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Why Cuba? and How did you meet Papito?

Some have ask me, "Why Cuba? and How did you meet Papito? Most of you know I have been traveling and volunteering in Havana, Cuba.

I’ve always been drawn towards Cuba music, art and the food. As a stylist obsessed with learning, I wondered about Cuba’s hair industry. How did they keep up with trends, educate themselves, and educate new stylists? Searching the internet turned up some articles about a man named Gilberto Valladares Reina (better known as “Papito”). He sounded like my kind of person – passionate about hair, and also a community activist and artist who saw the connection between hair and art, between hair and history, between hair and giving back to the community.

I have fallen in love with Gilberto Valledares known as Papito and his utopia communities, humanitarian, cultural, and historical projects around Havana, Cuba. In May I was able teach for a week at his beauty school with Amanda Williams. Share with them my 3 To Be Me communication consultation, the importance of hair health, blow drying with round brushes for frizzy hair, proper curling iron techniques and how to use plastic sewing needles to sew up Hair into an updo. He has 9 hearing impaired students and 2 hearing so we had a our English translated into Spanish and then into Sign Language. In the midst of teaching we got to meet the art project in the alleyway with the kids, meet the seniors citizens during Papito's music festival, celebrate with the bartending students and then to Papito created in two days a fashion hair show, where Amanda and I were to perform the grand finale in front of local salons stylist and the national beauty school. What an amazing experience! You can find picture on my

What’s next?? I have joined Papito’s team and have become his US Ambassador for his non-profit. So I have started working on his website called “United Nations of” not live yet. This will be a Global site for all hairdressers and salons contributing to their communities, humanitarian, cultural, and historical projects in their countries all housed under one umbrella. Our goal is to reach all the do gooders and inspire other stylists and barbers to join us in Cuba for a United Nations of Hair Conference in 2018. So CUBA and more Cuba it will be. ​

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