A Day Trip to El Triunfo
Monday, March 26, 2018
A Costa Palmas Spotlight
Baja California Sur abounds with culture with an array of small towns and communities filled with artisans who make up the vibrant tapestry of Baja history. Just a brief and scenic drive from Costa Palmas lies the small mining town of El Triunfo. Just recently El Triunfo, or “The Triumph” in English, was home to the 11th annual Artesanal Festival. This much anticipated event is a celebration of the arts featuring a selection of handcrafts, delectable regional cuisine, live performances, including folkloric ballet and piano concerts, and various art exhibitions. Tourists arrive to walk the cobblestone streets, taking in the local flavors and sounds filling the air, just as they did years ago.
The now quaint town of El Triunfo is said to only be home to approximately 321 inhabitants, a significant shift from the 1860’s when it was once the largest city in the state of Baja California Sur. Silver and gold were the draw for thousands of miners from Mexico and the United States and they arrived in El Triunfo to set up camps and homesteads.
El Triunfo was also a cultural center of the region. Upon returning to her hometown after studying in San Francisco, famed pianist Francisca Mendoza created a firestorm of excitement in the town. Igniting the town’s passion for music, it is said that at one point there were more pianos per capita in El Triunfo than in any other town in Mexico. Today, El Triunfo’s music museum features an impressively curated collection of instruments and more. In addition to the rich musical legacy, El Triunfo features a 35-meter-high smokestack designed by Gustav Eiffel, the French civil engineer and architect most renowned for designing the Eiffel Tower.
After the mines closed in 1926 most of the inhabitants picked up and moved along to the next mining town and opportunity. Today, the once-booming town is entering a revitalization period with individuals restoring several of the older buildings, converting them to chic cafes, museums, boutiques and more. Visiting El Triunfo you’ll find that the mining ghost town is now abuzz with hundreds of tourists each weekend in search of a taste of the unspoiled Baja, making El Triunfo triumphant once again.