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PUERTO PEÑASCO HISTORY AND MEXICAN CULTURE

PUERTO PEÑASCO HISTORY AND MEXICAN CULTURE (Click the link to view a video)

Approximately 20,000 years ago in the 'Ajo Valley' and continuing to Puerto Peñasco nomadic tribes& their more adventurous members started a 'trading zone' along these routes.

During these times the Puerto Peñasco area (built on the heavy salt/calcium-'Caliche' in the sands 'Aeolian sand dunes'-making planting difficult) , and specifically the rock caves in what is now the 'Old Town' section supported a sizeable Native 'community'. The downtown mountain nicknamed the 'Whale' has long acted as a magnet for the different cultures that have settled there.

Worlds away on December 7 1941, Japan's attack on the United States Pacific Naval Fleet & the city of Honolulu,Hawaii would soon affect Peñasco's future.

The United States Government 'secured' Puerto Peñasco's harbor as a "Joint Contingency Plan" for part of its pacific naval fleet. The agreement included the U.S. Military building a military dock area in the harbor & a 65 mile paved highway from Lukeville,Arizona to Puerto Peñasco. (Note:The U.S. Military still has an agreement to use the highway 'when neccessary'...)

Several 'military actions' later occurred with Japanese mini-subs & fighter aircraft in the area. 1940's & 1950's were a time that 'New Peñasco' grew up, bringing the building of churches, elementary schools, shipyards, storesrestaurants, etc.

in 1952 the Mexican government recognized Puerto Peñasco as a city, and a government was established. The government appointed Victor Estrella Bustamante (one of the town's original fisherman & founders)

1965 the price of shirmp rose worldwide, and hundreds of commercial fisherman & boats from throughout Mexico poured into Peñasco. Suddenly the town had become the center of Mexico's fishing fleet.

1969 saw the city's 1st High School completed, and in 1971 it's only radio station 'XEQC' (Queen of the Sea) and broadcasts to this day @ AM 1390.

Mexico's federal government began massive development projects in the coming years including the 1974 city wells/pumps/water pipeline project bringing water in from the natural underground springs 40 miles north of town.

1975 brought the completion of water lines to the city & the public sewer system. The year also saw a massive harbor project with more concrete docks, pier work & dredging of the harbor's bottom.

1979 the city's 'Diesel Electricity Generator Plant' was closed (It's building still stands & is located on Juarez Blvd between Barra & Sonora Ave's) and Peñasco was hooked up to the National Electric System.

1979 also ushered in the paving of the main boulvard, and the building of new Police, Fire, and Community Hospital facilties.

1960's-1970's-Early 1980's were a time of huge financial fortunes made & squandered in Peñasco from fishing & supplying the fleet. The city was Sonora's 4th most important city. Massive homes were built around the area that survive in various states of repair/ownership to this day.

By the mid 1980's the area's shrimp & commercial fish had been 'fished out' and Peñasco's fishing fleet-businesses-homeowners faced sudden bankruptcy. Loans, mortgages, account payments were being 'called' and hundreds of people left town,lost homes & businesses.

Hope again sparked in the area during the late 1980's when the Mexican Federal Government sent a team to search the Peñasco area for OIL! Speculation was rampant,hotel rooms fetched unbelieveable prices, costs spiraled, and property prices 'believed containing oil' (or visited by the team) went through the 'roof'. However, after many 'false starts' no oil was ever found,and Peñasco slipped back into its destiny.

1988 saw 240,000 tourists visiting annually. The steady development of beach homes, R.V. parks, tourist strips (zones) quickly followed.

Early 1990's the Mexican Federal Government again stepped in and this time declared the area a 'Conservation/Biosphere Zone' protected with very strict regulations on commercial fishing.

Annually the population has been growing an average of 9% per year (Mexico City's average is 6.8%) and their are 92 births per 1,000 people. 75% of Peñasco's residents have emigrated from Mexico's other southern areas, bringing with them a mix of ideas & customs. Mexican citizens from throughout the country's rural areas flock to city's like Penasco in search of 'city jobs.'

Early 1990's U.S. investors again come into Peñasco buying/starting (& taking over) construction, advertising, real estate, restaurants in the area.

1994 (December) a currency devaluation after which Mexicans - and all foreigners with 'Peso' denominated investments & bank accounts - lose a startling30% of their value & are faced with inflation on goods, services around 40% a year. Many local/foreign owned businesses start requiring U.S. dollars as payments on Mexican services and debts.

1997 Hurricane 'Nora' hit parts of Peñasco, especially damaging the shacks of the poor and disenfranchised.

1997-01 ushers in more currency fluctuations of the Mexican 'Peso' denominated currency & investments. Inflation rates continue near 15-30%. Those having their savings in U.S. dollar accounts-based investments have seen their capital preserved & some profits increase.

2001 The population and tourism has continued to grow on an exponential scale - multinational corporations are building enormous hotels, property values are high, and although the US's recent actions have caused more fluctuations in the peso/dollar relationship, Peñasco is flush with inhabitants, growth, and money.

After the September 11th attacks, U.S. interest in air travel plummets, but a corresponding influx of land-based travel results in renewed travel dollars headed to destinations close to the U.S. border. At the same time, U.S. interest in foreign - but close - retirement and recreation options sees a similar surge. These factors further Peñasco's economic and population growth, which was already enjoying a steady upward climb.

A 2006 visit - and glowing recommendation - by then-president Vicente Fox spotlights Puerto Penasco's position as an up-and-coming hotspot for both Mexico the U.S. The official census puts Peñasco's current population at 42,000, but non-official estimatesput the number closer to 60,000.

The city's breakneck speed of development is further accellerated by U.S. investment, Arizona-Mexico cooperative economic efforts, an influx of construction labor, favorable articles in the New York Times, Luxury Living and other international media. Massive ongoing infrastructure projects like the international airport, the Escelera Nautica, and the coastal highway are fix Puerto Peñasco as a travel nexus in both Sonora and Mexico. At the same time, the city grapples with growth related issues - water availability, housing, quality of life, overfishing, and the city's new government puts forth many an initiative to handle the town's ambitious future.

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Info provided by REMAX Legacy Trust Department

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# Why Rocky Point, Mexico?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 4:54 PM by Susan Flinn

WHY ROCKY POINT Why Rocky Point for me? I truly enjoy the Mexican people and their diverse culture. They

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