The RV Parking area at Hotel Villa Monarca Inn near Zitácuaro, Michoacán, Mexico.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Zitácuaro, Michoacán, Mexico.

Where are they going next? Valle de Bravo, Mexico, Mexico.

Friday, January 10, 2020

The guitar town of Paracho

One of the places that Ruth and I had never made it to was the town of Paracho, Michoacan. It's known around the world to anybody with an interest in guitars because the town of about 35,000 people produces over 1 million guitars per year. Some articles say that 90% of the town's workforce is somehow involved in the guitar business.

We arranged for the hotel van to take us to the town, located about 32 kms (20 miles) north of Uruapan. Cost for the one way trip was 750 pesos, but there were 12 of us going so not a bad price at 65 pesos ($4.50 CAD, $3.50 USD) per person.

We arrived at 10:40am.

At the entrance to town.

If you have seen the movie "Coco" (and we highly recommend it), you may recognize that the statue above is now painted in the same design as the guitar in the movie. The guitar in the movie was designed by one of the manufacturers in Paracho.

One of our group, Roger, is a guitar player and he owns a guitar that was produced here. He wanted to visit the shop where it was made.

Lots of guitars!

Roger and Mona with Jose Luis, the guitar maker.
He also owns a big factory and he invited us to visit it.

Ruth, having some mask fun!

Wood drying outside the factory.

Stacking wood to be dried.

Guitars.

The factory employs about 70 people.

Sanding guitars for a living.

That is Raquel, above. She has her fingers taped so that they are not damaged by the sandpaper. She appears to like her job, smiling a lot and listening to music while she works.

In various stages of production.

Scrap wood.




The paint shop.

They also employ 5 people who make guitars entirely by hand.

Finished product.

Ready for shipping.

Mona, Jose Luis, and Roger at his guitar factory.

After that, we went for lunch.
I had two carnitas with pico de gallo and guacamole. Delicious!

Where the indigenous ladies buy the colorful material for their clothing.

Ruth bought some blackberries.

The plaza in Paracho.

Flowers for sale.

Guitar mural.

Me, with a giant guitar!

Working in the museum, this guy was building a guitar by hand. 
Alejandro says it takes him 2 months to build a quality guitar by hand.

Really good day visiting Paracho. Interesting stuff!

I promised you some photos of where we are staying at the Hotel Pie de la Sierra...


Our group are the only ones here.

It's a beautiful hotel.

 Our happy hour area!

Today is a driving day... we are not going very far though. It is only about 80 kms (50 miles) to our next destination at Patzcuaro.

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14 comments:

  1. It is very encouraging that while you recognize that there are dangers in Mexico travel, you keep them in perspective and don't adopt the more common view that is so " horrible" and totally "unsafe" ! I wish more people would recognize this. I don't know when I've read of someone in that country going to a school to shoot children and yet that has happened many times here in the US.
    One question, do the places you stay at have 30 amp hook-ups?
    Enjoy your travels and keep up the great posts!

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    1. I am very happy that we can keep things real in our blog and not sugar coat our travels here. Like anywhere else in the world you need to be cautious and aware of your surroundings. You are totally correct about not adopting the media hype about Mexico being dangerous, if that were the case as you stated we wouldn't want to be traveling around in the USA either because of all the random mass shootings in schools, malls, nightclubs and churches. Yep that type of thing doesn't happen here, it is cartels against police and military normally and we aren't in the drug business or the forces fighting them.

      A few of the places we stay at have 30 amp but not very many, I think some of the bigger parks along the Pacific coast tend to have 30 amp but most places only have 15 amp and many of those can be sketchy at best. We are all equipped with solar power and rely on that for most the most part.

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  2. Is there a big demand for pink guitars (lol)? Those carnitas look delicious, especially with the big dollops of guac!

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    1. I guess there must be or they won't be making them, it certainly isn't a colour I would picK, they looked like Pepto bismol pink!

      Those carnita tacos were so delicious, some of the best that we have ever had and big too. I should only have ordered one as I had to give part of my second one away to another group member. :-)

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  3. A very nice day out! And lunch looks excellent.

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    1. It was a fantastic day out in so many ways! :-)

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  4. Knew Roger and Mona would be all over that guitar factory. Looks like an absolutely lovely place!! Good thing your group is active, that food looks so yummy. It would be easy to over eat, plus the beers and drinks. The whole trip looks amazing!!!

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    1. Yep, Roger was really in his element there. It is a beautiful town and had so much going on, it was just a busy little place with lots of indigenous people going about their daily business, it was fun to see.

      Yes, it is a good thing we are all active with the amount of food we have been eating, lol! :-)

      It has been a fantastic trip so far and there is still so much more to come.

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  5. Very interesting about the guitar factory. And such a beautiful hotel area. Do you stay often at places with hook-ups of any kind?

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    1. I think walking around that guitar factory was probably the highlight of the day, it was very interesting and although the majority of the guitars were factory made there was still so much of the construction that was done by hand.

      Yes, the hotel grounds are very beautiful.

      No, we don't have a lot of places that we stay that have real full hookups. One of the things that was mandatory for our trip was that people had to be set up with solar and be experienced boondockers for long periods of time. Our biggest concern is making sure that we time our stops with a place that will have a black/grey water dump on site. Water is generally easy to find and because of our solar setups nobody really needs electricity. Our longest stretch with no dumps is about 10 days or so but there is always public facilities available and on the long stretches we encourage everyone to make full use of them. So far we have only stayed at 4 campgrounds that have three way hook up and two of them the electric was a bit sketchy so some people never even used it. Only 2 campgrounds have had 30 amp electricity.

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  6. I've never heard of this place! (But I also can't play guitar haha.) Thanks for adding another must-visit stop for us.

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    1. Whether you are a guitar player or not, it is an interesting place. We hope that you will make it there some day, it is well worth the visit. :-)

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  7. This town would have been one of my favourite highlights if I was there. Thanks for the tour and wonderful pictures.

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    1. I am sure that you would have enjoyed the town Lynnette. We are glad that you enjoyed our post and pictures of our day there. :-)

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