Children Selling Bread to Survive / Cuban Community Spokespeople Network

Children selling bread. Photo by author.
HAVANA, Cuba , January 9, 2014 , Michelena Juliet Diaz /  Cuban Community Spokespeople Network / On the streets of the neighborhoods of Luyanó Moderno, Vista Hermosa, Monterrey and Capitán Núñez, in the municipality of San Miguel del Padrón, children between 10 and 12 years are involved in selling bread for a living.

When asked, “Why do you sell bread,” they said their parents are paid very low wages so they can not afford to buy them what they need: clothes, shoes , food, and other necessities. They explained that after returning from school they go to the bakeries which supply the bread (on the black market) below the State price, for them to sell on the streets.

They say they can’t spend as much time studying as they want, but they sell bread to get what they need, and don’t commit crimes like other children they know.

The children say they often have to hide from the police, because this type of sale is illegal, in the first place because they are minors.

Children often say that they have to hide from the police , because this type of sale is illegal in the first place because they are minors. One of these children, named Pedro and known by the nickname “El Ñao,” explained that many times they are cheated by adults who don’t pay them or who withhold some of the money they should pay.

The business consists of buying 30 bread rolls, 60 grams each, for 15 Cuban pesos, and selling them for a peso each.

Cubanet | 9 January 2014