There is a town in Cuba named "Hershey". The US chocolate company started a sugar refinery there in 1916. Workers arrived at the factory from the surrounding area on the company train. There is also a "factory town" where former workers still live even though the refinery is in ruins. Hershey’s Cuban holdings were sold in 1946 to the Cuban Atlantic Sugar Company. At the time of the sale the operations included 60,000 acres of land, 5 raw sugar mills, a peanut oil plant, a henequen plant, 4 electric plants, and 251 miles of railroad track with sufficient locomotives and cars. After the revolution the company was nationalized and Castro sold sugar to the Soviet Union. After the fall of the Soviet Union when Cuba’s Russian lifeline disappeared, there were few markets and fewer spare parts to keep the industry afloat. Efficiency went down and sugar prices dropped, the begininng of the end for Hershey. Today the town is officially known as Camilo Cienfuegos.
The woman in these photos lives in one of the company houses and certainly enjoys her cigars!
© Jack Surran Photography