John Wayne: The Duke’s Estate Shows His Charitable Side with Throwback Photo at Orphanage in Mexico

by John Jamison
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Easily overlooked amid the prolific acting career and larger-than-life persona was John Wayne’s generosity. He was generous with his family, whom he welcomed into his own career with open arms. And in the years since his death, the philanthropy carried out by his estate has been dedicated to cancer research.

Recently, the official John Wayne Instagram account posted a throwback photo from 1970. It shows Duke visiting a Mexican orphanage with actress Raquel Welch.

“Giving back to the community was important to Duke, he’s pictured here with Raquel Welch visiting an orphanage in Mexico in 1970,” the caption of the post reads.

The heartwarming photo shows John Wayne giving a smile to a child outside the orphanage. Raquel Welch can be seen behind him to the right, doing the same thing.

John Wayne Had an Affinity for Mexico

John Wayne spent a lot of time in Mexico. For one, the iconic Western actor filmed no less than six movies in the country throughout his career. Beyond his acting career, however, Duke just loved spending time there.

Granted, most of that time wasn’t spent at orphanages. But John Wayne did his small part in other ways too. The town of Chupaderos in Northwestern Mexico was effectively built by Wayne and the movies he filmed there. Although, it did fall on hard times after he stopped making movies there.

Nonetheless, Mexico was one of Wayne’s favorite destinations. His estate posted another photo back in April of the Western icon taking in the sights of Acapulco.

“Duke loved to travel all over the world and one of his favorite places to visit was Mexico. He’s pictured here in Acapulco in the late 1940’s, where he owned a hotel called Hotel Los Flamingos with his friend Johnny Weissmuller, who played Tarzan,” part of the caption reads.

One of the things that brought Wayne to Mexico was his yacht, the Wild Goose. One of his favorite activities was sailing it down the coast of Mexico with his family.

“For a long time, whenever I dreamed about him, we were on the boat,” John Wayne’s daughter Marisa said.

Duke Owned a Hotel in Acapulco, Mexico

As the caption from the Instagram posts mentions, John Wayne owned a hotel in Mexico. Along with a group of celebrities, John Wayne bought Hotel Los Flamingos in 1954 to use as a private getaway.

After using it for vacations and private events for a few years, the group decided to sell the hotel. Today, Hotel Los Flamingos is still in operation. And fortunately for travel-inclined fans of the Duke, getting a room there is actually pretty affordable.

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