San Ignacio

State: Yucatan

Type of Hacienda: Sisal

Service: Used by the Yucatan Provincial Scoutiug Association(Asmac).

Location: This is in the annex of Progreso to which it gives its name, reached halfway along the Merida-Progreso road.

History:The origins of San Ignacio, one of the most important haciendas from the era of the sisal boom, date from the 17th century, when it was built originally as a cattle ranch. Although there are no precise data on the age of the site or its builder or first owner, in the interior of the chapel there are two crypts: one “In memory of Patricito” (July 20 1882), and the other bearing the inscription “María del Carmen Esther Gómez Cervantes (6 of March 1923), a memorial from her aunt Giordana”. In the mid-19th century, , San Ignacio began sisal production. Apparently the hacienda was not only a fiber producer, but also the setting for political practices that finished the property and led to its decline. The main house was erected in the last decades of the 19th century; construction of the chapel began ten years later, and was, it is said, put in the hands of a Spanish engineer who arrived on one of the merchant ships that docked at Progreso. It is believed that at that time the principal owner of San Ignacio was Antonino Bolio Guzmán. Approximately 60 years ago, the hacienda became property of the State Government: each governor appointed an administrator until, when Ernesto Novelo Torres was in office, the administration sold it to Augusto Canto Lara, who is presumed to have been a front for the governor. When Novelo Torres left office, he ran it for a while, and then bequeathed it to his son Mario. San Ignacio was later inherited by Mrs. Noemí Novelo Serrano – daughter of the ex-governor – , who ran it with her husband, doctor Miguel Navarrete Ruiz del Hoyo. They in turn left it to their son Miguel Navarrete Novelo. After a fire on the property 25 years ago – in the fiber stripper – attempts were made to get it running again; but the machinery – which was German – could not be fully repaired, apart from the fact that they no longer had the support of Banrural”20.