Despite the fact that countries like the United States have legalized gay marriage, member of the LGBT community is still fighting for basic human rights and their lives in Jamaica. In 2007, badminton player and activist Gareth Henry was brutally beaten in front of 200 people by law enforcement officers. This incident that took place at a pharmacy in Kingston made international headlines and had people around the world asking how this could happen.
In 2008, Gareth Henry fled Jamaica to seen refuge in Canada after he continued to receive death threats. Thankfully, the J-Flag leader was granted asylum and able to keep himself safe. His experiences as a gay man in Jamaica have led him to take his fight for the rights of his community to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
13 of Gareth Henry’s friends were murdered while he was with the J-Flag organization for only 4 years. During this time, Gareth Henry was the one to identify the bodies of many of his fallen friends. In fact, he took on his position in the organization after his predecessor was murdered for his sexuality.
The incident at the pharmacy was not the only time that Gareth Henry had been physically attacked by the police. It happened 2 other times besides the attack that made international headlines. The police became abusive towards Gareth Henry as soon as they arrived despite being called to protect them. He stated that the officers used their guns to beat him.
To serve his community, he used to provide homeless gay men with a place to stay in his own home. He would frequently see officers threatening to kill him outside of his window. With everything that had happened to himself and his friends, he found himself wondering if he would survive the next time it happened.
Thankfully, Henry was able to escape from the country before being killed. The same cannot be said for the men who do not have the same opportunities and support system for Henry. He believes that the government of Jamaica should be accountable for the actions of the police.
For the billionaire father of two, the life of his children has been completely different from what he experienced. His was one full of uncertainty, and this was evident when he learned that despite having harbored a dream to study medicine at University his parents would not afford to take him there. Guilherme Paulus promised himself that he would work as hard as he could and ensure his life turned out better than most thought possible. Today, Forbes lists his wealth at an estimated 1.1 billion dollars, which has been acquired mainly through his two companies, i.e., CVC and GJP. Both these companies trace their roots in tourism and have been successful in part due to the continued growth of the industry. Guilherme Paulus has however been instrumental to this growth as he was at the helm of each at the pick of their growth. For CVC his input was basically the key ingredient that spurred its success. Find out more about Paulus at terra.com
After his partner sold him his stake, Guilherme Paulus took it upon himself to overcome the challenges then and continue to build his dream. He was able to overcome and build a company that he recently sold a 63 percent stake for around 420 million dollars. This would give him enough capital to inject into his other business the GJP network, which owns a chain of 19 hotels across the country. Being a serial entrepreneur Guilherme Paulus is a busy man, and it was thus worth recognizing his preference at the just concluded Top seller event. He was there to speak on entrepreneurship. It was during his presentation that he fondly recalled his journey and struggles as he tried to get CVC off the ground. His attitude at the time was optimism and despite the numerous setbacks, he never once closed shop. CVC would later start experiencing some level of success, and it is that success that has made it Latin America’s biggest tour operator.
For Guilherme Paulus it important for aspiring entrepreneurs to understand that it takes time and money to build a successful venture. For him, patience and persistence are key to any entrepreneurial endeavor.