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Cabo San Lucas Patriarch Don Luis Bulnes Honored

Don Luis Bulnes Molleda statue in Cabo San Lucas

Recently there was a dedication, along with an unveiling of his statue, in honor of Don Luis Bulnes Molleda, one of the Baja Pioneros, who is considered to be the father of Cabo San Lucas Sportfishing, among his many other accomplishments.
 
This bronze statue of Don Luis Bulnes originally stood tall in a place of honor at the seventh meeting of the G-20 Summit in 2012 in the Los Cabos Convention Center – in San Jose del Cabo, BCS for all the heads of governments and states to view.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Odile’s 137-mph winds and accompanying rain devastated the statue when it landed on Sept. 19, 2014.

Jorge Tellez, on behalf of Marina Fundadores (Founders), requested and was granted permission to restore and relocate the monument.

Mid-afternoon, March 29, 2018, the dedication was held as the statue was unveiled on the malecón overlooking the Cabo San Lucas Marina at the Fonatur roundabout, next to Hotel Breathless and in front of Marina Fundadores in Cabo San Lucas.

Don Luis Bulnes Molleda statue Los CabosState and national dignitaries were joined by business leaders, hoteliers, state and federal authorities (Ministry of Tourism, Economy and Sustainability) and (the Integral Port Administration-API) along with residents, tourists and others wishing to recognize and honor their friend, Senor Bulnes.

Hector Cota Montaño, general director of API, greeted the audience before reading an account of Don Luis and Conchita’s journey and how their lives were inexorably intertwined with the rich history of Cabo San Lucas, BCS, along with his fellow pioneros.

Francisco “Paco” Bulnes Malo shared memories of his father, recalling what a wonderful mentor and teacher he had been, adding that he appreciated the time he had with his father which prepared him to confront the day-to-day responsibilities required by Solmar as it continues to expand.

He said that it was “a great honor that his father, Don Luis, had a statue.”

Maria “Charo” Bulnes noted that Cabo San Lucas celebrates the presence of the Don Luis Bulnes statue at the Marina of Cabo San Lucas. It was a reminder of her father’s joyfulness, simplicity and positive outlook along with his contagious smile.

She added that he had left a remarkable dynasty that would continue to be a positive influence on the area for generations to come.

From right to left on the right side: Hector Cota Montaño, General Director API, Luis Coppola Jofroy, Eduardo Romo, Genaro Ruiz, State Secretary of Tourism, Francisco Bulnes Malo

From left to right on the left side: Comandante Miguel Angel Cobos Soto, Mateo Parr, Jesus Flores Romero

Don Luis Bulnes Molleda was one of the pioneers of tourism in Los Cabos, a fundamental pillar for the international promotion and development of the marina while founding the Solmar Hotel Group.

Originally from Ribadesella, Spain, Sr. Bulnes earned the admiration of the locals as he dreamed of establishing Los Cabos as the unparalleled tourist destination it has evolved into.
cabo san lucasCoincidentally, a shiny sportfisher with marlin flags and release pennants fluttering in the afternoon breeze idled in the harbor as the dedication proceeded.

That incident prompted a recollection of an oft-quoted conversation from many decades ago when Bulnes volunteered, “I have a special love for billfish that began at that magic instant in 1955. I feel everyone should have a chance to see such beauty.

We must preserve billfish for future generations. They are so beautiful.”

By 1970, he concluded that dorado and marlin had to be protected to attract Los Cabos sportfishing anglers to the area in the future, and these species were recognized in the Formar Fisheries Development Law.

Read more on Don Luis HERE.
A luncheon reception was held at “Fisherman’s Landing Bar,” a few steps down the Malecón from the statue.

It was a bitter sweet opportunity for family, friends, and guests to remember the man and all that he stood for as they recalled some of their favorite Bulnes’ stories drawn from the past six-plus decades.

One recalled when Bulnes was asked if there was any one moment in time that he could say was one of his greatest. His answer was “Not one moment, but it is gratifying to know that a lot of people have depended on us for employment. If someone wanted to work, they were given the opportunity.”

Another observed how much Don Luis had experienced throughout his career which had spanned more than half-century during which time he had become one of the most important and respected leaders on the Baja peninsula and beyond.
Many lives were touched by his vision and projects. His employees, many of whom had been with him since the very beginning, considered him to be a wonderful employer … deserving of their love and respect.

His courageous determination tempered with compassion, along with the support of Conchita, his wife, gave literally thousands of people the opportunity to change their futures and prosper in a wide variety of businesses in Cabo San Lucas.

“Ten years ago, Luis Bulnes received The Billfish Foundation’s most prestigious award for his billfish conservation in Mexico.

He was a pioneer in recognizing the importance sportfishing as well as ecotourism trade could be to a community … his community was Cabo. He proved good conservation pays through economic returns, which support jobs and businesses in an area. Today, based on his efforts and those he inspired in others, Cabo remains the epicenter of striped marlin fishing in the eastern Pacific,” observed Ellen Peel, the Billfish Foundation President – Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Los Cabos lost Don Luis Bulnes Molleda on Oct. 10, 2011.

He made it a better place for its people, and he made it a paradise for tourists and anglers from around the world.
It’s fitting that a monument now stands on the malecón to honor this man among men.

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Gary Graham, the BD Outdoors Baja Editor, has more than five decades fishing experience off of Southern California and the Baja Peninsula. From light tackle and fly up to offshore marlin fishing, Gary has experienced all facets of this fishery. He's set several fly-fishing world records and in his first year as a member of the Tuna Club of Avalon, he received more angling awards than any other first-year member in the club's 109-year history. He's been involved with many California angling clubs and is the Baja California Representative for the International Game Fish Association. 
Gary's a conservationist as well as a writer and photographer. In addition to two books on saltwater fly-fishing, hundreds of his articles and photographs have appeared in publications around the world. Graham has devoted his life to finding new fisheries and developing new techniques — all of which he shares through his guiding, speaking, photography and writing.