The San Pancho Fishing School
I was fortunate enough to visit this fishing school/museum when it was still operating back in the early 1980s. I was given a tour by the director who spoke fairly good English – which was a rarity in San Pancho in those days.
My memory has somewhat faded since that day thirty years ago but I believe the main building had a welcome center and offices on the first floor with a museum upstairs displaying historical photos and artifacts illustrating the development of the fishing industry.
It was covered by a beautiful steep-pitched palapa which the director claimed was the biggest in Mexico – or perhaps he said the biggest on the west coast. Whatever the case, it was very impressive and the biggest one I had ever seen in my travels in Mexico.
The classrooms and labs were housed in smaller, adjacent buildings which were all tiled from floor to ceiling. Here the students studied marine biology, carried out dissections and learned about aquatic diseases and parasites that affected local fish populations.
They also shared knowledge with the local fisherman in order to encourage them to be better stewards of the environment. (Lessons that were not always well received, according to the director.)
The grounds were immaculately tended and one could see a lot of planning and innovation had gone into the design and construction of this facility. It’s a shame that this institution was closed and the buildings allowed to fall into disrepair. It’s a significant loss to the community.
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