Andres Segovia, Jose Feliciano, Los Lobos, Mariachi Sol de Mexico and Jackson Browne are just some of the artists who have relied on Candelas Guitars for instruments crafted to their unique specifications.

Ranging in price from $1,000 to $16,000, the guitars are made by hand at a workshop in Los Angeles' Boyle Heights neighborhood, where the firm's founders set up shop in 1947.

"But the story began in Torreon, Mexico, where my grandfather Porfirio and my great uncle Candelario Delgado, known as 'The Candelas Brothers,' made the first guitar in 1928," current owner Tomas Delgado told Efe.

The orphaned brothers were raised separately, but re-united as teenagers.
Porfirio, a carpenter, and the business-minded Candelario shared not only a bloodline, but a love of music. Soon after making their first guitar, they began performing at parties and festivals in Torreon.

"And then every time they went to a fiesta someone asked them to make a guitar with special characteristics and styles for each person, and that's how it all began," Tomas Delgado recounts.

"They grew so fast that they soon opened another shop in Ciudad Juarez, later in Tijuana and finally, here in California."

Renowned both for their sound quality and their beauty, Candelas Guitars come with a lifetime guarantee. Made of fine imported woods, each instrument represents months of painstaking work.

The company's instruments have been displayed at the Smithsonian and Desi Arnaz played a Candelas guitar on an episode of "I Love Lucy."

Hoping for a life in music "as a guitarist and not as a guitar maker," Tomas Delgado began studying classical guitar at the age of 7.

Thirty-five years later, Tomas is grateful to his strict father, also named Candelario, for forcing him to acquire the skills of guitar making.

"It's a very hard art that one can only learn by seeing it, doing it. I feel that I have inside me all the experience of my grandparents and my father, who unfortunately died, but I feel in me all the knowledge, all the responsibility, all the commitment to maintain that which has made us unique," he says.

"To maintain the name of my family with pride and respect is my mission. May there always be people who value what we do, the service we deliver," Tomas Delgado says. "This is what I want to keep doing until I die."

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