Mexico Chihuahua Mission


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Description

Snapshot of Mexico – Spanish is the official language of Mexico. Mexico is an ethnically diverse country, with many people being descendents from both indigenous groups and European immigrants, though the southern part of the country has significantly higher levels of indigenous peoples than other areas. These southern and central regions are also home to several indigenous languages, such as Nahuatl and Yukatek Maya. Over 80% of Mexico’s population belongs to the Roman Catholic church, with attendance rates at about 47%. Many Mexican towns and cities have their own patron saints, which are celebrated with yearly feasts. Both Spanish and indigenous influences can be seen in art, architecture, and music. Mariachi performing groups (bands using singers, guitars, trumpets, and other instruments) regularly perform at festivals and restaurants, and many folk dances and traditional music are still practiced. Rock, pop, and other music styles such as norteña and ranchera are popular today. Soccer is the most popular sport in Mexico, though baseball is also popular. Lucha libre wrestling and bullfighting are also popular events. Mexican cuisine is based on the staples of corn, beans, and chili peppers, often used with meat, cheese, and other herbs and spices. Traditionally, the main meal is eaten during the afternoon. A soup is served first, followed by a meat dish with sauce and salsa, along with tortillas and beans. Street vendors are also quite popular, selling tacos, quesadillas, tortas, roasted chicken, and other dishes. Bacon-wrapped hot dogs are another popular street vendor food. Cuisine varies in different regions, with flour tortillas, burritos, cheese, and beef being more popular in the north, while tropical fruits and tamales are more commonly used in southern cooking. Seafood, morisqueta (a sausage and rice meal), and carnitas (deep-fried pork) are more commonly eaten in western Mexico.

The Church

There are 6 stakes and districts located within the Mexico Chihuahua Mission, as well as a few mission branches.  The Church is strongest in the city of Chihuahua, and becomes less prevalent in the more rural areas of the mission.  Chihuahua is also home to a CES Institute and Church Employment Center.  The area is served by the Ciudad Juárez Mexico Temple, which lies outside of mission boundaries.

Food

The land in northern Mexico has long been used for ranching and farming, resulting in a higher prevalence of beef dishes.  Flour tortillas are often used instead of corn tortillas in the region thanks to wheat production.  The area is also known for producing several varieties of cheese.  Rice, beans, chili peppers, and corn are still common staples in the diet, and other spices are regularly used in cooking.  Examples of foods that are more unique to northern Mexico include arrachera-style steak and machacha (a dish made with dried pork or beef, and served in tortillas with peppers and occasionally eggs).  Lunch is the main meal of the day, though street vendors are generally open all day.  Some American fast food restaurants can be found in Chihuahua as well.

Pork and egg machacha. Photo cca-sa3.0u by Theviciousdb at Wikimedia Commons.

Transportation

Missionaries generally get around either by walking or using public transportation.  Busses are often used for travel both within an area or for transfers.

Safety

Theft and graffiti are common in the area.  Missionaries should avoid giving the appearance of being tourists or having a lot of money.  Some neighborhoods are also dangerous because of drug-related activities.  Ask local members and other missionaries if there are places you should avoid in your area.

Customs

A popular cultural event in Chihuahua is the Fair of Santa Rita, which takes place each year during the last two weeks of May.  Among other events, the Fair features many live performances by popular musicians.

The southern portion of the state of Chihuahua is also notable for its large indigenous population.  The largest of these tribes is the Rarámuri (or Tarahumara), though there are also significant numbers of the Tepehuan Del Norte, Guarijío, and Pima tribes.  The Rarámuri are famous for their long-distance running prowess.  Music and dancing also play an important part of their social life.

Rarámuri women in Chihuahua. Photo cca-sa2.0g by Laura Fisher at Wikimedia Commons.

Additional Info

Chihuahua has many interesting historical and cultural sites, including several museums, monuments, historical buildings, and parks.

Another interesting site is Cumbres de Majalca National Park, which is located within mission boundaries north of the city of Chihuahua.  The mountainous region is home to many unique rock formations and wildlife, including black bear, american bison, and porcupine.

Rock formation in Majalca National Park. Photo cca-sa3.0u by Lyricmac at Wikimedia Commons.

Flag of Mexico Chihuahua Mission

Profile

Mexico
President Ulises Chavez

Huancune 1801-B
Col. Panoramico
31110 Chihuahua, Chihuahua
Mexico

Spanish
About 1.7 million
Roman Catholic, Protestant, LDS
Most of the Chihuahua area is semiarid. Winters are usually mild and dry, with high temperatures usually around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, though frost is not uncommon during the winter and it even occasionally snows in the area. Summers are very hot, with high temperatures usually in the 90s Fahrenheit. The summer months are also much rainier than the rest of the year.
Chihuahua, Ciudad Cuauhtemoc, Delicias, Parral

Experiences

Did you serve in the Mexico Chihuahua Mission? If so we want to hear from you! Contact us at editor@missionhome.com and share your unique experiences!