Habaneros at work

Habaneros... persons born in Havana... who grew up before the Revolution will tell you that they were known for their work ethic.

Cubans loved to establish entrepreneurial businesses and they worked hard to make them a success. Today such opportunities are largely gone.

Cuban jobs fall into two categories, based on whether you work for the government or work for yourself.

Every government job pays more or less the same, around $18 US each month. Only doctors and police earn more, about $25 a month.

Habaneros at work 

The result of this pay scale is that most Cubans must find a second job to support their family.

Here are ways to work for yourself in Havana

  • You can get a license and pay the government a large fee each month. This allows you to do such things as repair jewelry or sell pork sandwiches from a market stall. 
cuban fishermen

Malecon fishermen might catch a good fish and sell it

cuban shoe shine man

A shoe shine service

  • Or you can work the black market. Havana people are adept at survival. If lucky enough to work in a large factory, they steal what they can and sell it on the black market. This is the only way a cake can appear at a birthday party... flour is sometimes for sale in the shops. Or you can offer services to fill lighters or cut hair on the street.
  • cuban porch barber

    A porch barber 

    cuban flower sellers

    Flower sellers on O'Reilly Street

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