Brandon's Trip to Honduras in 2024

Brandon Hayes
The weekend before last I embarked on an impromptu cigar trip to Honduras, and I'd like to share some key takeaways from my experience.
Honduras, with its breathtaking scenery and vibrant population, left a lasting impression on me. However, it's evident that the influence of narcos still pervades much of the country. While I encountered many hardworking individuals deserving of respect, pervasive danger lurks in the background. Despite having made six or seven visits over time, this aspect of the country remains largely unchanged, though I still hold onto hope for a better future.
During my time at Christion Eiroa's factory (which produces Asylum, CLE and Eiroa cigars), I couldn't help but be impressed. Despite having visited several times, the impeccable tobacco quality, cleanliness, and efficiency never cease to amaze. What truly stands out is Christian's relentless pursuit of perfection and improvement. Walking alongside him, one can't help but feel inspired by his unwavering dedication to refining every aspect of his operation.
Addressing a pressing issue unrelated to tobacco, the scarcity of clean water in Honduras weighs heavily on my mind. The lack of access to clean water stems from a myriad of factors, including governmental shortcomings, economic struggles, and regional violence. These challenges perpetuate a cycle that affects nearly 20% of the population, denying them the basic necessity of clean water for drinking and sanitation.
The water shortage issue is further compounded by the complex challenges of climate change and rapid urbanization, which exacerbate the crisis. Predictions suggest a significant decrease in rainfall and water availability by the end of the century, coupled with increasing demand. This impending crisis will undoubtedly impact the tobacco industry in the years to come, and it's a situation worth monitoring closely.
Despite its challenges, authentic original Corojo remains one of my favorite tobaccos, and I believe the Eiroas excel in its cultivation. However, the process is both costly and challenging. With its small, delicate leaves prone to disease, many other farmers have transitioned to other hybrid Cuban seed varieties. Nevertheless, the Eiroas persist in growing authentic Corojo, evident in the lush fields despite a delayed start to the year due to unforeseen rain.
Every time I witness the yield of authentic Corojo, I'm reminded of its unparalleled quality. While I understand the shift towards hybrid varieties, there's truly nothing quite like it. I eagerly anticipate smoking this year's crop in the next three to four years, savoring the unique flavor and richness it offers.
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