Volán-Koché of Doña Maria Jesus Camara

The urban importance of the neighborhood of Santiago was increased in the second half of the nineteenth century as it was the forced and proper passage, the beginning of the Royal Road from the city of Mérida to the port of Sisal, from where the export of the fiber of henequen during the years of the initial boom took place.

Doña Maria Jesus Camara was a modern woman.

The family Solis Leon were movers and shakers of the day, into politics and quickly amassing a considerable fortune due to the importance of the henequen haciendas, of which they owned several. Don Vicente, well-situated socially and politically, married Doña Maria Jesus Camara, a lady who worked, before she married, as a conductor and chauffeur of her own transport business called Volcán-Koché, that covered a passenger route between Mérida and Hunucmá. Doña Maria Jesus Camara was a modern woman.

The Volán-Koché was simply a wagon pulled by mules, set upon some immense wheels. Inside the wagon was a huge mattress with pillows to support and to provide a minimum amount of comfort for the passengers while the mules dragged their load over the rocky back roads of Yucatan.

To this union, came into the world, eight children - PEDRO, FERNANDO, ANDRES, ALFONZO, DOLORES CARIDAD, JOSE, DOMITILA and FRANCISCO.

For the comfort of his family the Architect Solis Leon constructed a large house of a Yucatecan Colonial Style with lots of windows that opened onto 68 and 59th street and an interior patio with Arabic arches.

On the roof and within view of the street corner of the family home there use to be exhibited for many years a manikin or scarecrow-type figure dressed that resembled a mayordomo or capatz of a henequen hacienda. : a pointed shirt with long sleeves, a sombrero made of straw, rustic pants covered with a cotton apron and the pants legs covered with bacloques, leather riding chaps. Of course he wore boots. During the rainy season, the house boys and servants of Don Vicente ran up and covered the manikin with an oil cloth to protect it.

So, down the block marching north, he built a line of homes for his children, the most impressive being the one at 495 which he destined to the families of two of his sons, Pedro and Fernando. Today this large mansion is the principal building for Hotel Casa Mexilio, one of the romantic hotels in Merida.

Here lived the families, Solis Herrera and Solis Gomez. These two brothers, with their families in tow, left Merida after the expropriation of the henequen haciendas.

They went to live in Mexico City, and the house passed to Señora Rosa Maria Mier y Teran de Polo, wife of Sr. Francisco Polo Montes, who was a chicle contractor in Quintana Roo. I bought the building from his widow, Rosa Maria Mier y Teran de Polo. On the day of the transfer, it was the grandson of Pedro Solis (another Pedro Solis, lawyer and notary) who attended Doña Rosa Maria and handled the sale.

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