Mexican Pirates – Pirate Mundaca

According to the respected historian Fidel Villanueva Madrid in the chronicles of Isla Mujeres, Mexico, it seems that the Pirate Mundaca, otherwise known as Fermín Antonio Mundaca, was more than just the fictional character that now stalks the boards of the Jolly Roger Pirate Ship in Cancun. According to the account given in “pioneers” magazine by Fidel Villanueva, here is the life of the Pirate Mundaca of Isla Mujeres.

Early Years of Pirate Mundaca

Fermín Antonio Mundaca was born on October 11, 1825 in Villa de Bermeo, Spain, and it is believed that he had some schooling in these early years. Architecture and navigation are the supposed subjects which kept him occupied for the first couple of decades of his life.

Pirate Mundaca the Slave Trader

We don’t know much about the movements of the Pirate Mundaca until 1858 when he appears on Isla Mujeres, Mexico, most likely running from the law. Many believe that Mundaca was involved in illicit slaving activities which would certainly be cause to flee from law enforcements attentions. In any case he deemed Isla Mujeres on Mexico’s Caribbean a good place to hide out, and settle. There have been some whisperings as to his relationship with the Yucatan government; they say he was a seller of Mayan slaves to Cuba.

Isla Mujeres, Mexico

By 1860 Fermín Antonio Mundaca had established himself firmly on Isla Mujeres and had used his fortune to fund the building of his massive home – Vista Alegre. Now known as Hacienda Mundaca, this sprawling home covered around 40% of the land on Isla Mujeres and contained a stunning array of wells, arches, wells, orchards, and gardens both large and small. It is said that he built this stunning home to impress Prisca Gómez Pantoja, who was known as “La Trigueña” (the Brunette), with whom he was madly in love. Today you can still visit the ruins of Hacienda Mundaca, but you won’t see the ghost of the man himself. You see he died in Merida, some 200 miles away from the home he loved and the tomb he built for himself.

A Reclusive Pirate?

All reports of the man suggest that pirate Mundaca was a solitary kind of man who had little to do with anyone on the island saving his servants, plantation workers and those he did business with on the island.

Unrequited Love

La Trigueña, Prisca, is thought to have been the love of Pirate Mundaca’s life, and she is recorded in all sources that speak of her as being uncommonly beautiful. Her flashing olive eyes and honey colored skin gained the love of most of the islands men, supposedly, but Mundaca was perhaps her foremost admirers. His love was not returned, however, and some say that when he died on Merida it was of a broken heart.