A young boy cries as RaϜl Castro pays a final tribute to his late brother Fidel Castro in Santiago de Cuba. (Alejandro Cegarra)

With two small Cuban flags clutched in his hands, a young boy — comforted by his mother — wept. He was too young to fully grasp the full legacy left behind by Fidel Castro, but it was a tender moment amid a crowd of hundreds of thousands that overflowed the streets of Santiago de Cuba on Saturday night to pay final homage to the leader.

The next morning, a military caravan arrived in the city carrying Castro’s ashes in “a small, flag-draped cedar casket,” reported The Washington Post’s Nick Miroff. Hours later Castro’s ashes were laid to rest and a nine-day national mourning ordered by the government ended.

Before arriving in Santiago, Castro’s casket made a long four-day journey across the country. Cubans lined streets and filled rooftops, cried and cheered as the caravan passed by.

“I am Fidel! I am Fidel!” crowds chanted.

Photojournalist Alejandro Cegarra documented the caravan as it made its way from crowded cities to rural roads. Here’s a look:


A Cuban soldier waits in Havana for the start of Fidel Castro’s memorial. (Alejandro Cegarra)

Cubans wave at Castro’s caravan. (Alejandro Cegarra)

A child covers his face with the Cuban flag. (Alejandro Cegarra)

Castro’s caravan passes by Havana’s Malecon. (Alejandro Cegarra)

A high schooler stands in a cafe several hours before the caravan’s arrival. (Alejandro Cegarra)

Gil Marin practices his shooting skills while waiting for the caravan. (Alejandro Cegarra)

Cubans wait for the caravan on the road to Cienfuegos. (Alejandro Cegarra)

Cubans waiting for the caravan. (Alejandro Cegarra)

A group waits for the caravan on a house under construction. (Alejandro Cegarra)

The caravan arrives in the Cuban town of Florida. (Alejandro Cegarra)

A motorbike waits for the caravan to pass. (Alejandro Cegarra)

Cubans wait for the caravan on the road between Camaguey and Las Tunas. (Alejandro Cegarra)

A group on a rooftop waits for the caravan in Holguin. (Alejandro Cegarra)

A man holds a picture of Fidel Castro in Holguin. (Alejandro Cegarra)

A school girl plays alongside the road in Holguin. (Alejandro Cegarra)

Cubans wave flags as the caravan passes. (Alejandro Cegarra)

The caravan makes its way along the final road to Santiago de Cuba.(Alejandro Cegarra)

Cubans board a night home after the caravan passed between Holguin and Bayamo. (Alejandro Cegarra)

Cubans hold a flag during a final tribute to Castro in Santiago. (Alejandro Cegarra)

A military cadet listens to Raúl Castro’s final homage for his brother in Santiago. (Alejandro Cegarra)