In the Cuban mountains Viñales is set to celebrate 14 years as Word Heritage Site in the midst of efforts to preserve its architecture after the passage of various hurricanes.
In 2008 hurricanes Gustav and Ike caused damage on the famous town of Pinar del Río and its surroundings areas, housing the famous valley of hillocks and rocks from the Jurassic Age.
The area also treasures one of the best and largest caves in the Caribbean and Latin America: the Santo Tomás Caves. In addition to the thrilling scenes of plowed land and whimsically shaped hills, the area also stands out by its fossils, such as the ammonites, disappeared 75 million years ago. The cork palm, a vegetable rarity by its age, can also be found in Viñales, 160 kilometers west of Havana. Tobacco and root vegetables, such as sweet potato and taro, also grow in its fertile red soil.
One of the challenges facing experts and dwellers is to preserve roofs with traditional materials, mainly wood and roast clay tiles. After the hurricanes hit the region, provisional roofing material covered the houses that had lost their roofs which have gradually been replaced by traditional red tile roofs. The town and valley were registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List on December 1, 1999.
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