In the Beginning
1553 marked the arrival of the Spaniards and the beginning of stage two in the Baja California Peninsula . The Spaniards came on “mission” trips and were quick to establish their churches throughout Baja, including Uacatucay (Rosarito), while converting the native Kumiai to Christianity. This stage in the history of Rosarito lasted more than two centuries and was marked with power struggles between the Jesuits, Dominicans and the Franciscan monks.
Another important development regarding life in Rosarito was the establishment of large ranches, considered as stage three. The most memorable occasion took place on May 14, 1885, when Don Joaquin Machado received his title to a large portion of land and registered it in the then capital city of Baja la Ensenada de Todos los Santos. This is celebrated today as the Foundation Day of Rosarito, as recognized by the Historical Society of Rosarito.
As the city blossomed, the opening for the next stage came into play in the early 1920’s. The Barbachano family, a powerful and prominent political family since the early days of Rosarito, built the first highway that allowed visitors from San Diego access to the city. In addition, they also established the Rosarito Beach Hotel, which at fist was a hunting lodge because San Diegans loved to come to Rosarito to hunt deer, quail and rabbit. Stage four was obviously all about tourism; an important stage that can be still be felt today.
Other stages in chronological order include farming, the Ejidos, or stage five in 1930 when the president of Mexico granted over 10,000 acres to local farmers known as Ejido Mazatlan; stage six was urbanization, the building of streets and city blocks which began in 1950 when the city first began to take shape; and the commercial or industrial era in the 1960’s with the construction of a huge thermo electrical power plant and later installations of Pemex, the Mexican Gas Company, was stage seven respectively. The last, stage eight, is incorporation. On December 1, 1995, Rosarito was recognized as an independent city. Before that, it was just considered as one of Tijuana ’s suburbs.
Today Rosarito is a favorite tourist destination among young and old alike. Families find it welcoming as much as couples looking for a romantic getaway. Rosarito is not only rich in tourist attractions, but rich in history as well.
**Information courtesy of www.rosarito.org**