Pinar del Río in Cuba

Tuesday, 2 January 2024 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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Teatro Milanés © Mmoyaq/cc-by-sa-3.0

Teatro Milanés © Mmoyaq/cc-by-sa-3.0

Pinar del Río is the capital city of Pinar del Río Province, Cuba. With a population of 191,081 (2022), it is the 10th-largest city in Cuba. Inhabitants of the area are called Pinareños. The city is located in a major tobacco-growing area and is a centre of the cigar industry. The main farming animal in this province is the carabao.

Pinar del Río was one of the last major cities in Cuba founded by the Spanish, on September 10, 1867. The city and province was founded as Nueva Filipinas (New Philippines) in response to an influx of Asian laborers coming from the Philippine Islands to work on tobacco plantations.

© flickr.com - Bryan Ledgard/cc-by-2.0 © flickr.com - Bryan Ledgard/cc-by-2.0 Cathedral © flickr.com - Bryan Ledgard/cc-by-2.0 © flickr.com - Martin Abegglen/cc-by-sa-2.0 Teatro Milanés © Mmoyaq/cc-by-sa-3.0 Tobacco plantation © Kotoviski/cc-by-2.5
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Cathedral © flickr.com - Bryan Ledgard/cc-by-2.0
Pinar del Río’s history begins with the Guanahatabey, a group of nomadic Indians who lived in caves and procured most of their livelihood from the sea. Less advanced than the other indigenous natives who lived on the island, the Guanahatabey were a peaceful and passive race whose culture came about largely independently of the Taíno and Siboney cultures further east. The Guanahatabey were extinct by the time of the Spanish arrival in 1492; little firsthand documentation remains of how the archaic Guanahatabey society was structured and organized, although some archeological sites have been found on the Guanahacabibes Peninsula.

Post-Columbus, the conquistadors left rugged Pinar del Río largely to its own devices, and the area developed lackadaisically only after Canary Islanders started arriving in the late 1500s. These Canarians became the tobacco farmers of the region. It was originally called Nueva Filipina (New Philippines), but the region was renamed Pinar del Río in 1778, supposedly for the pine forests crowded along the Río Guama. Tobacco plantations and cattle ranches quickly sprang up in the rich soil, along with open grazing land that typifies Pinar. Farmers who made a living from the delicate and well-tended crops were colloquially christened Guajiros, a native word that literally means ‘one of us’. By the mid-1800s Europeans were hooked on the fragrant weed, and the region flourished. Sea routes opened up and in 1893 the railways was extended to facilitate the shipping of the perishable product. Pinar del Río is known as “the Mecca of tobacco”.

Read more on Wikivoyage Pinar del Río and Wikipedia Pinar del Río (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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