During the era of when the mines at Rayas and Valenciana were at the height of their powers, it was the custom to dedicate some part of a mine to a saint - anything from a shaft to an entire mine.
So it was that, on one particular occasion, a mine was going to be dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Patron Saint of Guanajuato. So, the people gathered together a great quantity of jewels and placed them in a wooden chest for safekeeping. Then, the parish priest blessed them and they were sent off on a stagecoach.
But a little bird had told certain bandit all about the haul of jewels, and the rascal held that stagecoach up.
The news of this sacrilegious robbery spread through the whole region, but nobody could find out where the treasure had ended up.
Time passed, and then, one day, a stranger knocked at the hut of a poor farmhand and asked if he'd like a job.
"You bet I would, sir! God knows I need it!"
"Well come along with me," he said.
They went together to the general store and bought some rope, and then headed off to the hill known as el cerro del Meco. Then they climbed all the way up, and standing on its summit was an enormous boulder.
The stranger explained to the farmhand that his job was to help him move the rock.
They had to try several times before they finally got the boulder to give way, revealing underneath a deep, dark well.
The stranger had the farmhand tie the rope around his waist and then lowered him down the cavernous hole.
"You'll find something down there," called the mysterious stranger, "A body - might even be a skeleton by now - and next to it you'll find some bags of money. Take as many as you can carry - that's your wages - but what I want you to get for me is a wood chest.
Sure enough, there was the skeleton, with the wooden chest lying there among the rags and the bones.
After a long while and a considerable struggle, the farmhand finally managed to get the chest up to the surface.
When he saw it, the mysterious stranger cried out:
"At last I can rest in peace! Take this chest to the Basilica in Guanajuato and give it to the priest on duty.”
Then, with a heavy sigh, he fell lifeless to the ground.
It was the fearsome bandit who had stolen the treasure chest, all those years before.