Last week we gave you a peek into all the wonderful things you can do when you visit San Blas. In that post we mentioned the Muelle de San Blas and its famous madwoman… Curious?
The inspiration for the song “En el Muelle de San Blas” (“On the San Blas Dock”) by Mexican rock group, Maná, the woman in question might seem plucked from someone’s imagination—but it’s all true, and her tragic love story has become an icon of San Blas and the Riviera Nayarit.
The details, known by word-of-mouth, were written on a parchment found in the museum at La Contaduría in San Blas by an unknown scribe.
At 18, Rebeca Méndez Jiménez (1949-2012) lived near the dock, working at one of the restaurants that had set up shop to feed the local fishermen.
One day a foreign fisherman arrived in town, some 20 years of age, who began working in the shipping area around the docks. He met the young woman and they fell in love. It was as intense as it was brief, as once his work in Nayarit was done, he had to sail due north beyond the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
The young man promised Rebeca he would come back and marry her. Crying inconsolably, she swore by the deep blue sea that she would wait for him. Soon she began to show signs of a lovesickness that wouldn’t abate. Every Sunday, the day the boats returned to shore, she would walk out to the dock to welcome him… But her wait became eternal, as none of the boats brought her love back to shore.
Many years went by and she continued to wait for her love by the dock… Sadness, desperation, nostalgia and an overarching loneliness overcame her and she lost her mind.
She began visiting the dock dressed as bride with a bouquet in hand, waiting for her lover. Whenever anyone asked about her outfit she would answer: “My beloved arrives tomorrow at this dock. I promised him I’d wait. I told him I would be dressed like this, so he could recognize me.”
And so, every Sunday, the tiny figure of Rebeca could be seen waiting by the dock. As the years flew by her hair turned gray, her skin became wrinkled and darkened by so many long hours standing in the sun… And thus she grew old waiting by the water, and the villagers began calling her La Loca del Muelle de San Blas, the Madwoman by the Dock of San Blas.
This story began on October 13, 1971, in El Borrego, the beach by the San Blas dock. Rebeca and Manuel—the infamous seaman—were supposed to have been married there three days after that fateful date.
Rebeca passed away at 63 on September 16, 2012, and her ashes were scattered at the dock in San Blas… Rest in peace, Rebeca.