Cuba has properly positioned a heavy wonderful for unnecessarily chopping the stately royal palms that are so helpful to its’ economic system and social wants. Reducing is allowable solely the place the bushes stand’ in the best way of wanted ditches, highways and different enhancements. Throughout the glades are frequent swimming pools of clear water starred with pink and white lotus. Right here and there are clumps of shimmering palmettos, referred to as palma cana and vana prieto. These give selection to the in any other case monotonous stretches of treeless marsh. Close to the margin are belts of combined hardwoods and royal palms. That is true tropical wetland forest, with lianas, climbing vines, and bushes bristling with parasitic progress, together with stunning pink orchids. A vinelike plant, pendalata, covers acres of floor within the marginal forest, forming a wreathing, serpentine mass, completely impenetrable besides the place a path is hewn out with a machete.
For generations the Zapata has been a favourite district for the burning of charcoal. Quite a few small canals have been dug into the swamp by way of which to deliver the product of the kilns out to sea, the place it’s placed on small schooners and carried to market. The burners reside in palm-thatched shacks for lengthy intervals of full isolation, popping out solely to market their product. Charcoal is the nationwide gas for cooking in Cuba. Massive operators working many crews of males, and sustaining commissaries within the swamp for his or her comfort have made fortunes within the enterprise. The small fellows, working singly or with a companion or two. normally make in regards to the common day by day wage for the island.
The charcoal burner is usually condemned as a waster of forests. The accusation is essentially unjustified, for he operates mainly within the coastal wastes, the place tree copy is speedy. In contrast with the wholesale chopping of the magnificent inside forests to exchange impoverished cane fields, the harm completed by the charcoal burner is trivial certainly. That extra cane may be planted thousands and thousands of ft of mahogany, cedar and scores of gorgeous woods have been burned, whereas deserted fields needing solely cultivation for restored productiveness have lain idle.
Throughout the Spanish regime revolutionists typically discovered sanctuary throughout the confines of the huge swamp. As soon as inside, the Cuban was about as simple to search out because the proverbial needle of the haystack. Pursuing Spanish troopers would go no farther than the sting, figuring out that one unfamiliar with the area might simply be misplaced inside just a few yards of the margin. Then, too, there was the intense issue of journey by way of the miles of peat lavatory and delicate marl, and the ever-present risk of abrupt demise by a blow from a machete out of the blue flashed from some mysterious hiding place.