Ciego de Avila Province information
The main economic activities are tourism and sugar, food, cattle, and agricultural production. The main products are citrus fruits, especially pineapple, fruits in general, brown and white sugar and also pork, pultry, and dairy products.
Ciego de Avila has an international airport and a network of fine highways that connect the territory with Havana and other cities. At the keys there is also an airport, capable of accommodating small and medium-size planes.
The culture of this province is characterized by the prevalence of traditional manifestations. These have their highest expression in the festivals that take place all over the province, as well as in the Cuban country music boom, particularly oral and written decimal (ten stanza poems) and the amateur artist movement.
The Ciego de Avila identity becomes apparent in the area's heavily ingrained cultural traditions. Every year, the Spanish influence emerges in the dancing dispute between the Red and Blue sides, from Majagua municipality, while at the Baragua sugar mill batey (town) the rhythms of Calypso, and traditional food recreate traditional English speaking Caribbean expressions during the festivities marking the anniversary of the abolition of the slavery in the English Antilles, every August 1st. There are popular feasts known as parrandas, with splendid coaches and showy firecrackers, at Chambas and Punta Alegre; then at the bateyes of the sugar factories Venezuela, Ciro Redondo, Bolivia and Primero de Enero, there are festivities of a ritual character connected with Haiti's Lua of the voodoo liturgy.
The Ciego de Avila heritage also has aspects of great historic value, like the Jucaro to Moron military road (trocha), one of the most important military monuments in the Caribbean. Of unquestionable value are the archeological discoveries of Bolivia and that Punta de los Buchillones.
The National Popular Arts Fair is the cultural event that draws the greatest attention at Ciego de Avila. The Fair, with its varied character, is a perfect opportunity for less well-known players in the traditional culture area, from handicrafts to music, Spanish and Afro Caribbean roots to children manifestations.
The province of Ciego de Avila is located in the Camaguey-Maniabon natural region, bordering to the north with the Old Channel of Bahamas, to the south with the Ana Maria Gulf, to the west with Sancti Spiritus province, and to the east with Camaguey.
It sits on a wide plain that extends from morth to south, cut only by small hills to the north, those of Punta Alegre, Turiguano isle and Cunagua, and to the west by the hills of Tamarindo at Sierra de Jatibonico, 408 meters above sea level, and the hills of Maroqui and Don Felipe. The main soil moderating process here has centered around limestone, which has given rise to caves, drains, and other lime manifestations. In its central part, this great plain has an average altitude of 50 meters, softly descending towards the coast.
The highest area found in the western region , the tallest being the Cunagua Hill, 364 meters above the sea. Crossed by just a few rivers are the Jatibonico and the Caonao, in the north. Latter runs for 133 km. Both in the north and south coasts, quarternaty deposits exist, coinciding with the lowest areas in the province.
In 1977, with the new political and administrative division, Ciego de Avila, which lies 461 km east of Havana, became a province of its own, incorporating the up to then province of Camaguey municipalities of Ciego de Avila and Moron. The capital city is Ciego de Avila City itself, with Morón as second largest city.
The reasons for integrating the 10 municipalities that make up the territory into a single province have to be found in the local history. With the surrender of the Spaniards in the Cuban-Spanish-American war, there was an increase of foreign investment in Cuba, a country whose economy had been torn by the years of fighting. From all parts of the world settlers arrived. They represented the most diverse of occupations and professions: military men, clergymen, peasants, industrials, engineers, accountants, doctors, etc. They arrived by the thousand during the years of 1898 and 1899, attracted by the cheap properties on sale.
In early 1903, there were 37 US agricultural groups operating in Cuba, most of them in the eastern part of the country, where agricultural production had virtually ceased to exist due to war. The oldest municipalities in the province of Ciego de Avila are: Moron, founded in 1750, and Ciego de Avila and Chambas (both bordering with Morón), established in 1840.
The rest of the present municipalities owe their origin to the large investment projects that were executed along the Jucaro-Moron military road, whose vast adjacent territories had taken advantage of, among other things, the communication facilities that were built along the road and connecting it with the main towns nearby. In addition to being very fertile, the lands in the area gained great value due to existence of a railway that united the two Cuban coasts. Sugar production boomed, and many sugar factories were built; and citrus and pineapple growing also expanded noticeably.
In the 20th century all these activities had a great weight in the local economy. In the 20th century too, the Jucaro harbor acquired added importance, and around it and other areas population centers sprung up. These settlements would later become municipal heads.
Ciego de Avila, today the provincial capital, was initially a thicket. in 1938, the town council at Puerto Principe (presently Camaguey) entrusted the area to Jacome de Avila. The property was then known as San Antonio de la Palma, but neighbors soon started calling Ciego of Avila (ciego is Spanish for flat, sandy, isolated land surrounded by forests). This was the name that the city, considered to have officially been founded in the year 1840, finally adopted.