Re-visiting “Papito” Valladares And Barber’s Alley In Havana

3 Jun

One of the things I look forward most when arriving in Havana is a visit to Barber’s alley for a haircut and a relaxing few hours in this tranquil oasis in old Havana.

I was fortunate once again in meeting “Papito” and him giving me a haircut-cum-long-conversation on the progress of his project, always happy to see how well the alley progresses along and share his passion since I found the alley last year.

My friend Jody having long been a professional in the world of hairdressing was very keen to see Barber’s alley during his visit in May.
Not just out of professional interest but out of human and social passion and a will to help if possible.

So I took him and Charlie along and we had the pleasure of an extended tour of the ArteCorte museum and barber school by the man himself, Gilberto “Papito” Valladares Reina, the founder and passionate spirit behind this social neighbourhood project to help the community.

After visiting the ArteCorte museum and a conversation on his projects, Gilberto took us to the hairdressing school where eight hearing-impaired students were taking classes.

Gilbertos aim is for these students to eventually open their own hairdressing salons and be able to provide for themselves and others.

Just like the students who recently graduated from the bartending and gastronomy school and could land good jobs in the cruise ship industry.

All these classes are given and sponsored by local professionals who offer their time and expertise to help the community.

A project he has just started is to collect 1500 scissors to adorn a monument created next to ArteCorte.

See this link for more information and this video explains the monumental scissor sculpture planned and how to send in scissors.

Finally here is a video of the HotTools group donating & delivering tools to the barber/hairdressing school.

It was a well spent couple of hours and our cigars certainly tasted much better after this humbling experience.

Thank you Jody and Charlie for your support and interest !




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