CUBA'S OWN HEMINGWAY
When people describe Benito, they compare him to a young Hemingway. He is almost a spitting image of the famous author, in both physical and personal aspects. He is extremely charming, hospitable, handsome, and even has his own animals for cockfighting. Benito, however, is not an author; he is a self-employed tobacco farmer. He has his own farm where he grows, harvests, and rolls his own cigars in the Vinales Valley in Cuba. Even though his farm is smaller than what a factory, such as Cohiba, might own, he produces enough hand-rolled cigars to make a comfortable living. He is a well known farmer in the valley, and has groups upon groups of tourists visiting his farm and his home daily. He shows mass amounts of strangers his crops, how he dries the leaves, and teaches them how to roll cigars. He then invites all these people into his home for a complementary cigar, a glass of rum, and the opportunity to purchase his cigars for 1 CUC (~$2 USD) each. He chats with everyone who comes to see him, and truly makes each experience unique. Benito is definitely what would be considered a Cuban gem.
March 17, 2015