When Gilberto “Papito” Valladares Reina, a private Havana barber, attended President Barack Obama's entrepreneurship meeting in March, the president told him that if he hadn't just had a haircut, he would have stopped by his shop.
But if the president had visited the Callejón de los Peluqueros (Alley of the Barbers), a one-block hive of entrepreneurship where Valladares’ shop is located, he could have gotten far more than a haircut. Following Papito's lead as an entrepreneur, 97 people in the short, stoned-paved alley in Old Havana are now cuentapropistas, either the owners of small private businesses or their employees.
Along the alley there are also four private restaurants, three art galleries, Pedro’s — purveyor of linen guayaberas and other clothing inspired by the traditional pleated shirts, a photo studio, a crafts shop, several casas particulares — homes that offer rooms for rent to visitors, and a free hairdressing school.
Read the full story at InCubaToday.
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