After a delay of nearly a year, George Rico of Gran Habano Cigars has announced that he is accepting orders for his newest limited-edition charity cigar, a collaboration project that features artwork by street artist MasPaz called S.T.K. Miami Zulu Zulu MasPaz Edition.
First shown at last year's International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show, the Miami Zulu Zulu MasPaz Edition is a follow up to Rico's original Zulu Zulu project that debuted in 2011. Whereas the original Zulu Zulu raised funds to help African children whose lives have been detrimentally affected by war, a portion of the sales from MasPaz Edition will be donated to the La Casa de la Madre y el Niño orphanage in Bogota, Colombia. MasPaz, who's real name is Federico Frum, was adopted through the orphanage.
Like the original Zulu Zulu, the MasPaz Edition is available in two wrapper types: a Nicaraguan Habano and Ecuadoran Connecticut. The blend for the MasPaz Edition is an all-Nicaraguan binder and filler that uses tobaccos grown on Rico's family farms in the Jalapa Valley and Estelí. Three sizes of each wrapper type are available: Lancero, which measures 7 1/2 inches by 40 ring gauge; Corona Gorda, 5 5/8 by 46; and Rolo, 6 by 54. The suggested retail price for the cigars range from $8.25 to $9.27.
Unlike the original Zulu Zulu, which was rolled in Honduras, MasPaz is being manufactured in Rico's Little Havana, Miami, factory called G.R. Tabacaleras Co. as one of his boutique S.T.K. ("stay true kid") projects.
"Logistically," says Rico, "it also made more sense to move the project to the U.S. because we have been working closely with the new artist, MasPaz, who is based in Washington, D.C."
As Rico explains, each box of Zulu Zulu MasPaz Edition goes through the artist, who adds a decorative line drawing that resembles a mother protecting her child to the inside lid. The artwork is duplicated on the paper bands that cover each individual cigar.
"I thought using a reconciliatory, restorative and healing theme using symbolic imagery of such things like a mother protecting her child, community, family, and nature, would encompass the perfect sequel to follow the original intent behind the first Zulu Zulu."
The first Zulu Zulu used artwork that depicted images of exploited, militarized children.