Profile – Emma Palacios de Olachea

“Dame of San José del Cabo"

Ninety years ago on September 30, 1930 a local celebrity and socialite was born; being the youngest of eight, Mrs. Emma Palacios de Olachea came to this world marked by mythical stars of success and triumph.

Her father, Mr. Joaquín Palacios Magro was born and raised in Madrid, Spain and later in life he married Mrs. Palacios mother, the young and talented Carmen Avilés Agúndez who was native to San Felipe, Baja California Sur.

Mrs. Palacios de Olachea´s life has been marked by early family achievements in the peninsula, as her grandfather Engineer Joaquín Palacios Gómez was a highly-recognized personality in Southern Baja. With many local achievements he marked his name in Cabo´s history, as the man who determined the exact place and location of the now known Old LightHouse located within the Quivira community in Cabo San Lucas.

“Doña Emma” or “Emita” as her family and friends call her, was also gifted with a beautiful singing voice and the ability to perform and she mentions that she was always eager to participate in local talent shows in San José del Cabo. Ahead of her time and at a young age, she was also sports minded and participated in many marathons, while also becoming a javelin throw champion.

Her basic studies took place in San José del Cabo and she later traveled to Mexico City to certify as a bilingual secretary. Once she obtained her professional certification she came back to her native land and married Mr. Abel Olachea Ceseña who was a well-respected rancher, business man and the owner of the local shop called La Josefina. Their family home was located in downtown San José del Cabo in house number 7, where the town square now stands. Their three children Miguel Angel, Patricia and Abel inherited their business talents and today they all lead successful luxury real estate careers in the Baja East Cape and at Horizontes development within the Querencia community.

Mrs. Olachea is proud to share with us that in her lifetime she hosted first-level personalities such as the Mexican President Adolfo López Mateos, General Agustín Olachea and the renowned Mexican politician Hugo Cervantes del Rio, among many others. Her hectic days as a mother and a socialite kept her busy; however she always managed to stay in touch with local people who she loved very much. “Emita” recalls being the only bilingual woman in the area which allowed her to establish cherished friendships with celebrities like Bing Crosby and Kathy Thompson.

During the early 80's she worked for Fonatur which is the National Tourism Fund, where she learned about the urban planning of Los Cabos and this inspired her to create the local “Hospital de las Monjas y Dispensario”, which in English means, the Nun's Hospital and Dispensary.

Doña Emma feels that her altruistic heart has allowed her to give to her community and that it was her charitable actions that also allowed her to meet Pope John Paul II, which was a lifelong dream of hers.

As Mrs. Emma Palacios de Olachea is ready to rest after a hectic February afternoon, she shares with us her pride for her local roots and her love for Baja California Sur.


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