A Taste of the Cuban Tobacco Industry in Viñales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba
On a recent People-to-People program to Cuba we had a chance to meet with my good friend Benito Camejo on his “finca,” or farm, in Viñales, Pinar del Rio. This area, located in the western part of Cuba, is the heart of the Cuban tobacco industry, and considered to have the richest soil for growing tobacco in the world.
Benito and his father (Benito, Sr.) are considered icons in the worldwide tobacco industry.
He was kind enough to demonstrate how tobacco is grown and harvested.
It takes quite a bit of skill to harvest tobacco the way Benito does, and his workers need to maintain a certain speed to make their quota.
Later, Benito demonstrates how tobacco is dried over a period of time and then rolled into perfect little cigars that he was more than willing to hand out as free gifts to his visitors.
Program participant Lowell gets a light from Benito.
It’s always great to see Benito on his farm in Viñales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba. He’s got such an upbeat personality and makes each and every one of his visitors feel special and more than welcome into his home where he serves free cigars and coffee to anyone who’s interested.
I look forward to seeing Benito again in March on our next People-to-People program. There are still a few spaces left on this program, please e-mail me if you’d like more information and to participate.
When: March 4 to 15, 2013
More Info: People-to-People Program to
If you’re interested in participating in a fully-licensed People-to-People program to Cuba,
please e-mail me at ralph@RalphVelasco.com
Ralph Velasco is an Orange County-based photography instructor, international photo tour guide and author who frequently speaks on the topic of travel photography.
He’s an award-winning blogger and creator of the My Shot Lists for Travel app for iPhone.