Thursday, July 12, 2012

Current issue with Hotel Melaque

Talking to a local friend about what's up with the hotel and he says that General Marcelino Garcia Barragan, former Secretary of Defense and former Jalisco Governor  was behind the construction along with his Tecuan property and other projects in the area.  He somehow talked a few Ejido Emiliano Zapata (Ranchito) members into "leasing" the land with only a verbal agreement and agreed the property would revert to the Ejido when he died.  Maybe everything was done that way back in the '50's.  Now it's a battle between the Barragan family and the Ejido.   He also said that whole area is fill for elevation since it used to become a river mouth in the summer.   That's the rumor anyway  ...

Melaque 1955

Here's an excerpt from the book The Magic of Careyes which is basically a coffee table foto album but does have some info on the history of Careyes and the Costalegre:

The Jalisco coast had remained pristine until 1944, halfway through the twentieth century, when the state governor, General Marcelino García Barragán, introduced an initiative called Marcha hacia el mar (“March to the Sea”). García Barragán had a road built from Guadalajara to Melaque, to allow ranchers to settle that part of Jalisco. He himself claimed ownership of a beach called El Tecuán. The story of the coastal colonization he initiated would later become the subject of Agustín Yáñez’s novel La tierra pródiga (“The Prodigal Land”), written in the late 1950s, during the years that Yáñez himself served as governor of Jalisco.

In his novel, Yáñez reflected on the natural resources of the state’s coastal regions, which had been monopolized by lumber companies, land usurpers, cattle thieves and horse thieves. He was very skeptical about colonization, after seeing the destruction that the March to the Sea had caused in Melaque: “Heavy equipment kept arriving […] advancing heavily, slowly, inexorably. They tore down trees, broke down mountains, filled abysses. […] Monstrous tractors, gigantic bulldozers, colossal scrapers and enormous dump trucks. They came from the East, the North, the South, marching toward the sea.” Yáñez’s world was peopled with fascinating, crooked caciques (land owners) such as El Amarillo, the novel’s main character, based on Rodolfo Paz Vizcaíno, owner of Tenacatita ranch. Guillermo Gargollo knew him well. “The legend (of his own fabrication) has it that he was a brutal man, who had killed many people. Later, I realized it wasn’t true, but still, we were scared of him.”

On one of Gargollo’s trips to the coast, he discovered that Paz Vizcaíno had stolen their equipment in Cuixmala in order to build access roads to the beaches in Tenacatita. He built a hotel there and named it Los Ángeles Locos . Paz Vizcaíno had always been a fortunate man, but he never had the chance to stay at that hotel, and ended up losing it along with the rest of his properties, which were repossessed after he was charged with fraud involving the Banco Regional de Crédito de Occidente. The story did not end well: he was sent to prison, and then to a mental hospital, or so they say.

And then ... a web site I had not seen (hard to tell what is truth or from the book)
Rodolfo Paz - Tenacatita Visionary

In the fifties, Rodolfo Paz Vizcaino had a dream: to found a city in the middle of nowhere which would become the tourist destination that the country needed. This is the tale of his dream, the story of a person who had everything and ended up with nothing.

Rodolfo Paz - Tenacatita Visionary

The Prodigal Land

I was looking for more information on General Marcelino García Barragán who had a great deal to do with the development of the Costalegre when I found mention of the book "The Prodigal Land" (La Tierra Prodiga) in another article from "The Magic of Careyes".   Further searching brought me to Agustin's Blog below.   Sadly he didn't continue with his translation to English.   More later on The Magic of Careyes and other rumors.

The Prodigal Land, refers to the territory that is part of Jalisco in the coastal region of the Mexican Pacific, today this area is called “Costa Alegre (happy coast)” and is an area with great natural beauty and richness.

But the novel takes place about 60 years ago, when the area was totally undeveloped, and here we find how this tale begins:

My grandfather was Governor of the State of Jalisco between 1953 and 1959, I will explain how this happened later on, and while being governor, one of the rich land owners of Jalisco’s Coast invited him to travel with his family to see the beauties of the area, to motivate my Grandfather to build a road that connected Guadalajara with that area. So my grandfather travelled with my grandma, my dad and his sisters and brother in a small cessna plane to the airport this land owner had built in the middle of the coastal jungle.

Agustinyanez's Blog

Monday, July 09, 2012

Summer Vacation in Melaque

School was out last week and I wasn't sure how soon the tourists would be arriving but as you can see from the beach foto taken this Sunday, many didn't want to wait. Early arrival may be caused by the heat wave we've been having with temps up in the 90's and high humdity. Tourist buses in town and parking becoming a problem.

We spent the day to get away from the heat as well. Kids and I were in the ocean most of the time. That is when they weren't building sand castles of catching beach crabs. Stopped at our favorite sincronizada restaurant (the size of a pizza) and brought them home. After dinner we were treated to a great light show, big thunder but very little rain which we really need.   All fotos taken with my Iphone

A busy beach

Sand crab in a cup

Light show over Melaque
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