Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
To read all the posts you will need to scroll down to bottom and choose archives found listed on the lefthand side of the window.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Guaco has been in charge of the Helschein estate for over 30 years. As my Spanish gets tuned in I learn more from this gentle man and his sweet pretty wife, Elena. She keeps the big house in check during the main season and they both open and close the houses as needed. They are proud parents of three grown children and two grandchildren.
Loriano Lorenzo is Guaco's given name. I tease him that it is a movie star name, but he does not like it and prefers his nickname which has stuck with him since the age of four.
His mother is 93 and gave birth to 14 children of which nine are still living. Families intermarried with other families and Guaco is connected by blood to many in Yelapa. He's always telling me so and so, yes, he's my cousn, etc. His mother was from Chicala so there is family blood connection there, too. She now receives the new social security for those over 70. This has been recently enacted by the new government. He told me he had to take time off to head over to PV with her paperwork and photo to collect her bimonthly small stipend.
Guaco tells me Yelapa before gringos was poor but what they needed to live well was all here. The sea was full of fish, fruits abound on trees and they could grow vegetables. Sometimes the family would paddle to points across the Bay for maiz and other needs trading fish as they went.
Often they would paddle in large canoas (dugouts) with 6 men standing with oars and passengers in the bottom. They would travel at night in the full moon taking 2-3 hours to reach Punta Mita or Sayulita.
Life was simple, the river was clean and basic needs were met. Medicines and soap often came directly from the plants, barks and sap from the mountains behind the village.
Guaco received his nickname from his grandfather who heard him sing like a bird when he was little. It stuck.
Talk turned to the gringo discovery of Yelapa. Guaco felt it was mostly Hollywood connected when the filming of Night of the Iguana took place in the early 60's. The Mismaloya notoriety with its stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton brought a new set of characters such as Ava Gardner, Donovan, Jack Nicholson, Candace Bergen and many more to this little village.
To read more about Yelapa History please go to an account based on research at the Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley, in 1991 and 2005 by Carolyn McCall, Ph.D.