Villa Clara Province

Villa Clara Province

Geobox Region
name = Villa Clara Province
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image_size = 250
image_caption = Loma del Capiro and Santa Clara

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country = CUB
state =
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capital = Santa Clara
capital_type = Capital
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area = 8412.41
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population_as_of = 2004
population = 817070
population_density = 97.1
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timezone = EST
utc_offset = -5
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map_size = 300
map_caption = Location of Villa Clara Province in Cuba
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Villa Clara is one of the provinces of Cuba. It's located in the central region of the island bordering with the Atlantic at north, Matanzas Province by west, Sancti Spiritus by east, and Cienfuegos on the South. Villa Clara shares with Cienfuegos and Sancti Spiritus on the south the Escambray Mountain Range. Its main cities are Santa Clara (the capital), Sagua La Grande, Placetas, Camajuani, Remedios and Caibarién.


The current provinces of Cienfuegos, Sancti Spíritus, and Villa Clara were once all part of the now defunct province of Las Villas, but Villa Clara is still referred some times just as "Las Villas" using the shorter old name. Santa Clara was the capital of historical Las Villas and still capital of Villa Clara.

During Pre-Spanish settlement in Cuba what now is Villa Clara province was populated by Cacique people with chieftains of Sabanaque (north west), Sabana (north east), and Cubanacan, literally "The Middle Land" in the center where Santa Clara city is located nowadays. In this region from the eastern landing point of the Spanish was where Columbus believed the "King of India" was living. In early colonial Cuba, historical province Las Villas was center to cattle industry but by 18th and 19th centuries it has shifted to sugar production with a large concentration of mills. At the beginning of the 20th century it had the highest percentage of land farms (90%). "Luis Martines Fernandez". Enciclopedia of Cuba. VOL 1. Greenwood Press, Connecticut, London. ISBN:1-57356-572-5] In 1950 was second to Havana in manufacturing establishments.

After Castro's revolution in the 60's it still lead the sugar production of the island, but in the late 80's and 90's after the collapse of the Soviet Union and lack of support thereof, most of the already inefficient mills were close down, some of them were disassemble other became museums. Only the most efficient mills are still producing sugar. Since then the province concentrated it efforts on building beach resorts in the North waters of the Caribbean sea.


Sugar, the commodity that Cuban economy used to rely upon was basically based on the plains in the north of this province, and several large mills provided employment to many people. Now in a new structure of Cuban economy most of this mills have been abandoned and the economy is focusing on newly built beach resort in the north cays. Sugar and Tobacco are still the second most important agricultural activity of the province.


The northern coast of Villa Clara is dotted with numerous cays (part of the Sabana-Camaguey Archipelago), and there are many coral reefs, sandy beaches, and newly constructed touristic resorts.

Around Santa Clara, the land rises into the Alturas de Santa Clara. The highest point in the Santa Clara region is in the Alturas, at m to ft|464|abbr=yes above sea level, while the south, dominated by the Escambray Mountains, reach elevations of over m to ft|900|abbr=yes. Villa Clara also has numerous lakes, which are used for both water sports and fishing. The largest Cuban river to drain into the Atlantic, Río Sagua la Grande, is also in Villa Clara province.


:"Source: Population from 2004 Census."Cite web| url=| title=2004 Population trends, by Province and Municipality| author=| year= 2004| accessdate=2007-10-06 Es icon] "Area from 1976 municipal re-distribution."Cite web|url=|title=Municipios of Cuba|author=Statoids| year=2003| month=July| accessdate=2007-10-06 ]


In 2004, the province of Villa Clara had a population of 817,070.Cite web| url=| title=2004 Population trends, by Province and Municipality| author=| year= 2004| accessdate=2007-10-04 Es icon] With a total area of km2 to mi2|8412.41|abbr=yes|wiki=yes,Cite web| url=| title=Population by Province| author= Government of Cuba| year= 2002| accessdate=2007-10-04 Es icon] the province had a population density of Pop density km2 to mi2|97.1|abbr=yes.


External links

* [ Villa Clara Province on Cuba Web Directory] - Cuba Links Directory related to Villa Clara, customs & traditions, society, tourism, education and more.
* [ Portal de Villa Clara] (Spanish)

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