El Mariachi

We said our goodbyes to our friends Ane, Andres and Luca. They were heading straight to the beach. We planned to catch up somewhere down the coast if we could. We drove a short distance to Paracho, home of the makers of Mexican stringed instruments. We had planned to take a guitar on the road, but in the end had no room. I wanted to see the luthiers making the instruments and Jason wanted to buy something to noodle around with in the van.

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When a town in Mexico is known for making something, they go all out. Whether it’s tequila, copper, baskets or stringed instruments, every store in the town sells the product. Paracho was no exception. Quality was the only difference. Every few stores was an instrument maker carefully putting together a beautiful guitar, Mexican bass or mandolin. Jason would go into the shop for a look and the the maker would get up from his workbench and choose a guitar that represented his work and tune it up and play for us. They were amazing instruments and although generally out of our budget, relatively inexpensive for something handmade.

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I was keen on finding a mandolin, but it was tough shopping since we were only here for a little while and every shop in town is full on instruments. Jason settled for a 3/4-size guitar that was impossibly cheap ($23 USD) and may pack a little easier. We actually feel bad about not supporting the master craftsmen in the town and buying what is essentially cheap junk, but we know this thing is going to get destroyed… soon.

The problem with living in a tight space with a 5 year old is that there is no way to be careful with anything. Jason figured that the guitar would end up strapped to the roof at some point and banged around by Bode. We didn’t even make it back to the van before Bode asked if it could be his guitar and insisted on carrying it. Perhaps on the way back up to the states we can stop by again and better support the master craftsmen of the town, but for now this seems like a good match for our current lifestyle.

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Oh, and this is our 200th post. Yikes.

Oh, and happy Mother’s Day!

8 thoughts on “El Mariachi

  • May 9, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    Glad to see you made it to Paracho. I’m guessing you are continuing down the road, and hope you make a stop in Uruapan. The Barranca del Cupatitzio park is truly amazing. Also of interest is Fabrica San Pedro, a hundred-year-old textiles factory still operating. There’s also a tremendous tianguis in town, great places to eat, and less of a tourist influence than places like Patzcuaro. Happy trails.

  • May 9, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    i like bode’s haircut = )

  • May 9, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    Happy Mothers Day Angela!

  • May 9, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    ah, musica by the campfire!

    And Happy Mother’s Day, to you, Angela

    Colleen and Jim

  • May 9, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    Happy Mom’s Day to Angela!


  • May 9, 2010 at 7:59 PM

    Happy Mothers Day Angela – hope all is well w/ you all. Family is the most interesting music of all.

    The Strubbe’s

  • May 14, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    You may be interested in the McNally strumstick for the bus. Its kindof a cross between a guitar and a dulcimer. Its tiny and even I (who have no musical talent at all) could play stuff on it. I had one of those under-dash shelves in my bus back in the day and it just sat up under there out of harms way. I know it may not be the ideal instument for someone with actual musical ability, but I thought I would mention it for its portability alone. http://www.strumstick.com/

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