Episode 5. Lalo: mastery and trade
Lázaro Mateos Montesdeoca, known as Lalo, was born in the neighbourhood of La Goleta, the cradle of Arucas' master stonemason. He started working in the stone quarries when he was barely 8 years old, learning the trade from his father and an uncle. A whole life devoted to a traditional trade that lives on in the memory of the few remaining stone mason and in the two museums dedicated to these craftsmen in Arucas, the Stone Mason Interpretation Centre and the ‘La Cantera’ Museum.
Lalo represents the effort and mastery of the stone masons of Arucas, craftsmen of a trade who, with hammer and chisel, have carved a large part of the heritage of the municipality of Arucas, also leaving their mark on many works scattered throughout the archipelago.
I have never seen anything else like the church of Arucas, because we are talking about a building that was built when there was no such thing as a single radial saw, everything was done freehand. That is the great merit of this monument. I was involved in extracting the stone from the quarry that was used to clad the East-facing façade in the 1980s.
There are very few active stone masons left and it is a pity, because I think that the town councils, councils and the government should support this trade, by providing courses and employment workshops so that it is not lost.
Lalo was one of the last of those who had learned the trade using traditional techniques, to retire. He has spent his whole life working in the stone quarries, first as an apprentice, then as a stone mason and finally as a quarry manager, where he shared his experience with young mechanised stone masons who carry on the tradition of this trade in the municipality of Arucas.
We are very grateful to Lalo for the time he has devoted to us and above all for the wisdom with which he expresses the passion he feels for his trade. We wish him good health so that he can continue to give us insights into the history of our town, skilfully carved by the artisan hands of these artists.
Production and direction: Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Arucas (Concejalía de Promoción Económica y Turismo)
Editing: Teresa Armesto (Reflejos pro)
Script and interviews: Epifanio Gómez Navarro y David Cabrera Guillén
Photographya: Nacho González Oramas
Assitants: Beatriz Jiménez Jiménez; Carla Castilla Falcón y Yasmina Santana Velasco
Funding: Gobierno de Canarias (Consejería de Turismo, Industria y Comercio) y Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Arucas (Concejalía de Promoción Económica y Turismo)