standard-title Los Cabos Pioneers

Los Cabos Pioneers

Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Dedicated to the early pioneers visonaries of of the Los Cabos Region, including Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo and the Tourist Corridor connecting the two cities.

Don Luis Bulnes Molleda – 1929 to 2011

Hotel Solmar, Solmar Suites, Playa Grande Resort. A native of Ribadesella, Spain.  Los Cabos lost one of his founding fathers when Don Luis Bulnes Molleda died at age 83 in a hospital in Los Angeles, US  on October 10, 2011. He was one of the original 20th century pioneers who shaped Cabo San Lucas more than 60 years ago.  Photo: “Don” Luis Bulnes Molleda at his hotel with Pacific Ocean in background. 12/19/2006 – photo © Francisco Estrada •  

Interview by Sandra A. Berry,  for Los Cabos Magazine, Issue #11, 2007.
I was intrigued by the opportunity to meet with such a force in the development of the community as hotelier, fishing fleet entrepreneur, restaurateur, and land developer. What did he experience, and what are his thoughts on the future of Cabo San Lucas? How has he managed to balance all that he has done with his love for and reverence of his family?  Interview by Sandra A. Berry, for Los Cabos Magazine, Issue #11, 2007.


Here are some of the pioneers who were in Cabo San Lucas during the start of the building of the Los Cabos region.
(This list is not complete. More details to be added later.)

Bob Bisbee

Started in 1981 by Bob Bisbee, Senior, the Black & Blue Marlin Tournament has grown from six teams with a purse of $10,000 to more than 150 teams with millions of dollars on the line. In 2006 the
Black & Blue had its biggest overall cash payout of $4,165,960. This was, and remains, the largest payout in sportfishing history.
Source: – 02 sept 16 – link is not working.

Interview with Bob Bisbee by Cabo NewsToday


Cape Crusaders – 10 Key Figures in Los Cabos History

Los Cabos has a long history, and has been inhabited, loosely speaking, for more than 10,000 years. For the vast majority of that time it was the territory of hunter gatherers called the Pericú. Very few names of Pericúes are known to us now, and those that are–Chicorí, Botón and Gerónimo, por ejemplo–are primarily remembered for plotting against and killing colonizing Spaniards. Given this lack of reliable information for so much of the human history of the area, it will come as no surprise that a survey of the most important figures in local history necessarily starts in the Spanish colonial period.

Some of these figures were heroic, some were pioneers, while others were merely in the right/wrong place at exactly the right/wrong time. But all 10 played a huge role in making Los Cabos the place that it is today.
This two part series continues at  the links below.

Part One:
Part Two:

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 4.48.43 PMJesus Chuy Valdez

Baja Pioneers.  Cabo Living Magazine
by Michael Koehn & the Valdez family
Photos courtesy of the Valdez family.
This entrepreneur helped to introduce hospitality, a world-class fishing resort, conservation and much more to the East Cape.


Baja Pioneers ~ by Michael Koehn 
photos by Francisco Estrada & courtesy of Monroy Family
Excerpt from Cabo Living Magazine, Winter 2013
It was 1969 when a budding architect first set eyes on Los Cabos. Now at 75, the still active Baja pioneer recalls the many memories that made his hometown great. Looking at it now, it’s hard to believe that Cabo San Lucas was once nothing more than
a neglected backwater in the larger map of Mexico, an outpost that consisted primarily of the Pando tuna cannery, a few hardy souls who made the rustic fishing village their home, and not much else.

Don Koll


William Mathew (Bud) Parr

Carlos Ungson and Bud Parr - estimated photo date: 1965-75
Carlos Ungson and Bud Parr – estimated photo date: 1965-75

Hotel Hacienda Beach Resort
Bud Parr, a retired entrepreneur from the Southland who came to Cabo for a fishing and hunting trip in the early 1950s, realized immediately the region’s potential as a tourist destination.  The Parr family purchased Hotel Hacienda Beach Resort in 1977.
Excerpt from article. Pioneer Family Saw Baja Fishing Village Grow Up.  November 17, 2000, by PETE THOMAS

Don Luis Coppola Bonillas

Hotel Finisterra
Pionero del Turismo organizado en Baja California Sur.

Don Manuel Díaz Rivera and his grandson, Juan Díaz RiveraDon Manuel Díaz Rivera

Photo capton: Don Manuel Díaz Rivera and his grandson, Juan Díaz Rivera

A  man with a vision who came to Cabo San Lucas almost 40 years ago, and founded the first high-end residential community in Los Cabos.


Marco and Tracy Ehrenberg

Pisces Fleet and Pisces Real Estate
Originally from England, Tracy Ehrenberg is the owner of Pisces Sportfishing. Started in La Paz back in 1978 with a single 28-foot boat, today Pisces Sportfishing is one of the largest and most respected charter fleets in Mexico. Recognized worldwide by both fishermen and conservationists alike, Tracy handles many aspects of the Pisces Sportfishing business such as staffing, client relations, business development, marketing, and sales.

Abelardo “Rod” L. Rodriguez Montijo

Abelardo L. Rodriguez Montijo and Lucille Bremer
Abelardo L. Rodriguez Montijo and Lucille Bremer

Abelardo Rodriguez opened the very first resort, Rancho las Cruces, Baja’s original luxury fishing resort, built on the beach at the base of a remote arroyo near La Paz in 1950. His second resort,  Palmilla at San Jose del Cabo was built in 1956.


Sebastián Romo Santillán

December 27, 1938 to  May 7, 2012
Sebastián Romo was born in Mexico City on December 27, 1938. His father was a pharmaceutical chemist, and from a very early age young Romo showed a fascination with aviation. He was able to attend pilot school in his teens and obtained a license to fly commercial aircraft at the age of eighteen. Looking for work as a pilot, he was able to start flying planes that delivered agricultural fumigation in the state of Chiapas. He flew crop dusters for two years there, and that eventually led to more agricultural fumigation work in central Baja.

 Bob and Minerva Smith

Old photographs circa 1970's from Minerva's Baja Tackle. Photos by Rogelio Covarrubias Wilkes.

Bob Smith, former transmission repair shop owner and recreational fisherman, first thought about the idea of opening a fishing tackle shop after having experienced the thrill of fishing the pristine waters off Cabo himself on a trip with friends.  Minverva’s Baja Tackle opened in 1976. When they first arrived in Cabo and set up for business, there were a total of 12 boats, a few small hotels, dirt roads and no marina.
Old photographs circa 1970’s from Minerva’s Baja Tackle. Photos by Rogelio Covarrubias Wilkes.

Carlos Ungson

Carlos Ungson and Bud Parr - estimated photo date: 1965-75
Carlos Ungson and Bud Parr  c1965-75

Article by Brian Blackburn about Carlos Ungson and his many years in Cabo as a developer.  Meet Carlos Ungson, one of Baja’s true pioneers. Many people claim to be famous but not Carlos… however, his life story tells otherwise. Benjamin Ungson (Carlos’ father) was just 16 years old in 1895 when he travelled across the Pacific Ocean from China to Mexico, a whole new world to him. After living in many areas of Mexico, he finally settled in Mexicali where in 1935, Carlos was born. Benjamin insisted that all his children learn to speak Spanish and their native Chinese dialect as well as English.




Architect Ed Giddings

Club Cascadas de Baja

Ernesto Coppel

Pueblo Bonito Resorts

Edwardo Sanchez Navarro

Cabo Real and Puerto Los Cabos

Don Juan Esquivel

Bahia Condo Hotel
Don Juan Esquivel built one of the first hotels on Medano Beach on the site that originally belonged to Don Yoka. As owner of the fishing fleet “Gaviotas” (“Seagulls” in English), the entrepreneurial Don Juan saw an opportunity to create a haven for fishermen. Those who joined the fleet for three days or more could enjoy a complimentary stay at the hotel, courtesy of Don Juan.

Rogelio Covarrubias Wilkes

minervas-old-fish-picsRogelio came to Cabo in 1926 with his parents. His father would become the keeper of the “Faro Viejo” lightouse and the postmaster while Rogelio found his passion behind the lens of a camera. Years later, Rogelio became known simply as “THE PHOTOGRAPHER” making his living by snapping photos of the daily catch that tourists and locals alike just loved.

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