Benigno de la Toba’s Treasure

Many things are said about Benigno de la Toba, simply because one cannot help, but speculate about this peculiar man. What is known about him is that: he was a judge in La Paz, he worked in agriculture and livestock, and his intelligence was as vast as the wealth he possessed.

But his name reaches beyond the torotes, palms, choyas and biznagas that adorn San Luis Gonzaga: the community where he lived. He built the Pink Quarry Dam and operated a Company Store.

Despite his popularity in the town, time took its toll as is the case with any other man when old age caught up with him. He left to the north, towards Puerto San Carlos, looking for more humid conditions following the doctor’s indications. He settled in the “El Pauquino” estuary, bringing mules, horses, and donkeys.

He left San Luis Gonzaga behind, where the last that was heard of him was that, with the help of the ranchers, he loaded his inheritance in leather sacks. It is said then that one night, when he was already feeling very tired, he waited for his companion named Navarro to fall asleep. Then he released the ropes of the burden beasts and they split, scattering all his riches into mystery.

The next morning, when his companion woke up, he sent him to look for them. He returned with empty leather sacks; the gold was gone. For a long time, the incident was kept secret. But since no secret is eternal, his companion told his son, who returned to the estuary looking for the great treasure. He could not find it, neither he, nor the multiple adventurers who, to this day, continue to search for it despite the years that have gone by.


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