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
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.