Nobody can pass without seeing it and nobody can get to Los Mochis without making reference of the surrounding. There it is. Watchful and proud of the city that has grown at its roots. Looking over the green fields of Valle del Fuerte. Beside it the past of pitahayas and hills has passed to give way to the present of grains and prosperity.
It “El Cerro de la Memoria” Guardian of the centuries that have passed.
Witness of the transit from Cahita to Spanish. From the indigenous walking to the fusion with the new white culture. Form the cheerful and mystical sound of Tenabri Yoreme to the hurried and loud passage of the Yoris by the new paths that hurt its hills to make way for progress of this lands.
“Memorial Hill” how the first North American settlers had baptized it, because there at its skirts they buried their first dead ones. Banderacahui, as the Indians called it, based on their cahita dialect.
Long ago that lighthouse that during the nights was a guide for travelers and a reference for the ships that sailed the waters near the “Mar de Cortes” ripping the vestments of the night with a light of hope that made shine the amused eyes of city and rural kids of that time.
But today the old Cerro de la Memoria rejuvenates each night wearing multicolor lights from the communication antennas that crown it, like Rey Feo of those carnivals that were the delight of past generations.
Here it is and here it will remain and shall remain memory of beings and events that will write new and extraordinary stories of this marvelous region.
For now, from its summit, “La Virgen del Valle” still from her stone tenderness, blesses those who come and the travelers passing down there to arrive safely to their destinations.
“La Pérgola de Los Mochis”
Hanging from the skirt of the “Cerro de la Memoria” like a playful girl, La Pergola de Los Mochis overlooks the city that now reaches its own roots. It wasn’t like this in the year of 1960 over the pool of drinking water it was built to shape the obligatory walk of the families of that time who came to the groves that grow there. It had its time of splendor at the time. The best orchestras and bands with their “music of wind” played from there their best notes and boys and girls of that time enjoyed dancing until dawn.
It’s one of those events, in a lively dance of a winter night that burst from that place emerges and since then it has into the talk of friends and strangers, giving to “La Pergola de Los Mochis” that air of mystery that still gives the chills to those who hear it.
An outsider young man goes to that dance with some local friends. These guys had their partner but the outsider didn’t. Once into the starry and cold night, this young fellow saw a beautiful and solitary young lady sitting dressed in white. Neither slow nor lazy, he approached her inviting her to dance and with one deep look of her beautiful eyes and an almost expressionless smile she agreed.
The visitor immediately fell in love with this young lady of so mysterious beauty. Her black hair matching her eyes of strange dark deepness flitted with the north wind of winter as well as giving a greater air of intrigue.
Only one thing did not match with that feminine monument: the cold of her hand and her cheeks that touched in the embrace of the dance. And her voice, though soft, it appear to have a strange eco. At one point she asked the time and he answered:
-“it’s 12 o’clock”
-“I have to go!” She said letting out a strange trembling tone of her voice. -“I’ll walk you” he gallantly offered.
-“Only to the foot of the steps, you can’t go beyond”.
He thought that a family member was waiting for her-“maybe her father came to pick her up” as it was usual in that time- he started to go down the stairs and as he saw her still shaking in an act of greater chivalry took off his coat and put it on her, telling her to take it and that he will pick it up the next day, with the double purpose of seeing her again, asking her and getting her address.
They said goodbye, and he saw a greater deepness in her beautiful eyes that this time reflected a deep and distant sadness.
The next day at an early hour he went to the indicated address, where he was greeted by a friendly but sad-faced woman. When stating that he was looking for a young lady to whom he mentioned by the name that from her lips he heard the night before, describing her with a beautiful white dress, the woman shocked replied that if it was a joke because that young lady was her daughter, but she had passed away three years ago, just when she was about to turn 18 years old and she would wear a dress like that, which they had bought for the event.
Giving to the insistence of the young man, he first stepped into the living room of the house and the woman went looking for the dress that she kept in sad memory and a photograph of her. For him, the impact was brutal because that was the face and same dress he had touched with his hands that cold night.
To the amazement and disbelief that he continued to show, the mother agreed to join him in the car to the municipal cemetery.
When finally arriving at the tomb where there was a cross with her name, the amazement was even greater, this time for both of them, because there on the tombstone! There was the coat of the young man, like covering from the cold to whom was buried there!
They say that for many years he came back to La Pergola of Los Mochis. Until one time he no longer came back. However one cold night of the next December, in the distance the figure of a woman was seen with long hair and dressed in white going down the stairs of La Pergola. She came with her head bowed, like walking sad because she went there and didn’t find what she was looking for. Still on the cold nights of December, there are people who affirm to have seen a mysterious and beautiful woman of long hair and dressed in white, wandering the steps of La Pergola de Los Mochis.
Well… Why not? If the cemetery is just across the street… a few meters away.
Text: Melchor Angulo
Writer and journalist
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Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa
Traducción al idioma inglés realizada por la Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa a través del Centro de Estudio de Idiomas Culiacán. English language translation made by Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa through the collaboration of Centro de Estudio de Idiomas Culiacán