Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Paracho Guitars

Paracho de Verduzco ("Paracho") is a small town in Michoacán, Mexico. Its population measures about 16,500 people; still it has a unique reputation as a guitar metropolis. The town is full of workshops and music stores in which handmade instruments are made and sold. Estimates say that over 3,000 people in Paracho work in the instrument-making field. The numerous workshops produce all kinds of acoustic guitars, mandolins and bass guitars.

Visitors of the workshops will always be able to get a good view of the manufacturing process. The instruments can be purchased on the spot, while the offers range from beginner to sophisticated master instruments.

The "International Guitar Festival of Paracho" takes place once a year, mostly in the second week of August. Participants say that the concerts are preceded by a kind of "guitar procession" where e.g. a 12ft guitar - rumoured to be playable - is carried through the streets.

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