The Amazing Story of Don Concho
Don Concho is one of the oldest original residents still living in La Manzanilla; certainly the oldest living director of the Ejido. |
He was born on December 8, 1918; he will be 95 years old this year.
We went to his house today, invited along by Cruz, whose suggestion it was to photograph and interview him.
He was quite lucid, and talkative, and seemed in good spirits. He is very proud of having saved our beach, and La Manzanilla, from the clutches of a very nasty land developer, over 50 years ago.
His story is amazing, and it's a wonder he is alive today. Don Concho was on the board of the La Manzanilla Ejido in the late 1950's, when the developer in question - Luis Velasquez Baragán - attempted to take the whole beach and much of what is now the town of La Manzanilla.
Velasquez tried to pay bribes (which some took), and threatened murder and harm, but Don Concho and some others did not give in.
The soldiers finally came and threw Don Concho in jail (along with 6 other Ejido members) in Gualajara for 8 miserable months. The developer went ahead and built the hotel, which is now what we know as the "Ruined Hotel" near Boca de Iguanas.
During this time, Don Concho's wife was pregnant and complications arose. Since there were no roads at that time, she did not get the medical treatment necessary, and she died, along with the baby.
Don Concho wanted to make sure we knew that he remained true to his principals, and never accepted money or gave in to the unscrupulous people who tried to take away the Ejido's land.
There's more to this story, and of course, many more. Don Concho has seen and experienced a lot in his life. He is now living with his grand-daughter Chela who makes the amazing donuts you may have seen in the jardin and around town.
Muchas Gracias to Cruz and to Don Concho's family for allowing us to meet, and to photograph him. It was an honour.
Here is the photo I took today:
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