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Cihuatlan, Jalisco near where a star was born - Carlos Santana

Cihuatlan is a town you have to drive through to get to Manzanillo from Melaque. On the border, before you cross the Rio Marabasco from the state of Jalisco to Colima, it is a pleasant enough place, with a fine church cathedral and zocalo. Cihuatlan cathedral, near the birthplace of Carlos santanaIt appears to be the county seat for the area around Melaque and Barra de Navidad, as most of the city officials and police in those towns carry the name on their vehicles. It also is the major commercial hub in that area, being quite a bit larger than the tourist towns.

I might not have mentioned Cihuatlan, as it seemed to be primarily a commercial center, and it didn't appear to have any visible tourist resorts or hotels. But I later found out something very interesting about the area.

Carlos Santana In Mexico City 2005Not far away, in the town of Autlan De Navarro, Carlos Santana was born in 1947.

One of my all time favorite musicians, I felt a shiver as I realized I had driven through the area of his birthplace.

Here I was, feeling like I was in the middle of nowhere, later realizing that this seemingly innocuous place was actually somewhere famous and most blessed! To think that he walked around these parts as a little boy - I could see how the strong cultural traditions of the area would have affected him.

The Santana family moved to Tijuana in 1955 and Carlos began playing in the local nightclubs. His family relocated again to San Francisco, and Carlos learned English and became involved in a music scene incorporating everything from blues to folk to jazz. The Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia was later a mentor to Carlos, and he quit his dishwashing job and formed Santana, a group whose sound reflected his cultural surroundings and went on to become one of the top bands of all time.

In the fall of 2005, he returned to his roots and played a free concert to 100,000 avid fans in the Zocalo at the main square in Mexico City ... man, would I have loved to be there!!