José Alejos Magical Creatures

Written by. Maru Luarca.

“These magic creatures are my connection to a meaningful life.”

The heat and the orange-colored dust on my windshield were signs that I was getting close to Hacienda El Jabalín, a beautiful property in southern Guatemala. I came to meet José Alejos, the tough but smiling cowboy, who would be demonstrating how he works with young horses.

After a wonderful country breakfast, Alejos told me that he wanted to work with a young horse that was still uncomfortable bearing a saddle.

Photos by Silvia Asturias and Natalie Martín

Photos by Silvia Asturias and Natalie Martín

Twenty minutes later he and the young horse were dancing together in unison. Though North American horse trainer Monte Roberts, known as the “man who listens to horses,” brought humane treatment of horses to the attention of the general public, there are many talented horse trainers who communicate with horses in a similar fashion.
“These magic creatures,” says Alejos, gesturing to his horses, “are my connection to a meaningful life.”
For Alejos and his family, life at Hacienda El Jabalín is lived simply. No electricity means quiet evenings, healthy, good food on the table, family, friends … the ancestral land is linked with family ties that span generations.
In younger years, Alejos’ taste for physical challenges brought him championships in motorbike racing and judo, and he qualified as a member of the Professional Bull Riders Association.

With years of experience and natural talent, Alejos blends honesty and philosophy, leadership and love into his work with horses.

From El Jabalín, Alejos’ work spans the globe, working with championship horse teams, show horses, equestrian clubs, legendary stables and Olympic equestrians.

I came away from my experiences at El Jabalín feeling inspired and motivated by the example of José Alejos’ life: his land, his family, many friends, and, of course, his “magical creatures.”

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