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Cliff dwellings in Chihuahua, Casas Grandes, and Amazing Mogollon Ruins of Paquime

CASAS GRANDES, CHIHUAHUA -MEXICO- - For a recent edition of ABC-7's "People, Places & Paul", KVIA Anchor Paul Cicala took the trek to this region in Mexico, just south of the state of the state of New Mexico, to show viewer's first-hand what their missing in this cultural, historical area booming with nature.

For decades, people in the El Paso, Las Cruces and Ciudad Juarez area have been making the easy drive to the Paquime ruins Chihahua, just south of the border with Deming, New Mexico.  The ancient Mogollon indigenous city of Paquime, in Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, is considered an "Unesco World Heritage Site." 

"I try to, if possible, go to new destinations every time to learn something new," said John Ferguson, who had just visited the Paquime Ruins. He said he was amazed by the old dwellings of the Mogollon people, who left the city around the 1400's. Paquime is one of the largest, most complex Mogollon historic sites around, and highly considered one of the most significant indigenous ruins in Northern Mexico.

"I actually, want to learn more about the Mogollon culture, and that's why we came," said Ferguson, who made the drive all the way from the border town of Presidio, Texas. 

Meanwhile, Juarez resident Karmen Dominguez says she's a regular of Casas Grandes. 

"It makes me very animated to be here in an area that's such an easy drive from Ciudad Juarez and El Paso and has so much history," said Dominguez.

Dominguez encourages everyone to make the 3 to 4 hour drive from the El Paso/Juarez area, because the experiences go beyond the Paquime ruins.

Apart from the beautiful town of Casas Grandes being considered a "Pueblo Magico", which is an esteemed designation for a city that's known for history, culture and tourism, there is plenty areas filled with nature to visit nearby.

Just an hour drive from Casas Grandes, tourists can visit the Cliff Dwellings of the Mogollon people, in the mountains south of Casas Grandes, in an area called "Cueva De La Olla".

The "Cueva de la Olla" literally translates to "Cave of the Pottery".  In addition to adobe dwellings still inside the caves, that were used for living quarters for the Mogollong people, a giant "pottery-shaped" structure is still standing. 

Anthropologists say the food cultivated during the growing season was most-likely stored in this "pottery-shaped" adobe structure.

The Mogollon people also have similar cave dwellings in the USA states of New Mexico and Arizona, in addition to Northern Sonora, Mexico.   

Meanwhile, in the city of Casas Grandes itself, there's also a museum that's dedicated to the Apache tribes, who also use to call this region home.  

Many people don't realize that Casas Grandes, Chihuahua has tons of history from the Mexican Revolution.   In a century-plus old fort (now serving as a boutique and museum called "Casa Del Nopal"), revolutionary events took place very often.  In fact, solders involved in the Mexican Revolution would stay in these adobe buildings, and now, these homes (at Casa Del Nopal)  are used as airbnb's.

Diana Acosta, owner of Casa Del Nopal, said"We have art, we have historical sites, and of course, we have gastronomy, so you need to come and visit us." 

A visit to Casas Grandes, is a visit to one of the jewels of the border southwest.  

Acosta, who speaks perfect English, also runs the "Agave Lindo" Tourism company, and can get people set up with tours of the region. 

For more info, you can go to or e-mail: 

There is a USA number listed as well as: 520-838-9729

 "Come to Mexico," said Acosta, "You'll fall in love with people of the area."

You can make the drive to Casas Grandes, Chihuahua ny entering through the Palomas port of entrye, just south of Deming, New Mexico, or drive east from Ciudad Juarez.

Scores of residents in El Paso, Las Cruces and Ciudad Juarez make the trip every month to this amazing  "Pueblo Magico",  "Magical Town", which is a rare designation given to historical and touristic cities.

Through "People, Places & Paul", you can find several stories in which Paul Cicala visits distinct sites in our region of the borderland and beyond.

Article Topic Follows: Lifestyle

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Paul Cicala


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