Ancient fabric Factory of Bellavista was originally property of .Don Jose Maria de Castaños y Llano (Santander 1796- Tepic 1846), an spaniard who made fortune working as a sales agent to Casa Barron & Forbes until getting enough to purchase his own ships and stablish its own trade company.
His son, Jose Maria Castaños Lazcano studied in Belgium, where heard about a modern factory in Gante called ‘Bellevue’. The Bellavista factory was inspired by that Gante factory, and the Castaño’s built it in 1841 as an identical copy, even using European brick stones.
According to historians, the factory broke in 1846 when Castaños y Llano died leaving a debt of 136,000 pesos to Casa Luzsrraga, from Guayaquil. Barron & Forbes bought the property and ran it for 47 years while becoming the most important corporation in Mexico. It is said they made loans to presidents Benito Juarez and Lerdo de Tejada. In 1885, Barron & Forbes closes and most of the properties are taken by grandsons, whom sold Bellavista after eight years.
Since then, the factory saw several owners. Casa Aguirre, owned by Juan Antonio and Domingo Aguirre, which became as important as Barron & Forbes was one of them.
THE FIRST STRIKE
Bellavista is know as the birthplace to the labor unions in Mexico as the first strike ever registered in the country –even before the Cananea strike- took place here and was leaded by brothers Pedro and Enrique G. Elias (later Pedro became first Governor of Nayarit) and supported by sisters Francisca y Maclovia Quintero in 1905.
Although some say it was a minor strike, because after standing in Tepic the leaders perfered not to expose people to the death and left without seeing any of their demands fulfilled, that fight was indeed a victory for the workers that anticipated the labor revolution in Mexico.
To visit Bellavista from Riviera Nayarit take a 3 hour drive from NuevoVallarta to Tepic, or one hour drive from San Blas. Once in Tepic, take the road to Aguamilpa, 6 kilometers away you’ll find the factory town.