Sonoran Desert Region 

Crater Elegante at Pinacate

In 1853 the treaty of “La Mesilla” divided the Sonoran Desert in two countries Mexico and the USA, since then, the most diverse desert ecosystem in the world belongs to two different nations. In the second half of the XIX century new settlers came from the north of the USA to establish towns and cities, such as Phoenix, the largest city in the Sonoran Desert, most of them where looking for gold and get rich quick in a new land where the law was absent, creating a society based on human passions that we know today as the Old West. The amazing stories called the attention of the movie industry creating a whole movie genre the “western”. Deserts, cactus threes, large extensions of land and the interaction between Mexicans, Americans and indigenous cultures are the topics of many movies produced along the XX century.

During the territory negotiation in between Mexico and The USA, the Americans where very careful in keeping a direct route to arrive to the port of San Diego, whereas the Mexicans did´t wanted to loose a lad connection the Baja California Peninsula, this is why, in the state of Sonora, Mexico, kept the entire coastline of the Sonoran Desert, where beautiful beaches meet the desert lands.

Also, the souther part of the Sonoran desert is where the first european explorers, the jesuits, stablished missions in order to convert the indigenous people to the catholic religion, their first constructions in the area where built since 1687, almost two centuries after the arrival of Columbus to America, an indication of the challenge that represent the spread of the Spanish empire in this difficult environment.

Today, Sonora en Mexico still a region to discover. It is apart of the most popular touristic destinations such as Cancun or Vallarta, and it remained pristine because of the distance that separate this region from the most populated areas of Mexico. The ecological reserve of El Pinacate is for example one of the most beautiful combination between volcanic craters, sand dunes and a diversity of flora and fauna. In the middle of the Sonoran Desert the petroglyphs of the ancient cultures and the missions of the jesuits make a very particular history, the Sonoran Desert still a new world to discover.

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