19 de abril de 2019
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
English - News

Venezuelan capital's barbers respond to crisis by setting up shop in streets

Caracas, Feb 11 (epa-efe).- Under bridges, at street crossings or on sidewalks, Caracas barbers are jamming the public thoroughfares with improvised workstations to offer customers inexpensive hair salon services.

Caracas, Feb 11 (epa-efe).- Under bridges, at street crossings or on sidewalks, Caracas barbers are jamming the public thoroughfares with improvised workstations to offer customers inexpensive hair salon services.

Whether under the glaring sun or in the cool shade of a tree, these street barbers offer their services to whoever approaches. Some, like Franklin, have set up a folding table in front of a damaged barber chair.

Others, like Alberto, have joined forces with colleagues and upgraded their street workstations into improvised shops under the Armed Forces overpass with plenty of mirrors, benches on which to wait one's turn in the barber chair and the traditional music playlist that distinguishes barbershops.

Alberto, with 14 years of experience in the field, smiles and tells EFE he paid someone to paint an equestrian Simon Bolivar on the pillars of the bridge so that clients could admire it while getting their hair cut.

The painting of the omnipresent liberator was inspired by his iconic statue in Caracas located just 200 meters (yards) away from the shop, but it also helps guide customers to the spot: "It serves to orient people looking for the square or an exact reference point."

"It is the representation of my country because my country is something very beautiful," says Alberto while the vehicles crossing the bridge rumble by overhead, right in the center of Caracas.

The ever-smiling hair-cutting expert explains that he specializes in "making drawings" on heads, a service which makes him very popular with his clientele.

"Sometimes it takes me half an hour or 15 minutes but it requires dedication and time," he says.

His barber shop, located in the midst of the city's chaos and pollution, has also become a place of calm and relaxation for many citizens who pass by and look at the mural that inspired the name of his establishment.

Some of the bystanders stop and inquire about the price of the services.

"1,500 cash (45 cents) or 2,000 points (credit card)," says Alberto, who gives his rates in Venezuelan bolivars, although the cost shifts - always remaining the equivalent of about 50 cents - depending on whatever the crazy Venezuelan exchange rate is on any given day.

The price, however, is significantly lower than other conventional hair-cutteries that require barbers to turn over a percentage of their earnings to the owner or charge a rental per client seated, a luxury that these improvised barbershops cannot afford.

"Most people now prefer to work on their own, so I decided to work on my own, too. Getting a place (to work) is difficult, it's very expensive to pay the tax per seat," Franklin told EFE at his street barbershop, not far from Alberto's establishment.

Franklin has set up a picnic table under a tree at a crossroads, the perfect spot to clean up his work material and wait for local residents to approach.

Soon enough, customers and the simply curious begin to gather around his station, which is located between buildings built by the last governments and where government sympathizers abound.

Among them are plenty of women to whom he offers haircut and styling services - "They must come down here with washed hair," he says - along with eyebrow hair removal.

"If I don't work, my children don't eat. Day to day it's like that: you're throwing a pigeon (value) into life," says the haircutter as he trims the hair of a customer.

The man on whom Franklin is working is one of the few taxi drivers who travel around the city but he has had to stop to cool down his engine. While he waits for his engine to cool, and taking advantage of the shade, he puts his thinning hair into the hands of Franklin, who clips here and there with an electric razor.

With his grooming equipment connected to lampposts or street electrical points, Franklin chats with his neighbor Howard Revilla, who at the age of 19 learned from him how to cut hair and now offers his own services on the next corner.

"The relationship with the customer is more pleasant," says the barber who has just resumed his work on the street after working for some time in an establishment where he "couldn't talk to many people."

Another perk is that "One 'dives' (looks with desire). Women pass by and one flirts with them."

At his side, a woman, a few years older than Franklin, smiles blushing. The hairdresser glances back at her, smiles mischievously and then turns his attention back to his work. The line gets longer and he must hurry. There is time for everything on the streets of Caracas.

By Gonzalo Dominguez Loeda.

Comentarios

Histórico de noticias
Trump tried to control probe, Barr says no obstruction, Mueller to testify

Washington, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump tried to influence Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the...

Long lines once again in Caracas, this time for humanitarian aid

By Barbara Agelvis.

Thousands of Peruvians bid farewell to Alan Garcia

Lima, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- Thousands of Peruvians gathered on Thursday to say their last goodbyes to former President Alan Garcia, dead at 69 of a...

Mexican hamlet marks 500 years since Cortes came ashore

La Antigua, Mexico, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- In legends, in ruins and in the natural exuberance of the ceiba trees, the legacy of Hernan Cortes lives on in this...

Mexican gov't foils attempt by Cuban migrants to get to capital

Mexico City, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- The Mexican government on Thursday foiled an attempt by 300 Cuban migrants to reach this capital while keeping thousands of...

Special counsel finds that Trump tried to control investigation

Washington, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump tried to influence Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the...

AG Barr says Trump did not commit obstruction of justice

Washington, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- Attorney General William Barr said Thursday ahead of the release of the special counsel's report on Russian interference in...

Brazilian inmates' creations to hit runway at Sao Paulo Fashion Week

Sao Paulo, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- A score of male inmates at one of Brazil's maximum-security prisons have been hard at work for months on creations set to...

Congress calls Mueller to testify on May 23

Washington, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler, on Thursday called Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who had...

US Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke of Texas campaigns in Alexandria, Virginia, USA

Alexandria, USA, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Wednesday condemned racism in the highest positions of power in the...

US government strengthens sanctions on Cuba

By Ivonne Malaver.

Peru in shock over suicide of ex-President Alan Garcia

Lima, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- The death Wednesday of former President Alan Garcia after he shot himself in the head as police arrived at his home to arrest him...

Firefighters battle wildfires in 18 Mexican states

Mexico City, Apr 17 (epa-efe).- Ninety-five wildfires of different sizes are burning in 18 Mexican states and the authorities are attempting to control them...

US announces new sanctions on Venezuelan Central Bank

Miami, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- The United States government will impose new sanctions on the Venezuelan Central Bank, which is the institution that is "keeping...

Peasants in Mexico seek alternatives to growing opium poppies

Chilpancingo, Mexico, Apr 17 (epa-efe).- Peasants in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero who have long subsisted by growing opium poppies want to get out...

Uruguay theater bus presents comic reenactment of Paysandu history

By Raul Martinez

Guaido's envoy occupies Venezuela's OAS seat for first time

Washington, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- Gustavo Tarre, the envoy appointed by opposition leader Juan Guaido, on Wednesday for the first time occupied Venezuela's...

Mexican gov't has cut p.r. spending by 50 pct., president says

Mexico City, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- The Mexican government published new guidelines for communications on Wednesday, with public advertising spending being cut...

Migration north of broad-winged hawks makes stopover in Colombia

By Claudia Polanco Yermanos

US to allow lawsuits against foreign companies operating in Cuba

Washington, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that the US government would invoke a measure for the first time that allows...

Former Peruvian President Garcia dies from self-inflicted gunshot

Lima, Apr 17 (epa-efe).- Former President Alan Garcia died Wednesday at a Lima hospital while undergoing surgery after shooting himself as Peruvian police...

Trump vetoes congressional resolution to end US involvement in Yemen war

Washington DC, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States vetoed a resolution Tuesday passed by Congress calling on the US to withdraw military...

EU urges companies to counterattack US lawsuits on Cuba

Havana, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- European Union authorities on Tuesday committed themselves to protecting the interests of businessmen from the bloc in Cuba and...

Migrants crossing southern US border, turning selves in to authorities

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- Central American migrant families are saying they made the decision to illegally cross the border into the United...