Billboard of Gabriel García Márquez in Aracataca. It reads: "I feel Latin American from whatever country, but I have never renounced the nostalgia of my homeland: Aracataca, to which I returned one day and discovered that between reality and nostalgia was the raw material for my work". —Gabriel García Márquez
Gabriel García Márquez was born on March 6, 1927 in the town of Aracataca, Colombia, to Gabriel Eligio García and Luisa Santiaga Márquez. Soon after García Márquez was born, his father became a pharmacist. In January 1929, his parents moved to Sucre  while García Marquez stayed in Aracataca. He was raised by his maternal grandparents, Doña Tranquilina Iguarán and Colonel Nicolás Ricardo Márquez Mejía. When he was nine, his grandfather died, and he moved to his parents' home in Sucre where his father owned a pharmacy.
When his parents fell in love, their relationship met with resistance from Luisa Santiaga Marquez's father, the Colonel. Gabriel Eligio García was not the man the Colonel had envisioned winning the heart of his daughter: he (Gabriel Eligio) was a Conservative, and had the reputation of being a womanizer. Gabriel Eligio wooed Luisa with violin serenades, love poems, countless letters, and even telegraph messages after her father sent her away with the intention of separating the young couple. Her parents tried everything to get rid of the man, but he kept coming back, and it was obvious their daughter was committed to him. Her family finally capitulated and gave her permission to marry him  (The tragicomic story of their courtship would later be adapted and recast as Love in the Time of Cholera).
Since García Márquez's parents were more or less strangers to him for the first few years of his life, his grandparents influenced his early development very strongly. His grandfather, whom he called "Papalelo", was a Liberal veteran of the Thousand Days War. The Colonel...