Master adobe maker passes away at 73

Manuel Rodríguez Villa, better known as “Don Meño,” passed away last Sunday in Chihuahua. He was 73 and lived in La Estación, in Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico.

He was born on February 20, 1945 at the Polvoritas ranch in the Manuel Benavides municipality, the son of María Villa and Zeferino Rodríguez. He was the second-born of 8 siblings: Leonardo, Enrique, Guadalupe, Rosa, Bertha, María and Lupita.

He arrived in Ojinaga around 1966 and it was in the border town of La Estación where he was motivated to work building adobes, a knowledge he acquired when he was just a little boy. He used to say that since he was a child he enjoyed the guitar and singing, the latter being one of his greatest passions and which turned his voice into that of a goldfinch.

He was a great father and an exemplary man with a mischievous personality. He worked in Ojinaga where he made his adobe blocks, a humble and age-old tradition to which he dedicated his whole life.

He is survived by his children Jo-vita Oralia, Maricruz, Benita, José Ángel, Isidro, and María del Pilar.

To the sound of norteña music and with sotol alcohol and copal incense, Manuel was buried on Monday, June 25, 2018, at La Estación cemetery, next to his late son, Víctor Rodríguez, also a well-loved and admired adobero.

The Rodríguez Villa family gives a heartfelt thanks to all the Texas and Chihuahua acquaintances and friends who helped with his transfer and burial.

May the great master adobero Don Meño rest in peace.