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Venezuelan barber mounts mobile shop amid economic crisis -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Franklin Iriarte, a barbershop owner, gives a haircut at his shop, which was installed in a bus in La Guaira (Venezuela), February 17, 2022. REUTERS/Gaby ORA


Vivian Sequera, Johnny Carvajal

LA GUAIRA, Venezuela (Reuters – Barber Franklin Iriarte needed to find a way to survive after Venezuela suffered a prolonged economic crash that lasted for decades.

Inspirated by the YouTube videos of barbers around the world, the father-of-two sold his car and bought a van to turn it into a mobile barbershop.

According to the 38-yearold, “I desired a storefront. But right now what they want in rent is equivalent of everything you have.” It was impossible for me to afford.

Iriarte worked in several barbershops over his decade of experience and learned new skills for souping up the van.

He repainted, repaired and repainted it over many months.

He stated that it was not easy as there were instances when food wasn’t in the refrigerator. It was a matter of keeping food inside the home and keeping the project moving.

In December, he began to park the car around La Guaira (30 km/18.64 mi) away from Caracas. He now works from Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Venezuela’s economy is in serious trouble due to high inflation and the sanctions placed on its oil industry. However, some controls have been relaxed by the government.

Public employees are paid a minimum of $3 per month in public employment, but Iriarte can charge $5 per cut. Private sector workers tend to earn higher and many relatives receive remittances.

Iriarte also said that sometimes he gives free haircuts to anyone who is unable or unwilling to pay.

He said that business has been good so far. Thank God that the business has received positive feedback.

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