world.
Alberto Godoy, the Artist
This same spirit is what has driven Alberto Godoy’s art which he has produced for over 20 years now.
Godoy left Cuba in the 1980’s to escape the oppression of Fidel Castro’s regime. Yet 20 years of memories from his homeland are represented in every brushstroke of his art.
His work is instantly recognizable with its colorful, yet warm hues and the use of circles as the foundation of all his characters. The spirit of his productions are tied to everyday life in Cuba, representing the folkloric traditions of the Caribbean island.
Hear from Alberto himself on why he chose to use the circle as the foundational shape of his work:
I’ve known Alberto for several years now and we met up again last night for a cigar and whisky at his art studio located at the Sawyer Yards.
If you ever want to meet with him, tour his gallery and enjoy a smoke; reach out to Alberto during 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday:
My next post on Alberto will be how he became the official artist for the IPCPR cigar conventions and some of the stories he has to share about his experiences with some of the most famous cigar makers we have come to love.
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