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Shoeshine Boy


Chances are that you might have come across Alejandro Herranz at Mallorca’s PMI airport on one of your many comings and goings, or haven’t you?

Alejandro Herranz is Mallorca’s last official Limpiabotas (shoeshine man). He started at the tender age of 14 in Madrid’s Plaza España, almost 60 years ago, but for the last forty years, Alejandro has worked Palma de Mallorca, first in the Ramblas and Passeig Borne, including Bar Bosch, and since 1976 at Palma’s PMI airport.  

A former director of Son Sant Joan (PMI airport) last week organized a tribute to recognize “the airport ambassador’s” 32 years of work. When Señor Herranz first started polishing shoes at Son Sant Joan, he charged 25 Pesetas for his services. To polish a pair of shoes today, the charge is between six and eight Euros.

Alejandro’s client list is long and illustrious, ranging from the rich to the famous, including José Luis de VilallongaJulio Iglesias, and Nobel Laureate, Camilo José Cela.


Despite his age, Alejandro Herranz does not want to retire, yet. If you are passing through Palma’s airport, chances are that you will spot Señor Herranz. He wears a rather formal uniform type outfit, always on the ready to dust a pair of shoes or two. 

The photo (top) was chosen from my archive. It was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The date: August 9th, 2004. The time was 12:00:20. The photo (bottom) was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The date: November 10th, 2008. The time was 12:09:44.

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November 2008


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