By Adalys Pilar Mireles
Pinar del Rio, Cuba, May 26 (Prensa Latina) World famous, Pinar del Rio tobacco plantations draw the landscape between rows of tall and slim plants, the coming and going of peasants, and the ancestral architecture of the natural chambers where leaves lie to dry.
Throughout the territory, it is possible to appreciate the views of the fields, under the sunlight or the translucent blankets, a scenery that even though is not exclusive, it does identify this region, the westernmost of Cuba.
Down the road that joins this city with the towns of San Juan and Martínez and San Luis, it is possible to perceive the peculiar smell of tobacco between plantations and houses to dry leaves naturally.
In the fields, there are always oxen yuntas and American plows, tools used to plow the soil before planting each phase of the sowing season.
Covered with yarey fiber hats, pants and long-sleeve shirts, the guajiros -peasants- prefer to perform these tasks ‘with fresh air’, early morning, and sometimes at sunset, when the sun is less strong and the temperatures become more pleasant.
Freshly brewed coffee accompanies growers as a spirit drink, who from past centuries drank a liquor called Guayabita, obtained from the fruit with the same name.
Something very common is anecdotes of famous growers like the one about Alejandro Robaina, former ambassador of Habanos, and his grandchild -Hiroshi-, follower of his grandfather’s teachings.
The plantation El Pinar, in Cuchillas de Barbacoa, is visited every day by dozens of travelers, both Cuban and foreigners, to approach the secrets of the crop.
Another celebrety of the area is Héctor Luis Prieto, winner of the Habano Man Award with only 36 years, due to the abundance and excellence of his crops in Quemado de Rubí.
In the old property, crossed by a river, his son and children nearby, regular visitors and apprentices learn the craft.
There they are taught lessons of agronomy, they learn how to collect and twist leaves to make them cigars, use ecological techniques that protect the environment which is our source of life, told Prieto to Prensa Latina.