I was 10-years old when I first stood on the ranch outside La Noria, a forty minute drive northeast of Mazatlan, where my grandmother had spent so many wonderful years as a child before relocating to New York, where I would eventually be born.
The ranch, Hacienda Las Moras, had been co-owned and operated by my great-great-grandfather, entrepreneur, and rebel commander Roberto Conde (1850 – 1917) and his brother Abraham Conde.
For many years the ranch was a successful pulque and agave spirit vinata employing 150 families on a sprawl of acreage stretching to the foothills of the Sierra Madre.
Roberto Conde used to travel from his home at 13 Benito Juarez in La Noria to the Hacienda, riding atop his sugar-white horse, his pet green parrot flying alongside, from his shoulder to the tree limbs and back.
The reins of the business would be passed from generation to generation before the assassination of Roberto’s grandchild, Ceferino Conde in the late 1930s.
After Ceferino’s death, his mother Juana tried to run the business, but violence again erupted on the ranch grounds between soldiers of Mazatlan Mayor Alfonso Tirado and the hired mercenary fighters of the landowners trying to protect themselves during the precarious agrarian revolt in the late 1930s after President Cardenas decided to distribute plots of large farms to peasants.
206 people were killed and Juana returned to her family for safety leaving the ranch abandoned. It would eventually fall into disrepair, for years, before Juana’s father sold the land and ranch to a hotel magnate. It would eventually be renovated and turned into a beautiful oasis for tourists and adventurers.
Though I grew up outside New York City my Mexican heritage would play an integral role in my life over the years. My grandmother would live part of the year with us, at our home, speaking Spanish, cooking Mexican dishes, and telling us stories of her early years in Mexico. Every summer there would be a large Mexican fiesta where the Mexican side would gather, eat, drink and reminisce.
We would travel to Mexico and visit family and I have traveled across the width of the country multiple times. As time seems to do it will pass quickly. I left home to attend university with the aspirations of becoming a journalist. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from NYU and a Bachelor of Business Administration from East Tennessee University and worked for a period of years in accounting, always with that burning desire to write. And I wanted to write about Mexico.
Around 2012-2013 I discovered ancestry.com and the doors to my Mexican heritage flew open. I already knew a considerable amount but this allowed me to begin putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. Along with the genealogy and the advancement of our ability to search on the Internet, and with more and more information being digitized, my education into my Mexican heritage grew astronomically.
In September of 2017, I began writing articles for the Mazatlan Messenger Community Newspaper, as well as contributing to a few other publications including The Guadalajara Reporter, The Oaxaca Times, G & E-Magazine, UK History Magazine amongst others.
Some of the most popular articles were the stories I told of my family in Mazatlan during the late 1800s to early 1900s. Working as a journalist, crafting stories, building articles that I find interesting, and that I feel readers will find engaging has been the most fulfilling endeavor I have pursued.
Though I have traveled all over the world, from Africa to Europe, South America and the Pacific, no place mystifies and energizes me more than the beautiful western coastline of Mazatlan and the stretches of silent spikey green agave peeking out of the red dirt reaching as far as the eye can see for the Sierra Madre.
I embrace the opportunity to write for The Mazatlan Post and to communicate with thousands of readers, to be able to share information and stories, and become involved even more in this wonderful, enigmatic and beautiful city and surrounding areas.
By Greg Evans,
Greg was born in 1978, he is a journalist and holds degrees from NYU and East Tennessee State University. He has contributed to numerous publications in Mexico, the United States and England. He is also the author of nearly one hundred maxims that have been published worldwide and quoted by numerous companies including Crossfit, Brides.com, Southern New Hampshire University, Mercedes Benz, Boston Business Journal, and more.
He can be reached by
- Email: [email protected],
- Twitter: @Greg_Evans
- Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/greg-evans
The Mazatlan Post