Chihuahua and Santa Eulalia

2 Sep
Of the many versions of how Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua (modern-day Aquiles Serdan) mining got its start, my favorite (because it involves a
Lujan) is as follows:
Cristoval Lujan was working at a mine in Cusiguiriachic, Chihuhuahua, when a New Mexico Indian told him there was silver in Santa Eulalia.
“What?” I wondered, was a New Mexico native doing in Cusiguiriachic?
Back to the books ….. where I learned that the Indians were taken as slave labor for the mines.
Cristoval Lujan and the Indian staked their claim in 1702.  The word spread quickly, bringing miners from surrounding camps.  There was only one problem. Santa Eulalia did not, and still does not have water.  Water had to be transported from present-day Chihuahua City, which was a mere “watering hole” back then.  Within a short time, the influx of farming and other
related services virtually put Chihuahua “on the map”.
I had the good fortune of visiting Santa Eulalia.   Believe me, standing on ground where ancestors (nine generations removed) once tread, defies description.  Fortunately “powers that be” did preserve some of the equipment used in transporting mined ore.  The machinery displays set along ancient adobes here and there, and an occasional burro ridden along side the road gives one a sense of what life must have been like three hundred years ago.
Prima Elisa


One Response to “Chihuahua and Santa Eulalia”

  1. Debbie Rede Lopez Pimentel September 2, 2010 at 11:10 PM #

    Love this Elisa, and the photos wonderful. So who would take the Indians as slave labor, was it the Spaniards? As they did with so many others to put together their Missions. Reminded me once again of my own gr-gr-grandfather Francisco who was captured by the Apaches. And later told of the Silver Mine. What a journey you have made, how awesome to stand on the very grounds where your ancestors once lived. To feel their presence within you. Also bringing to mind my own mothers feelings as she stepped on the earth of the land her father once owned in Artesia, New Mexico where she was born, ( the land, now covered over with asphalt > a grocery store parking lot. She held the earth in her hands and tried to keep her composer, I could see she was overwhelmed. She has always longed to go back to that Earth, I am thankful I was at her side. Thank you once again I so look forward to your writings. God Bless you for giving this to all of us. and those to come.

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