Born in the city of Alvarado, Veracruz, I initially learned the trade of instrument building in community workshops. I have further developed my technique through personal research and experimenting, plus the exchange of ideas with other luthiers.
I began to work as a luthier on 1992 at the city of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, in a community instrument building project supported by Pacmyc, a government sponsorship program.
In 1996 I founded my workshop in the city of Coatzacoalcos. There, all kinds of “jarocho” instruments are built: Mosquitos, First, Second and Third Jaranas, Requintos or “Guitarras de Son” (Lead Guitars), Leonas (also called boconas or vozarronas, which are large Guitars with a bass sound) and jarocho tambourines.
It is worth pointing out that destiny has led me to learn to play this last instrument and contribute techniques and sounds for it. It is small, but also as complete as any other jarocho instrument. I have insisted for some years on experimenting with different materials in the search of a particular sound for the jarocho tambourines.
My wife, Carolina Pitalúa (who learned in the same community workshop) and I, work together in the workshop. For the last 3 years she has taken care of the sanding, details and finishing touches of the instruments, using natural varnishes, as well as tints that she has discovered to achieve the desired color for each piece.
The workshop is focused on building, restoring and adjusting jarocho instruments. There, we build instruments with tropical wood such as cedar and mahogany for the instrument’s body.
For the soundboards we use cedar, as well as European and Canadian Engelmann Spruce.
The bridges, necks and pegheads are built in woods such as ebony, chagane and other precious woods from Veracruz and Chiapas.
The handcrafted varnish, done with Carolina’s special recipe, is manufactured with lemon shellac and other ingredients.
We are currently organizing lutherie workshops where the students learn to build their own instruments under our constant supervision.
Conscious of the value an instrument has for the life of any musician, we work each instrument on order, and occasionally we manufacture a small selection for immediate sale.
•First placein the statewide instrument building contest organized by the Veracruz State government in 1998.
•Third placein the “Gran Premio de Arte Popular” organized by FONART in Mexico City on the year 2000.
•First Placein the “Gran Premio de Arte Popular” organized by FONART in Mexico City on the year 2004.