There is a common belief among the people of Chihuahua regarding the success of an enterprise. Whether it's business related or any kind of cultural expression, if you can make it there, you can pretty much make it anywhere in Mexico.
Being the biggest state in the country, and with a very interesting variety of ecosystems to choose from, visiting Chihuahua is like visiting more than one state at a time. Located in the center of northern Mexico, its natural beauty covers everything from the steep woods that surround the magnificent Copper Canyon to the magical desert of Samalayuca that looks never ending and gives the impression of slowly giving birth to one of the busiest and most important borders of the whole Mexican territory, Ciudad Juarez.
Second only to the capital as far as relevance goes, this monster of a city truly proves the endurance and ability to adapt and overcome that forged the Chihuahuan character. It is precisely this brave and tough spirit that in the past gave this people several leading roles in many of the country’s revolutionary movements. Its history is one of native confrontation and military conflict, as well as one of a “never-backing-down” attitude and a remarkable sense of hospitality.
You can get a taste of this duality just by taking a tour through the historical downtown Chihuahua, witnessing the weather and landscape conditions on which the Sierra Tarahumara settlements have blossomed, or even just by chatting with one of the many elders that roam the streets near the main cathedral, always eager to share a piece of their history with any stranger willing to hear it.
A couple of years ago, if you were to tell someone that you were thinking of visiting Chihuahua, the look on their faces would immediately confer that you were either a daredevil or a mental patient. And I’m not just talking about foreign travelers; even Mexicans from other states were absolutely terrified about their brothers up north and the alarming situation that they were battling with.
Part misleading media coverage and part awful truth, the violence that struck Chihuahua along with many others, was a direct hit to the state’s and country’s tourism and foreign economic investment.
But despite the unfortunate conditions on which they had to live in through this past couple of years, the people of Chihuahua have been able to power through the rough patches and keep on paddling to a brighter, renewed and stronger future. From the ashes of their once pacific society, this people have arisen thanks to their battling character and solidary heart.
And it’s exactly this huge sense of solidarity and unity which helped them successfully manage to strive the direction of their future towards a new horizon.
Aware of their state’s problems, and firmly believing (or at least trying to believe) that “there is no such thing as bad publicity”, the chihuahuans took advantage of their time in the spotlight and joined forces to revert the “don’t come to Chihuahua” effect.
Five or six years ago, young people used to say that Chihuahua was a cultural void with no sense of traditional heritage whatsoever. But, in what seems to be a backfire response to the violence wave, a strange and unprecedented cultural phenomenon started happening.
Chihuahua’s economic, touristic and cultural offer has never been higher and it appears to be luring back the interest of people from all over the world. Whether it’s going down the zip line across the mountains in Creel, walking through the archeological ruins of Paquimé, hiking in the Cumbres de Majalca National Park, attending a two-day long outdoor music festival or considering investing in the industrial sector.
Chihuahua is a place you definitely don’t want to miss.