Gilberto 'Papito' Valladares, Barber (b. 1969) / 14ymedio
At 16, Gilberto Valladares, known as Papito, began to work in
hairdressing, self-taught. At the beginning of the nineties he worked as
a hairdresser in the Habana Libre Hotel, but with the relaxations
allowing Cubans to work for themselves, he decided to set up his own
business in Old Havana's Barrio Santo Angel.
Papito leads the ArteCorte project, popularly known as the Callejón de
los Peluqueros, Hairdressers' Alley, which involves several neighborhood
entrepreneurs and promotes small-scale development. The owners of the
private businesses devote a part of their earnings to improving the
neighborhood and solving problems such as unemployment, the lack of
recreational opportunities for children, and alcoholism.
In March of this year, Papito spoke with US President Barack Obama
during the latter's visit to Havana. In the Cuba-United States Business
Forum, attended by business owners from both countries, the entrepreneur
related his experience and said that the private sector is growing among
Cubans, despite all the impediments and obstacles.
Source: Gilberto 'Papito' Valladares, Barber (b. 1969) / 14ymedio –
Translating Cuba -