In Deported Colombians from America I said getting deported is a positive for most guys. Almost all are productive, middle class, and legit in Colombia.
Some do extraordinary things. These three are examples of an unusual way deported guys export American culture and enhance Colombian culture.
305 Style Barber Shop
This is a Caracol news story on 305 Style Barber Shop on Caracas just South of Calle 49. 305 is the area code for Miami. The owner is Jesse Figueroa, who saw a lack of proper barber shops in Bogota when he arrived. He cut hair as a hobby back in Miami, bringing the chair and clippers out in the front yard and charging friends just a few dollars. Now he’s making the news (and a living) with his talent.
In addition to offering great cuts, 305 is a shrine to urban American culture. It pumps New York’s Hot 97 via satellite radio. There’s usually basketball or American football on the flat screen TV (unless Colombians hijack it and put on soccer). The walls are adorned with American magazine covers such as Sports Illustrated, KING, and more. Gonzalo (below) called 305 Style “a sanctuary.” It’s a Chapinero sanctuary for anyone looking to escape classism, vallenato, and soccer for just a little while.
305 doesn’t count only deported Colombians among its clientele. Every time I’ve been, there were Colombians who don’t speak English. Gringos living in Colombia go to 305 for the atmosphere and quality cuts. Finally, several Colombian celebrities are 305 clients. I can get my head shaved at most Chapinero peluquerias for 3000 pesos, but I’d rather spend 10 – 15 at 305 where I might see friends or watch an American football game. Plus, Jesse is the best barber I’ve ever had.
I never got a cut at a black man’s barber shop back in St. Louis, so I’m not used to the service. With Jesse I’ve learned all kinds of features: shape up, skin fade, full razor work, etc. My first cut I admired how clean he could make my head look. There’s little you can do with it because I’m balding, but Jesse found a way to leave some color on top while fading the back and sides to baldness. He fades the bottom hair lines with a razor and touches everything up with aftershave.
305’s known for the designs Jesse can shave into your head. Very hip-hop / reggeaton. Not for me, but a gringo buddy got one as a gag before he spent Christmas back in the States. He told Jesse he wanted Santa Claus. Jesse could do Santa Claus easily, but he wanted to do more. He proposed, “How about Santa Claus pointing a gun with one hand and sticking his middle finger up with the other?” The gringo loved it and went home with a haircut of Santa strapped and flipping the bird.
See a photo album of Jesse’s designs on the 305 Style FB page. Or to see a video montage, go to the Expat Chronicles FB Wall. If you’re viewing this today, it’s the top post. Otherwise, go back to February 20, 2012.
I doubt many Latin American cities have anything like 305. It’s special to Bogota. Here are pics of the interior:
Go get a cut at:
305 Style Barbershop
Avenida Caracas # 48-42
287 90 79
Tell Jesse you read about him in Expat Chronicles.
Hector Jurado started skating back in South Florida. He got a couple American sponsors, but then went on a hiatus during his troubled times.
When he arrived in Colombia he started skating again. He’s among the top 50 skaters in the country. He’s regularly invited to national competitions in Bucaramanga, Yopal, and Pereira. He says there are rarely shows in Bogota because of a lack of skate parks.
He’s picked up two sponsors here in Colombia: Wild Skateboards & Skateshop and Cuerpo Salvaje Tatuajes.
Here’s Hector’s promo video:
Here’s a shot of the Hector Jurado board, made and sold by Wild Skateboards. They sold out of their first 150 produced. The image is Hector’s tattoo.
Gonzalo fought MMA back in Miami. Upon arriving in Bogota two years ago, he immediately looked for gyms to continue his passion. He found in Colombia a small, undeveloped scene. He’s fought twice in Colombia, one of which he was never paid for. He says the MMA culture here simply doesn’t exist for there to be full time professionals.
I’d heard of Gonzalo but never met him. I had to track him down for this interview. He deliberately stays away from the deported community. He was never in much trouble back in Florida, and he wants to keep it that way in Bogota. He is very much against glorifying hoodness and street shit; he says you’ll become what your mind believes you to be.
I trained with him at his gym. Despite my having 40 pounds on him, he was submitting me left and right. I have zero training in wrestling and my cardiovascular conditioning was shit after getting fat for two months in Peru, but the experience still highlighted a glaring deficiency in my scrapping skills.
After training Gonzalo insisted I have dinner with him at his place. His girl whipped up steaks and lulo juice. Gonzalo is the only deported guy to feed me a proper meal. On the subject of food, we have similar attitudes (gripes) toward Colombian cuisine. A fighting athlete needs to watch his nutrition and emphasize protein. Most want to do so with good-tasting food. Of everything back in Miami beside family, Gonzalo misses food most.
For now, Gonzalo teaches Jiu-Jitsu classes. He hopes the sport develops into a thriving industry, but for now he’s content to be an MMA pioneer in Bogota.
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