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Chihuahua – Smashing! Amazing!

by Liz NDoumi

photo shows an Apache warrior in white face paint wearing crow feathersPeople believe that the Apache Indians (pictured here) come from the USA, but the reality is different. For thousands of centuries, Chihuahua was the heart of the Apache Nation and the prairies and deserts were homeland to warriors who fought against Spanish domination for more than 200 years. Our principal Chihuahuenses roots, including mine, come from Apache. Actually, today, the Apache Nation sits on the border of 3 US states and 2 Mexican ones, mainly Chihuahua–no passport or visa, but a personal invitation, needed to enter!

photo shows three young children representing the different peoples of Chihuahua: a girl in a long-sleeved pink dress and straw bonnet carrying a basket; a toddler wearing white; and a dark-haired girl in a colorful green patterned dress with a flounced skirtIn Chihuahua, we are a blend of 3 main different cultures which are divided by Indians regional native, which are the Tarahumaras/Raramuris, Criollos (mix of Spanish and Indians) and the Mennonites. The Tarahumaras/ Raramuris came from the mountain regions, the Criollos live in the cities and the Mennonites live in southeastern Chihuahua in a Mennonite camp in the countryside of Cuauhtemoc City. Every spring there are wonderful multicultural celebrations in the mountains.

photograph shows men in uniform outside a doorwayThe State of Chihuahua was an important part of the independence of Mexico from Spain in 1821, and almost 100 years later is recognized as the cradle of the Mexican Revolution in 1917.

Francisco “Pancho” Villa (former governor of Chihuahua, whose real name was Doroteo Arango) was one of the most important generals in the Mexican Revolution.

He is standing in the doorway of his house (above), which is now a museum near my childhood home.

collage of photographs showing the faces of Anthony Quinn, Juan Gabriel El Divo de Juárez, David Alvaro Siqueiros, and Alma Andrea Meza CarmonaThere are many internationally famous artists, actors and singers who grew up in Chihuahua, Mexico. David Alvaro Siqueiros, was a social realist painter; Anthony Quinn, was an actor who worked in numerous critically acclaimed films, both in Hollywood and abroad; Juan Gabriel El Divo de Juárez was known for his flamboyant style, which broke barriers within the Latin music industry; and, Alma Andrea Meza Carmona, who was crowned Miss Universe 2020 during the COVID pandemic.

photographic collage shows a variety of traditional foodsIn Chihuahua, we have amazing and delicious food dishes. The most traditional is carne asada (meat barbecue) with all the complements, like corn or flour tortilla, guacamole, corn, onion, chiles, etc. Other favorites are discada, pozole, tamales, candies and beverages like tesguino (prehispanic corn beverages) and sotol (liquor). Also, This is where the burrito was born, in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, during the Mexican American War in 1910!

photographic collage of scenic mountain vistasIn Chihuahua we have the only passenger train in all the country. Called Chihuahua-Pacifico (CH-P), it’s the most spectacular and amazing train trip in the world! Every single day since 1961, it runs for about 12 hours from Chihuahua City to Los Mochis Sinaloa. The most impressive and interesting stops are the Copper Canyon and the Creel station, which are known worldwide.

¡¡Chihuahua EL ESTADO GRANDE!!