By Leticia Diaz Rivera
The year was December of 1973 when my Father, Architect Manuel Diaz Rivera, along with all our family searched for a place to move that was away from the metropolis (Mexico City), as we felt it was just starting to grow out of proportion. After visiting Tijuana and Ensenada, we arrived to La Paz, a city famous for its great commerce and lovely beaches. Back then it only had two small hotels that were completely booked, so we couldn’t find a place to spend the night. Fortunately, we were invited to sleep at the taxi driver’s house! Next day someone told us there were rooms available in a small community located south to the city, so we boarded a small plane and arrived a couple hours later to the fisherman’s village of Cabo San Lucas… and we loved it!
On that very first trip to Cabo my father and my two brothers met Lito Gonzalez, who showed us properties in Buena Vista, on the East Cape, but we liked Cabo San Lucas better and so we decided to look further on this beautiful corner of the world. Since we had to go back to the city, we scheduled our next trip for February. We arrived to La Paz, drove to Cabo San Lucas on the old road by the Sea of Cortez, visiting El Triunfo, San Bartolo, Los Barriles and San Jose to finally arrive to Cabo. Although it took us almost 4 hours driving the old road, we were delighted, enjoying the sightseeing! We stayed at Mar de Cortez Hotel and went to visit Solmar Hotel that was to be opened that same week. There we met Mr. Luis Bulnes, who invited us to stay at his new hotel for the grand opening at a discounted rate as his guests. We spent many hours talking to him, which marked the beginning of a long friendship. During that stay he showed us the properties he had for sale and we were immediately interested. Greatly excited, we decided to walk all over the mountain and like city kids brought no water with us. When we reached the beach we were beyond thirsty and discovered that the Barrel Cactus can provide survival water in the desert, which opened our eyes to a wondrous world of unseen beauty and adventure. We walked it all: from the foothills of the mountain to the top of the hill where the weather station sits now and down to the beach. By the time we were back, we were hooked and knew we had found what we were looking for.
Back in Mexico City and during the closing process of the purchase of the property, my father began to develop a master plan with its streets, parks, residential lots, lookout points and everything needed for a residential community. It was on September 8t,h, 1975 when my brother Manuel arrived by ferry from Puerto Vallarta and placed the first stone of the community that would soon become not only his home, but our families’ and hundreds more. Over the years, what was described as a crazy dream by the extended family we left in Mexico City, has become a quiet and luxurious lifestyle. A place where every street and corner has been a witness of the development of a community where families build memories, a place where several generations can call home. This is Pedregal de Cabo San Lucas.
The first thing that was built was a shed that served as a home, as an office and warehouse… it was a little bit of everything! Eventually this construction became a house and was later sold. It brings me back great memories whenever I drive by that house. During these days all of us in the family were involved either helping designing, building or selling residential lots. We loved the feeling of working together and seeing the community come alive.
Our biggest challenges back then was getting qualified labor and material. Weekly trips to La Paz were not only to buy groceries, but also to acquire everything: from nails to cement and all you could possibly need that was not available here. Since Cabo San Lucas was very small, many of the people used to work in the few small hotels or at the Tuna cannery, so my father brought master builders from mainland, while many others came and went daily from Miraflores. Eventually we had our own block factory, brought our own tractor and set up a carpentry shop as well.
The first lots for sale were on Camino Del Cerro (which was the first street finished) which featured a great view to the Sea of Cortez and the soon to be Marina. We marketed those lots with friends and acquaintances in Mexico City and through our on-site sales office. Since Cabo was a small community (no more than 1000 people lived here), everyone knew us and the fishermen helped us to promote our inventory with their clients and the tourists that were here on vacation. They all knew the area was becoming a preferred vacation destination and loved the idea of owning in this paradise. Before we knew it there were several foreigners buying, building and living in Pedregal!
Shortly afterwards, it was not just about the community, but the city itself. We supported the growth of the area by becoming involved in different activities that would make Cabo excel, including the founding of the first private school, Colegio El Camino, which recently became accredited as an American School and an IB academy and now stands as one of the leading educational institutions in Baja. I was also deeply involved in developing a professional real estate association that included developers and realtors; it was later divided into two: the Developers Association and the Realtors Association. The later became known as the local MLS (Multi Listing System), both of which are now beacons of integrity within our Real Estate market.
Time has come and gone so fast and we continue to live and grow in Pedregal alongside our clients, who have become friends and neighbors. But our commitment as a residential developer stands strong, as it always has, to continue improving as one of the most exclusive residential communities in Cabo San Lucas.
Beautifully written, Lety. The history and sheer beauty of Pedregal is what makes it the best development in Cabo. I feel so blessed to have called Pedregal home for so many years, and to have worked for you and your family!