Mineral del Monte
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|Mineral del Monte|
|Municipality and town|
|Municipal seat||Mineral del Monte|
|• Total||77.1 km2 (29.8 sq mi)|
As of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 11,944.
The municipality was once the richest in the state when gold and silver were discovered before the Spanish Conquest. The Spanish began mining in the late 16th century. The mines were later abandoned but reopened in the late 1730s under Pedro Romero de Terreros.
The town's steep streets, stairways and small squares are lined with low buildings, some dating back to colonial times. The houses with high sloping roofs and chimneys indicate a Cornish influence, the legacy left by 350 Cornishmen employed by the Cornish firm that ran the mines between 1824 and 1848. The Cornish role in the development of Mexican silver mining is remembered fondly in Real del Monte-Pachuca, as it was the Cornish who introduced the industrial revolution to the shores of Latin America in the 1820s, reviving Mexican silver mining. More particularly the majority of migrants to this region of Mexico came from what we now term the Cornish Central Mining District: Camborne-Redruth-Gwennap. One of the leading personalities in 19th century Mexico was a Camborne man, Francis Rule. His opinion was regarded as a barometer for the rise and fall of mining shares and he became a multi-millionaire with numerous mining interests in and around Pachuca, including the famous Santa Gertrudis which by 1898 was one of the most powerful mines in the State of Hidalgo. The Management was all Cornish, with Thomas Lakeside Phillips becoming Director. In 1903 alone, profits to stockholders had exceeded a million dollars. Known as El Rey de la Plata (The Silver King), Rule left an indelible mark on the Pachucan cityscape and showed great generosity to the peoples of his adopted homeland.
Today, typical Cornish pasties (a local speciality known as pastes) are baked in both settlements and are unknown outside the State of Hidalgo. Four extant Cornish engine houses and a cemetery containing the graves of hundreds of Cornish bear witness to the Cornish involvement in Mexican silver mining for over a century. It was the Cornish who first introduced soccer/football to Mexico (Pachuca). The Mexican national game of football was first played in Mexico by Cornish miners at Pachuca in 1900, a fact that is celebrated each year. The first soccer club in the country, the Pachuca Athletic Club, was also founded in that year; a little-known and scarcely believed fact in a country so devoted to 'futbol', the national sport. The first team consisted of Charles Dawe, John Dawe, James Bennetts, John Bennetts, William Blamey, Richard Sobey, William Bragg, William Thomas, Percy Bunt, Lionel Bunt, Albert Pangelly and William Pengelly. A decidedly 'Cornish' team. The Pachuca club encouraged the formation of teams in Mexico City and Orizaba, the first championship was played in 1902 and 'El Pachuca' won the 1904-05 tournament. The District of Pachuca - Real del Monte contains a rich heritage of which the period of Cornish influence is only part. The mines of the District are conservatively estimated to have produced 1.2 billion Troy ounces of silver and 6.2 million ounces of gold. 6 percent of the silver mined throughout the world during the last five centuries and continues in production today. But also Rugby union, Cricket, Tennis, Polo, Chess among other sports, and Mexican remittances helped to build the Wesleyan Chapel in Redruth, Cornwall in the 1820s. Methodism was also introduced by the Cornish upon their arrival, most of the descendants of the Cornish in Real del Monte and Pachuca are of Methodist faith, they even extended the religion into other major Mexican cities like Mexico City, Puebla, Guadalajara, Morelia, Monterrey, Veracruz, among others.
The twin silver mining settlements of Pachuca and Real del Monte (Mineral del Monte) in the State of Hidalgo are being marketed as 'Mexico's Little Cornwall' by the Mexican Embassy in London in 2007 and represent the first attempt by the Spanish-speaking part of the Cornish diaspora to establish formal links with Cornwall. Camborne Town Council voted on 19 July 2007 to twin with Pachuca and on 16 August 2007 a public meeting confirmed the earlier decision of Redruth Town Council to twin with Real del Monte. The formal twinning ceremony took place at Mineral del Monte in July 2008 during the visit of the Cornish Mexican Cultural Society. In 2008/2009 the telenovela En Nombre del Amor was set there.
Real del Monte was named a "Pueblo Mágico" in 2004.
The 1st International Paste Festival, Real del Monte, Hidalgo, Mexico
In October 2009 the town of Real del Monte (twinned with Redruth, Cornwall) held the first International Paste Festival. Organised by the Municipality of Real del Monte, the paste producers and the Cornish Mexican Cultural Society Chapter Mexico, the Festival was a great success drawing an estimated 8,000 visitors to the town for the three-day event. A coach of visitors travelled from Cuernavaca, some four hours away, and another from Mexico City. The Festival was opened by the President Municipal of Real del Monte, Ing. Omar Mariano Skewes. During the opening speeches it was stated that ‘ Cornish people rebuilt our shattered mining industry giving us work and now again, when we have lost that industry, the Cornish have given us pastes and a new source of income’. As is usual on festival days in this picturesque town, the programme commenced with a visit to the Cornish Cemetery and a guided tour by Bridget Galsworthy of the British Society, followed by wreath-laying at the Miner´s Monument. The main street was transformed with a long line of tented stands where ‘pastes’ of all descriptions were produced and a large stage next to the Miner´s Memorial provided dance and other entertainments throughout the Festival. Pam Melville from Poldark Mine, Cornwall gave demonstrations of traditional pasty making producing numerous pasties which were eagerly devoured. Real del Monte is without doubt the home of the pasty in Mexico with 30 ‘paste’ producers in the town. A number have developed into national chains with shops in towns and cities across Mexico. An example is Pastes Real del Plateros with two shops in Real del Monte, twelve in the neighbouring city of Pachuca and two in Mexico City, demonstrating just how popular pasties are in Mexico. A little larger than cocktail pasties common to the UK, the Mexican-made versions are widely varied including: meat and potato, black bean, shredded chicken, and sausage, all heavily laced with chillies plus a range of sweet pasties including: pineapple, apple, strawberry, and blackberry. The menu at Pastes El Portal, for example, contains 15 varieties of fillings all selling at 9 pesos (45 p) and of course pulque to wash them down!
In the end of the 19th century, the engineer Andrés Aldasoro worked in the mine Las dos Estrellas, it was there where two of his sons Juan Pablo and Eduardo were born. They would later on became pioneers of air flight. Both of them became members of the Early Birds of Aviation.
Pastes Tejada in Real del Monte
- "Mineral del Monte". Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México. Instituto Nacional para el Federalismo y el Desarrollo Municipal. Retrieved December 27, 2008.
- (English) (Spanish) http://www.cornish-mexico.org/
- (English) The Cornish in Latin America
- (Spanish) http://www.el-real.com