To say that Hugo Delgado is an interesting man is an understatement. He speaks five languages (Spanish, English, French, German and Italian), is a trained chef and has had his hand in almost every major project in San Carlos.
Born in Mexico City he decided he did not want to join his father’s tannery business. Instead, at the age of 17 he headed to Lausanne, Switzerland to attend the prestigious Hotel & Restaurant Management School from the Swiss Hotel Association. Prior to acceptance in the program, Hugo was required to learn French and he attended the Ecole Lemania in Lausanne, infamous for their language studies. His education in Switzerland included the arts of cooking, study of wine, hotel and restaurant services and administration.
His fellow classmates in Lausanne included Prince Juan Carlos, who is the current King of Spain and Princess Beatrice and Irene of Holland. Beatrice is currently the Queen of Holland. One of his favorite tasks as a student was participating in serving the lunch or dinner to the former Queen of Spain (grandmother of Prince Juan Carlos) who was in exile in Switzerland during this period. Hugo commented that her cutlery was solid gold and a police officer delivered the gold cutlery from the bank before the meal was served and returned the cutlery to the bank when the meal was complete. The students dined before the Queen and enjoyed the same menu (without wines) she was served. This was part of their education as their teacher described each dish in detail and how the dishes were prepared.
This early and impressionable education began a lifetime career in the hotel industry, tourism, and as a business broker.
Upon returning to Mexico Hugo went to work for the Balsa Hotel chain in Mexico City. He was the Assistant Director at the Maria Isabel Hotel (now the Sheraton) and was appointed as the liaison between the White House and the hotel when President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy were guests of the hotel. He was the only person that the secret service allowed into the Kennedy’s hotel room and he even glimpsed them in their pajamas! He said they were very cordial and at the end of the stay they gave him a Presidential coin as a gift of thanks which he has to this day.
He eventually headed north to Sonora while escorting a lovely woman to a ball in Hermosillo. At the ball he met his future wife and the mother of his two children. Five months later they were married and he took over the management of the San Alberto Hotel in Hermosillo. From there he went to work for the Gandara family, owners of the Playa de Cortez and many hotels in Hermosillo. In 1972 Rafael Caballero, founder of San Carlos offered him the position of General Director for San Carlos tourism development.
He was involved in brokering large scales projects such as the San Carlos Marina, the San Carlos Golf Course, Solimar Condominiums, and the Marina Terra Hotel (formerly Plaza las Glorias).
In 1980 as Director of Tourism for the State of Sonora, Hugo, along with Rafael Caballero and Octavio Llano made a trip to Paris, France and signed the paperwork for Club Med, now called Paradiso Resort.
In 1981 he and Rafael Caballero traveled to Taiwan at the request of the son of Chiang Kai Scheck, who was the President of Taiwan at that time. During their 8 day visit, they sold the land in order to build Marina Real.
In between these high level negotiations he was involved in a weekly air charter from Vancouver, B.C. and Edmonton, Alberta to Guaymas. He was awarded the concession for the passenger train that used to run daily from Guaymas to Nogales, Sonora which operated from 1976 through 1982. Later on, he promoted a US investment group which purchased the land to build Bahia Delfin Condominiums.
His latest project is as the President of San Carlos Pueblo Escenico. This is a new state tourism designation that will be awarded to cities in Sonora based on their natural beauty and compliance with urban standards. The first board meeting was held in mid-December and the group will reconvene in the New Year to begin more detailed planning and generate a timeline for implementation.
San Carlos will be the first Pueblo Escenico in all of Mexico and San Carlos will be the pilot program. The role of the board members is to create a plan to improve the urban image of San Carlos, and create the program guidelines for other scenic towns. Some of the items to be addressed are:
• Visual pollution
• Litter & trash
• Building standards
• Colorful building program,
• Bus stop design
• Graffiti removal and maintenance
• Night-time lighting program
• Burying electrical and telephone lines underground.
In order to achieve this hefty goal, Hugo will enlist the help of his friend, Mr. Beltrones himself! He is planning a trip to Mexico City in the New Year with Mayor Otto Clausseen, and Walter de Cima, Guaymas Secretary of Economy and Tourism. He will also enlist the aid of Antonio Astiazaran, Federal Congressman and former Mayor of Guaymas (2006-2009), Faustino Felix Chavez, Federal Congressman and owner of La Voz del Puerto newspaper, Ernesto Gandara, Sonora State Senator, and Claudia Pavlovich, Sonora State Senator and Hugo’s niece.
We are fortunate to have Hugo Delgado as the President of San Carlos Pueblo Escenico. This latest project is one that will benefit everyone in our community and will provide us with the inspiration we need and the urban renewal that we must have in order to grow and thrive.
In closing, Hugo said that he wishes that all of our residents will contribute to this plan and their suggestions will be fully appreciated by our committee.