Located just 212 miles south of the El Paso border crossing, the capital of the state of Chihuahua - The City of Chihuahua - is within easy driving distance of the US border.
The state of Chihuahua is the wealthiest state in Mexico. While it has been known as a center for mining and cattle for many years, it is the ever increasing manufacturing plants which have brought prosperity and growth to the area. Yet in spite of this tremendous growth, the historic center has managed to retain the heroes of its past.
Chihuahua's most revered resident was Father Miguel Hidalgo. Today, Miguel Hidalgo is known as the father of Mexican independence (as he started the War of Independence in 1810). But while Father Miguel Hidalgo was in Chihuahua, it was not as an honored guest, but as a traitor who was brought here to be thrown into a bleak cell (Hidalgo's Dungeon can be seen in the Palacio Federal). Father Hidalgo was fed bread and water for 98 days before he was executed (along with 3 of his lieutenants). Their heads were then hung in cages and put on display in Guanajuato for almost 10 years (a message to would be traitors). While Spain still ruled, Hidalgo was a traitor who suffered a traitors death . . . but when Mexico finally gained its independence, Hidalgo became a Martyr. Which just goes to show that one mans traitor is another mans freedom fighter and history is always written by the victors. (located on Av. Juarez & Guerro)
Chihuahua's most well known resident may well be General Pancho Villa. The home of Pancho Villa was lived in by his widow until 1986 and is now a museum (Museo de la Revolucion). The 50 rooms which were once used to house Pancho Villa's body guards now house artifacts from Chihuahua's revolutionary history. . . and the bullet ridden 1919 Dodge in the courtyard is the car which Pancho Villa was assassinated in (in 1923). The museum is now run by the Mexican Army and is located on Calle Decima 3010.
Copper Canyon :
Many of Chihuahua's visitors come just to ride the train through Copper Canyon. As massive earthquakes pushed the earth up 8 to 10,000 feet exposing a wealth of multicolored minerals and rivers carved deep gorges . . . most visitors are more impressed with the 900 mile long Copper Canyon than with the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
There are sections of Copper Canyon a mile deep and just as wide. Now easily seen by rail with a construction history which spanned 90 years. . . Beautiful . . . Awe Inspiring . . . Timeless. Tickets are most easily purchased at a local travel agency.