Do you want to know the origin of the outer layers of Cuban cigars? Its harvesters, the land in which they grow and the natural and industrial process they receive, are waiting for you in San Juan y Martínez, the tobacco mecca in the world, one of the biggest tourist attractions in Cuba.

About 25 kilometers from the capital city of Pinar del Río, the westernmost Cuban province, is this municipality. On the banks of the road that leads to its urban center emerge extensive areas of fine leaves.

For these days they provide an unequaled landscape, you can witness the moment to make love to the land. The peasant, excited by so much sun and vitality, inserts his fingers in the furrow to sow the small postures. To witness the instant is to recall centuries of tradition.

This town arose because of the tobacco. The restrictions of its cultivation in the early seventeenth century in Havana caused the search for other lands. Thus, the rural population moved to the west of the capital.

Among the plots were the pens of San Juan in 1641 and the one of Martinez of 1642. The quality of vegas cigars popularized them and their union incited the most famous productions along rivers.

Hoyo de Monterrey is one of them,. The farm that gave name to that Cuban cigar is located at the entrance of the village. It is crossed by a river, that way its creator wanted, Jose Gener, the greater harvester of the zone between 1864 and 1890. There are more than 214 hectares of fertile lands.

Its entrance still identifies the farm of the landowner Gener. The cannons embedded in the floor and the grating mark the site of tobacco with greater properties of Cuba.

To this day, Hoyo de Monterrey belongs to many vegas harvesters of San Juan and Martínez, descendants of the slaves and in general, of the workers of Gener.

Right at the very threshold of tobacco production, they twist a cigar with the most aromatic leaves of natural Cuba, without chemicals or alterations. Silky hands wrap the raw material with fine and flexible Carmelite layers.

by: Anelys Alberro Peña