Young businessman Ismel Ángel André Duarte.

Talking to Ismel Ángel André Duarte is a real buzz. He is 29 years old and it is impossible not to be infected by his certainty that he is going to conquer, with hard work, all the prosperity possible.

Las Tunas, Cuba.- Ismel is the owner of Recoltu S.U.R.L., a pioneer in Las Tunas in all aspects of waste collection and the cleaning of interiors and exteriors of houses.

We met him in the middle of the whirlwind of events at the third Industry and Commerce Fair because he, with barely two months of being a legalized businessman and many questions in the pipeline, had decided that if a business meeting was being held in Las Tunas, he had to be present, retrace the steps of the exhibitions, promote his incipient business and learn as much as possible about the immense machinery in which, just taking the first steps, he is already showing off his modest results.

"The idea for the business came to me while walking the streets of the city. We wanted to do something, to make it a micro-business, not a food business, but one that would help the city in another way. So, we decided to make it a cleaning business because there is a lot of waste in the streets and it is a breeding ground for rodents and other pests."

"We know of people who live alone and decide to have someone clean their houses, and shake out cobwebs. And then there are the residents of Las Tunas who, with a family party or New Year's Eve coming up, for example, will clean their houses and do other types of repairs that we also organize at rates that are not as expensive as those you see in other services."

"So far we are hired a lot by the owners of rental houses. For them, the prices are a little bit higher than for individuals. We are also ready to provide services in companies, party venues, and similar places.
"The people we hire go through a kind of vetting because we know that they are going to clean in very personal places; nobody likes someone they don't trust. We provide all the resources to do the job: floor blankets, detergents, chlorine, degreasers, or whatever else they ask for."

They also have four cart drivers ready to collect waste in the communities - and, accompanied by the presidents of the people's councils, they are already getting some contracts. They have a gardener ready to design the space at home or in their business in the way the clients decide; they always analyze the soil and the plants they want to plant beforehand so that their green corner is practical and beautiful.

Recoltu S.U.R.L. also cleans patios, elevated tanks, and cisterns and has a Facebook page and a WhatsApp group through which they attract new clients and get feedback on the services they are already consolidating.

Ismel is grateful for the support of the Office of Local Development of the Provincial Government, who have advised him on this path and have given him valid routes to move forward.

These days, when the Cuban economy is looking for ways to reverse distortions, it is good to find young people involved in projects like this; good people who think about getting ahead, with concrete profits, yes, but who also keep in mind Marti's dictum of serving and being useful.