Jineteros and jineteras

You may not hear the term jineteros, but it is better if you learn to recognize them.

The word for the street hustler is jinetero and jinetera for the female.

hustlers jineteros havana cuba


His opening line is almost always

  • “Hey, mister, where you from?”
  • “Hey, you like my country?”

He will offer you anything imaginable: cheap cigars, rum, private restaurant, hotel or sex.


The jineteras saunter the streets and enjoy the attentions of the mostly older male tourists.

jinetera havana cuba


Once on the arm of a foreigner they are free to dine, swim and even stay overnight in the best hotels... once the extra room rate is paid.


When I asked a Cuban friend how to identify a hustler, she gave me such a look.

Then she sat me down and asked if I would begin a conversation with, or buy something from, a complete stranger who stopped me on the streets of my city.

jinetero arrested


Police handcuff a suspect

Jinetero alert NEXT >

Return from Jineteros to Home Page