When we decided to spend our vacations in Mazatlan, we had in mind the beauty of the beaches of this sensational place, its culture, its people and its delicious cuisine.
We had heard that there are charming little towns nearby. Above all, we had talked a lot about El Quelite. They told us that not visiting it was as if we had not visited Mazatlan.
After enjoying the many attractions of Mazatlan, we decided to do something different, so very early in the morning and with no previous plan, the family got up wanting to leave the city. It was one of those days when we felt the need to be in contact with nature, but also in contact with different people, that made us feel how beautiful it is to live in the countryside, breathing fresh air and making us feel the magic, the beauty, traditions, and secrets of this part of Mexico.
So, with these expectations, we got in the car and drove north. Just before leaving the city we remember that just 45 kilometers away is El Quelite, the picturesque little town that they recommended us.
Since one leaves the city, the lush landscape envelops us with its tropical beauty composed of many species of plants, trees and endemic shrubs that make this area of the tropics in a unique place in the world. There are tall and leafy, beautiful pink flowers called “amapas”; There are others of yellow flowers also very striking known as “golden rain”.
Within walking distance of reaching this charming town, our spirit enters into a sensational harmony, since crossing all the way there are thousands of buganbilias that give us their vivid colors and aromas. At that time we all ask ourselves: What will be at the end of this beautiful path?
Top this sensational show an impressive view of the river, then start the adventure to find a majestic arch that gives us a colorful welcome to El Quelite.
Upon arriving at El Quelite, one can observe the houses with their tile roofs, their extensive corridors, and Mexican vernacular porticoes, from before the Revolution, but, above all, we perceive that country style of life that the Quelitenses have never abandoned, You can see in its courtyards and backyards the cultivation of flowers and ornamental plants, as well as the breeding of chickens, ducks, pigs, cattle and bovine. Of course, without missing their beasts of burden, donkeys, and horses that help them in the work of the field.
Most dairy products are produced here in the southern region of the state and currently provides organic products to Mazatlan.
This town keeps stories that make it even more attractive, such as the dispute made by the settlers about the true birthplace of the revolutionary leader Pancho Villa; They say that it is from El Quelite, because following the trail of their parents and family members they find that Pancho Villa, before converting to the revolutionary cause, drove cattle from this town to the state of Durango. But this historical issue is still under discussion. Also in this town, there were some encounters between military and rebel groups at the time of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, as is the case of “Los Laureanos” who were a group that assaulted the proceedings loaded with gold and silver belonging to the rich landowners, which moved from the mountain mines to Mazatlan.
Here in El Quelite and its surroundings, in pre Hispanic times, descendants of indigenous ethnic groups such as the xiximes, acaxees, and pacaxees, who at that time practiced cannibalism. Although they also practiced the Ulama, ball game that until now is the traditional sport of El Quelite, and to this day tournaments are still being held. This is one of the oldest sports in Mesoamerica in its different variants.
One of the reasons why many local people and tourists visit El Quelite is undoubtedly its rich cuisine, which in truth is one of the healthiest and most tasty in the region, and is made mostly with fresh organic produce from the countryside that the villagers themselves produce.
And to taste this campirana cuisine, very Sinaloan and tropical, since just over 20 years ago, Dr. Marcos Osuna, a distinguished chef, had faith in two projects. One was to turn his hometown into a tourist center, and the other to open his restaurant “El Mesón de Los Laureanos”, which involves all the villagers, since most of the products offered are locally made, and in addition to employing many residents, while taking care of the campirano and original environment of the place. We could confirm that this restaurant is a pioneer in the local and ecological food system, where consumers, farmers, and local producers are involved.
El Mesón de Los Laureanos synthesizes all the gastronomic traditions of El Quelite and the entire state. The restaurant is located in an old house, like the ones that abound in this colorful town, and its interior is decorated with rustic and traditional motifs. It has a photographic gallery of characters of the Mexican Revolution, a family tree of the families of El Quelite, pre-Hispanic handicrafts, as well as agricultural implements from other eras.
The Quelite or Rancho El Quelital, named in 1564 by its founder Captain Francisco de Ibarra, who arrived at the El Amole village of El Quelite, also gives the name to the river that runs to the edge of the town. At first, it was inhabited only by some indigenous totorames who left much of their pottery and artworks buried in these lands.
So important is El Quelite in the history of this region, that singer-songwriter Miguel Sabido composed him a song, although the spoken legends tell that the melody of El Quelite is an anthem of the state of Guerrero. The truth is that this melody has been sung by many performers of traditional Mexican music and still singing as if it were a hymn of these lands of Sinaloa.
And this is how this trip, although short, helps us to know the richness of our rural culture that in our days is one of the best tourist alternatives, leaving us very pleasant and different experiences.
In the afternoon, our return to Mazatlan was sad to leave a village as beautiful and colorful as El Quelite, but at the same time happy to have enjoyed and learned so much about the living legend of this town, which is Dr. Marcos Osuna ; All a character, not only benefactor of the town but also a great promoter of rural tourism. With these mixed feelings, during the journey we do not stop singing:
“How beautiful is El Quelite,
Well, who has formed it,
Who has its banks,
Who do I remember …
With many wishes to return,
Colin Red Family