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The instrument that stands out in importance in most Mexican music is the guitar, and Paracho, Michoacan is the center of Mexico for guitar making. Guitars have been made in Paracho for at least 200 years, and by some estimates, more than 5,000 Paracho residents work in the guitar trade in some manner.

I first visited Paracho three years ago, mostly on a whim, to buy a guitarron, the characteristic bass instrument of mariachi bands. I found the choices to be overwhelming, not to mention the language barrier, but after two days of looking I selected a very nice instrument to bring home with me.

I started thinking about importing mariachi instruments after this visit. I returned to Paracho this year with the idea of bringing back mariachi instruments, but I became completely enchanted by the guitars. After conversing with some of the makers, I developed a deep respect for what they are doing. I abandoned my original plan and began visiting guitar makers.

The selection of a guitar in Paracho is a tremendous challenge because there are literally thousands of guitars to choose from, hanging from hooks in stores, sitting in glass cases, or lined up in racks. They are everywhere. Guitars of every price and quality level are produced there, from tourist junk to the finest concert guitars in the Spanish style.

Because there are literally hundreds of guitar making shops, most of which are actually small factories, I concentrated only on visiting makers of quality instruments who work alone or with an apprentice. All of these makers have a long family tradition of guitar making, some as many as 5 generations. They are master craftsmen.

I personally selected these instruments and I believe them to be representative of the best that Paracho guitar makers offer. Use the navigation links to the left to view the guitars and accessories. And please take a look at the page of photos. I have included photos of the makers, and also some images of Mexico.

Gracias por su visita.


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