Puerto Vallarta B&W

In the early 1950s, as Canadian Pacific Airlines was opening up flights into Mexico, they hired Harry to take photographs for their marketing campaign. During the winters of 1953 through ‘56, Puerto Vallarta became a second home for the Rowed family.

Harry also travelled to Mexico City, San Miguel de Allende, Taxco, Cuernavaca, Guadalajara and Acapulco – capturing more wonderful images on film.

At the time, Vallarta was a thriving, but tranquil, village with a population of 6000, primarily engaged in fishing or agriculture. This small, isolated community was nestled against a stunning backdrop of mountainous jungle, on the beautiful sandy shores of Banderas Bay, one of the largest bays in the world. Other than a narrow road to Compostela, Vallarta was only accessible by boat or DC-3’s flying in from Guadalajara and Tepic, carrying cargo, animals and people. A fly-by was often necessary to chase the grazing cattle from the grassy runway so planes could land. It wasn’t until 1956 that a packed dirt road replaced the Mascota mule trail, connecting Vallarta to the Sierra villages.

Harry’s photos document the daily lives of Puerto Vallarta’s children, fishermen, brick makers, ranchers and artists – when most international tourists had yet to discover the area’s beauty and charm.

This gallery is for B&W images shot on 6×6 cm film.