. Ever since he stood on the deck of the City of Havana ferry as an eleven year old watching his native country disappear on the horizon, he has struggled with the perplexing dilemma of having two homes and, at the same time, none at all. In Earth to Papi, Firmat helps the reader to understand the circumstances and his equally passionate attachment to both places.
Embarking on a successful career meant that Firmat must exile himself from his home in Little Havana. However, Firmat felt that creating his "own version of Old HavanaaE in his Chapel Hill home would ease the transition. From the Cuban motif hanging on the walls, to the Bacardi in his bar and the music of Willie Chirino playing on the stereo, Firmat described his home as "truly a little Havana.aE He also imposed Cuban culture on his children from the beginning in hopes that they would secure his own tenuous ties to his homeland. By speaking only Spanish in their presence and talking about the homeland constantly he hoped to transmit Cuban attitudes and traditions.