A Taste of the Cuban Tobacco Industry in Viñales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba

 

A Taste of the Cuban Tobacco Industry in Viñales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba

 

Me and Benito Smoking Cigars Vinales Cuba Copyright 2013 Ralph Velasco 2 A Taste of the Cuban Tobacco Industry in Viñales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba

A typical tobacco drying house in Viñales, 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 Smoking Cigar Upclose Vinales Cuba Copyright 2013 Ralph Velasco A Taste of the Cuban Tobacco Industry in Viñales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba

 

Benito and his father (Benito, Sr.) are considered icons in the worldwide tobacco industry.

 

Me and Benito Smoking Cigars Vinales Cuba Copyright 2013 Ralph Velasco 5 A Taste of the Cuban Tobacco Industry in Viñales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba

Benito standing in his tobacco field with harvested tobacco leaves.

 

Me and Benito Smoking Cigars Vinales Cuba Copyright 2013 Ralph Velasco 4 A Taste of the Cuban Tobacco Industry in Viñales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba

 

He was kind enough to demonstrate how tobacco is grown and harvested.

 

Me and Benito Smoking Cigars Vinales Cuba Copyright 2013 Ralph Velasco 6 A Taste of the Cuban Tobacco Industry in Viñales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba

 

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.

 

Me and Benito Smoking Cigars Vinales Cuba Copyright 2013 Ralph Velasco 3 A Taste of the Cuban Tobacco Industry in Viñales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba

Benito demonstrates how to roll the perfect Cuban cigar.

 

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.

 

Lowell with Benito Lighting His Cigar Vinales Cuba Copyright 2013 Ralph Velasco 7 A Taste of the Cuban Tobacco Industry in Viñales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba

Lowell enjoys a freshly rolled cigar, a gift from Benito.

 

Program participant Lowell gets a light from Benito.

 

Me and Benito Smoking Cigars Vinales Cuba Copyright 2013 Carol Livingston 1 A Taste of the Cuban Tobacco Industry in Viñales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba

Benito and I having a smoke on his farm in Viñales, Pinar del Rio, Cuba, by Carol Livingston.

 

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

Havana, Viñales and Trinidad, Cuba

________________________

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.

 

 

 

 

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International Cultural Tours, Photo Events, Photo Walks, Photo Tours, Public Speaking, Seminars & Training, Cultural Events, Photography App, Walking Tours, Photography Course, Photo Tips, Photography Classes, Corporate Events, Photo Classes, Photo Boot Camp, Corona del Mar, Orange County CA

Ralph Velasco is a professional photographer and instructor who has traveled extensively and taken photographs in over 40 countries. Ralph Velasco Cultural Tours offers unique cultural touring opportunities that combine compelling locations with breathtaking views, relevant local history, scheduled activities and time to explore on your own. His events are available in dazzling international locations around the globe and his services include public speaking, corporate cultural tours and events, corporate photo walks, photo walking tours, photography eBooks, photography classes and group training seminars. His photo walking tours provide the opportunity for hands-on photography experience with a professional instructor to develop the skills necessary to capture a variety of photo subjects, settings and lighting. Ralph gives private photography lessons and his photography boot camp includes a seminar and training on camera basics, elements of composition, and a personal review of your own photography. United States and international locations; Corona del Mar & Orange County CA.

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