The town is about 1 square mile, the same size as London, England! It is actually a Yaqui Indian and Mexican community at the base of South Mountain. Incorporated in 1975 it is landlocked by Phoenix on the west, Tempe on the north and south, and an irrigation canal on the east. 1997 population was just over 5000.
The town was founded by the Yaqui Indians around 1900. The Yaquis fled their homeland in Sonora to avoid the Mexican government under Diaz, and many of them entered Arizona Territory. Over the years, many Mexican families found the town and made it their home as well.
This place is really something, and well worth visiting if you have some time while in town. You get a very real feel of the culture and it seems like a little pocket of Indian and Mexican authenticy in the middle of Metro Phoenix.
Things to Do:
Walk along Avenida Del Yaqui, the "main street" in town. The commercial area caters to pedestrian traffic and there is all manner of things to eat and to buy.
Visit the large open area in the center of town, bordered by Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and the Yaqui Temple, both historic locations. During Easter, Yaqui ceremonial rites are held in the plaza, blending the Indian beliefs and Christian teachings. The rituals are sacred and stem from about 300 years ago. You have to see it for yourself, and although it is definitely not done for your benefit, if you show respect you will be permitted to watch. Do not take photographs or video of the rituals, it is illegal in this town and they do not take it lightly.
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� Copyright 1998 Q87 International & Vincent Davis. All rights reserved.
Last revised: October 30, 1998