Part 2 — The First Settlers
Salomé’s caravan made its way over the dusty trail from La Paz to the palm grove on the Bahia de La Ventana, stopping to camp one night in the mountains. Salomé later commented that he was so weary by the journey’s end that even the hat on his head was too much weight to bear.
Salomé and his sons scoured the surrounding desert for palo de arco and downed cardón trunks to build a shelter. They chose a construction site under a stand of palm trees on the north side of the palmar overlooking the bay and Isla Cerralvo. They used the cardón for the corner posts and roof beams, wove the palo-de-arco walls and plastered them with mud. Then they attached layers of palm fronds to the roof and left the dirt floor bare. This type of shelter, called a jacal, was standard in many rural communities of Mexico in those times.
The home was illuminated with oil lamps and candles, and Salome furnished it with a table, chairs, and beds of cardón cactus tied together with palm rope. A blanket separated the interior into two rooms. Salome’s second wife, Petra, cooked on a metal grate over a wood fire. A typical meal consisted of beans, rice, corn tortillas, and fish. After the men brought goats back from the Island, meals included cheese and meat. The children collected wild fruit and herbs from the desert.
Rosendo Amador, who had herded cattle at Punta Perico with his son Jesus, had already brought his family to the palmar and built their jacal at the south end, where he also dug a well. The two pioneer families relied on each other for survival. The marriage between Jesus Amador Hiraldo and María Teresa León Zazueta, the children of Rosendo and Salomé, would seal the close bond between the two families.Continue reading “History of La Ventana”