Some wags have suggested Saint Patrick (San Patricio), after San Felipe’s patron – Patrick Butler, developer of El Dorado Ranch and San Felipe’s largest employer. Obviously Pat is no more a saint than most kindly folks whose mamma’s brought them up right. But he has done some saintly things to advance the livelihood and well being of a lot of people both Anglo and Mexican.
Pat’s company pays a significantly higher wage for workers when compared to the rest of San Felipe or anywhere else in Mexico. A decent wage that has allowed a large number of Mexican families to buy a home and enjoy, what most cannot: discretionary income.
I was personally the recipient of his generosity when he was the sole sponsor of my radio program – Mexico Today. I didn’t ask Pat to cover the production costs. He offered the help to keep alive a program he liked and to assist a friend in need..
El Dorado Ranch, because of Pat’s marketing genius and the skilled sales folks at Rmack, properties, account for six out of every ten new visitors to San Felipe. Visitors who also go to other developments and realtors to buy properties. Thus all the realtors and developers in San Felipe owe a debt of gratitude to Pat and the huge marketing budget he absorbs. Most folks in the San Felipe real estate industry acknowledge that the barrage of seminars in California and Arizona, conducted by El Dorado, contributes significantly to their business success.
Pat also contracts with a wide variety of small businesses in San Felipe and is considered a good and generous client. Many entrepreneurs in San Felipe owe their success to El Dorado Ranch. A large number of young Mexicali and San Felipe professionals also owe a debt of gratitude to Pat – El Dorado provided scholarships to cover their university costs. One beneficiary of Pat’s generosity became a lawyer and then sued Pat. Fortunately it was a spurious lawsuit and was overturned.
The young attorney is not the only ingrate that has attacked Pat. After converting 5000 leases into bank trusts, without charging lease holders a dime, a group of dissidents defamed Pat in the press and in public meetings. They claimed the lease to trust conversion was a fraud. Other ejido lease conversions in Cabo San Lucas charged the lessees $100,000.00 for the privilege of trust ownership.
I recently had the opportunity to handle an El Dorado master trust purchase for a client. I can state that the master trust developed by El Dorado’s attorneys, protects the trust beneficiaries better than any I have seen in my 22 year career as a foreign investment consultant.
It is a strange human trait to look a gift horse in the mouth and Pat’s detractors do just that. Many ex sales people, who advanced their careers with his help, disparage him and The Ranch. But no matter, those of us who know him, marvel at what he has created and applaud his tenacity and hard work. Success for Pat came about because of vision and an entrepreneurial zeal that must be sustained by bigger and better projects. When detractors talk trash about Pat they almost always add to their criticisms a “but” – “But you have to admire what he’s accomplished”.
When I first met Pat he was just starting to build the El Dorado Dynasty and frustrated in trying to negotiate with 216 peasant families for the purchase of the land. I asked him why he was attempting to do what seemed to be impossible and endure the stresses of same. His response: “I have been a successful developer in the United States and that would be a safer business environment to stay in. However, here I can make such an incredibly positive contribution to a community that really needs it. In the states, I could not make the contributory impact that I can in San Felipe”.
I know that contribution is the driving force in my friend Pat Butler’s life. It isn’t money that drives Pat Butler, he’s already got enough. And thousands of folks, whether they admit it or not, have been the lucky recipients of his contributions to San Felipe. Keep on keepin on home boy.