Interview with Martin Gomez -Tour Guide of Lopinot
We drove through the Eastern Main Road, then onto Lopinot Road, one Sunday morning, with a picnic lunch prepared to spend the day at the Lopinot Historical Complex. We had a meeting set up with Mr. Martin Gomez, a son of the soil and parang pioneer from the village in Lopinot. Little did we know the wealth and storehouse of knowledge that Mr. Gomez would unlfold that day.
As the car meandered through the many curves along the road, through the valley, we couldn't help but notice the beautiful mountains, cool brooks running by , and the wooland scents along with the sounds of birds singing and bamboo leaves brushing against each other. This picturesque view added to the memory we would create of that day. Upon our arrival at the site we saw the "Great House" nestled among the greenery of the samaan trees and other shrubs.
This "Great House" was owned by a French man, Count Loppinot, and is located on what was his cocoa estate about 200 years ago. This estate comprised 478 acres of land which was given to Count Loppinot by the king of England. There were also a cocoa house for drying cocoa beans and a jailhouse where we met Mr.Martin Gomez conduting a tour with some tourists.
Mr. Gomez was no shy man and took his job seriously. He was very warm and invited us in and answered many of our questions. We did not have to ask many because he told us everything as though he was a great story master on the development of parang in Lopinot, with history and memories embeddedin his mind that he could never forget.
He also ended with a wonderful performance being a true parrandero and invited us to a Spanish Festival at the Lopinot complex later that month. Even after the interview was over he gave us a tour of the place and told us the about the ghost of Count Lopinot and the famous cashew tree.
You can view our interview and visit to Lopinot at :