Those belonging to the Cuban diaspora often find themselves asking the existentialist question of “who am I?” This is particularly relevant to those Cuban-Americans from the Historic Exile (1959-1979) who have made it a matter of honor never to return to their homeland until it is free. So, they find themselves navigating cultures and customs that while they find a lot to identify with, they are never the perfect fit.
No matter how hard they try, Cuba has never left them and never will. These are the ones who make up the “navegante” generation.
One of these navegantes is Jenny Lee Molina, who, despite living in Cuban Mecca Miami, thought there was a need to cubanize the city even more. Ergo, she launched a campaign though the social media to designate 3:05 PM as the official Cuban-American cafecito break.
The campaign became so successful that in April 2013, the Mayor of Miami and the Commission Chairman issued a statement of support. See http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/07/3489661/miami-cubans-sharing-culture-through.html
Even Cuban-Americans from Miami who have moved to other states have endorsed this campaign. Take the case of Nicolás Antonio Jiménez – a Cuban-American from Miami who went to school in Wisconsin. During the winter and frequent snow storms, 3:05 PM became Nicolás’ time to re-engage with his Cuban heritage. At this time, he became oblivious to the inclement weather. At this time, he was in a Cuban state of mind.
And don’t think for a second that Cuban-Americans will limit themselves with having a cafecito time. No way! We are too flamboyant to limit ourselves. So, we have extended our tentacles to other venues. As a result, you now have a Dunkin’ Donuts Cuban Sandwich. See http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/shortorder/2013/07/dunkin_donuts_launches_cuban_s.php
Yes, there is a bit of nostalgia with this mindset. But it also representative of the Cuban-American culture that shows our knack to always conduct business with pleasure. Most Cuban-Americans lead very successful lives in the United States, but they always remind others not to take themselves too seriously. A sense of joie de vivre forms part of the arsenal that Cuban-Americans use to face the world. They take very seriously the lyrics of Julio Iglesias’ song that what really matters in life are those “momentos” to express ourselves to others who we are, where we are going, and where we come from.
And, finally, we will not rest until we have a Cuban-American in the White House! Then, and only then, all the problems in the entire world will be solved in a matter of five minutes!