A Day In The Life Of Cuban Flower Vendor

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In this Thursday, January 29, 2015 photo, the backseat of a rented 1957 Buick is packed to the brim with flowers, to be transported to Havana from San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba. Every Monday and Thursday morning, self-employed flower vendor Yaima Gonzalez Matos leaves her home to visit a dozen farmers who sell her sunflowers, roses, lilies and other blooms. She loads the flowers into the rented American classic and delivers to customers in the capital. (Photo by Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

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In this Thursday, January 29, 2015 photo, a supplier carries a bunch of fresh cut flowers for the self-employed flower vendor Yaima Gonzalez Matos, 33, at a farm in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba. She says she works only two days a week because there isn’t enough demand to support more business. But often those days last 12 hours, and she gets home long after her mother has bathed her son and put him to bed. (Photo by Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

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In this Thursday, January 29, 2015 photo, a flower bunch sits on the truck of a 1957 Buick, rented for the day by private flower vendor Yaima Gonzalez Matos, who pays the owner of the car about $20 a day including gas to transport her flowers to Havana. Gonzalez is hopeful that the recent warming of relations with the U.S. will improve Cuba’s economy, and more money will trickle down to her business. She dreams of one day having a business big enough to let her buy a truck and sign a supply contract with a hotel. (Photo by Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

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In this Thursday, January 29, 2015 photo, private flower vendor Yaima Gonzalez Matos, 33, loads a bunch of daisies into the backseat of a rented 1957 Buick, with the help of driver Lazaro, in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba. Gonzalez dreams of one day having a business big enough to let her buy a truck. For now she pays Lazaro about $20 a day including gas to transport the flowers to the capital. (Photo by Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

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In this Thursday, January 29, 2015 photo, customers gather around self-employed flower vendor Yaima Gonzalez Matos, 33, shopping for bouquets of flowers, in Havana, Cuba, from Gonzalez’s makeshift flower stand; a 1957 Buick she rents for the day to transport the flowers from nearby farms into the capital. On a good day, she earns about $28 after expenses, a little more than the average monthly salary in Cuba. (Photo by Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

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In this Thursday, January 29, 2015 photo, a wild bee forages on a sunflower on a farm where self-employed flower vendor Yaima Gonzalez Matos waits to buy, in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba. (Photo by Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

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In this Thursday, January 29, 2015 photo, flower bunches occupy the floorboard of a 1957 Buick, rented by flower vendor Yaima Gonzalez Matos, for her bi-weekly rounds to farmers who sell her the blooms, in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba. Gonzalez joined the ranks of Cuba’s small class of entrepreneurs three years ago when she lost her job in human resources at a state-owned enterprise. To support herself and her son, now 11, she followed the example of friends working in the island’s new private flower business. (Photo by Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

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In this Thursday, January 29, 2015 photo, taxi driver Lazaro adds another bunch of daisies to the growing pile of fresh cut perennials in the backseat of his 1957 Buick, in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba. Private flower vendor Yaima Gonzalez Matos pays Lazaro about $20 a day including gas to transport the flowers to the capital. (Photo by Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

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In this Thursday, January 29, 2015 photo, self-employed flower vendor Yaima Gonzalez Matos, 33, tallies her sales, in Havana, Cuba. The smallest mishap can push her balance sheet into the red for weeks. Recently someone reached into her rented car and stole her cellphone while she was talking to a client. Some days, the 1957 Buick she rents to transport the flowers, breaks down, leaving her stranded on the roadside. (Photo by Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

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In this Thursday, January 29, 2015 photo, the truck of a rented 1957 Buick is stuffed with sunflower bunches at a farm in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba. Private flower vendor Yaima Gonzalez Matos rents the American classic for about $20 a day, to transport the flowers to the capital. It’s a tough job: Gonzalez’s suppliers hardly ever fill all her requests for reasons that range from bad weather to competitors outbidding her. (Photo by Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

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In this Thursday, January 29, 2015 photo, a farmer carries fresh cut flowers purchased by self-employed Yaima Gonzalez Matos, 33, to her rented car, in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba. Gonzalez joined the ranks of Cuba’s small class of entrepreneurs three years ago when she lost her job in human resources at a state-owned enterprise. To support herself and her son, she followed the example of friends working in the island’s new private flower business. (Photo by Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

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In this Thursday, January 29, 2015 photo, self-employed flower vendor Yaima Gonzalez, 33, right, sells flowers from a 1957 parked Buick she has rented for the day, in Havana, Cuba. (Photo by Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

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In this Thursday, January 29, 2015 photo, private flower vendor Yaima Gonzalez Matos, 33, hauls a bunch of daisies to load into a rented 1957 Buick, in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba. (Photo by Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

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In this Thursday, January 29, 2015 photo, taxi driver Lazaro transports self-employed flower vendor Yaima Gonzalez Matos, 33, to the next farm on her list in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba. (Photo by Ramon Espinosa/AP Photo)

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