Trinidad’s Valley of the Sugar Mills in Times of Change

Enrique Ojito

The Valley of the Sugar Mills, located north-east of Trinidad city, was granted the condition of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 1988

Tourism in Trinidad: a Safari to the Era of Sugar

The prairie comprises about 250 square kilometres and includes the valleys of San Luis, Agabama-Meyer and Santa Rosa, as well as the south costal plain, delta of the Manatí River.

According to experts, at the end of the 1920s of the nineteenth century, 56 sugar mills were already operating in the valley, producing up to 640 000 tons of sugar, which is known as Trinidad’s sugar boom.

More than a dozen plantation houses of that time still exist like Manaca Iznaga, Guáimaro, Buena Vista, and San Isidro de los Destiladeros. There are also some 70 archaeological sites in different state of conservation, which constitute a valuable historical and cultural heritage.

In order to preserve such a legacy, since 2008 the Cuban government promotes a comprehensive program, led by the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR), which involves several other institutions and bodies.

This strategy is not a fortuitous event. This region has enormous potential as a unique tourist product, even more in the face of the current national scenario, when the acquisition of currency would serve to support certain socio-economic projects and programs.

“The feasibility study of the valley and sustainability for the future could not be seen in the work of a single entity”, said Reiner Rendón Fernández, delegate of MINTUR in Sancti Spiritus.

Rendón added that the valley will not serve accommodation purposes. “During this first stage, we expect to equip only the 20 original rooms of the houses. There are eighty others in plan, depending on the construction of hotels in the valley”.

The landscape is also part of the recovery actions, thus, the land has recovered its value in use, while sugar cane and king grass are being planted again.

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