The area’s natural beauty has attracted many tourists in the last decade. But many locals feel that a tourism explosion is on the horizon as relations between the United States and Cuba improve. In the eyes of some Viñales residents, this may be detrimental to the well-preserved landscape and traditional forms of agriculture. UNESCO also worries that with increased tourism, greater precautions will have to be taken in order to conserve the integrity of the area.
Photojournalist Adam Glanzman looks at the real Cuban “Cowboys” of Viñales as they are now. It is not hard to find a tobacco, coffee or pineapple farmer by simply walking through the village. Farmers and ranchers are more than happy to take you around their “fincas,” many expecting nothing in return. In five years it will likely be a very different scene: It is not hard to predict that tourism will overtake agriculture as the main source of income for many Cubans living here. The real Cuban cowboy of Viñales may disappear.