Sustainability and Sense of Place in the Sonoran Desert/Magdalena

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Subregion Outline

[edit | edit source]


[edit | edit source]

The Magdelena region of the sonoran desert encompases the lower area of the baja peninsula.

A. History/Culture

[edit | edit source]

Museo Ruta de Plata

[edit | edit source]


Town of El Triunfo

    The Museum “Ruta de Plata” is located in the southern part of Baja California, in a small town called El Triunfo. While this town no longer holds the glory it used to, it once was the biggest town in Baja California thanks to its riches in silver. These were the same riches that attracted so many people from the Old World to come and stay in the New World, forever changing its history. This museum has made it's goal to record and preserve the history of this place and the role it once played in Baja California.

    The focus of the museum is from the 1500’s and the 1900’s, from when the first settlers of the new world came, to when the town boomed with unimaginable riches, to now that it is a shell of its former self. It recounts the history and stories of people during those eras and the many important figures such as Hernan Cortez, the Jesuit missionaries, Manuel de Ocio, and many others who changed Baja California.

    While the museum was first established on November 17, 2018, the founders of the museum Christy Walton, Richard Kiy, John Reynolds, and Juan Jose Cabuto are dedicated to capturing the history of these times and guiding others through this history. Through countless archives found in cities such as La Paz and many other oral stories told by countless descendants of people who created the town as well as many key figures, they plan on preserving the history of the once great town of El Triunfo. [1] [2]

B. Geology/Climate

[edit | edit source]


[edit | edit source]
Mining in Mexico

The most popular mining prospects in Baja California are, gold, tungsten, and copper. There have been over 160 mining sites discovered, with four prospected mining sited reported. One of these mines lies near San Antonio, Baja sur. This mine is projected to be an open pit mine with expectations to mine 11,000 to 15,000 tons per day. Part of the mine proposals is that it will create its own water and reduce its need to use water from near by aquafers.

While there has been large controversy towards opening new mines, companies who plan on opening these mines are looking into eco friendly alternatives to some issues of mining and also promising to create healthy public communities for its workers, going as far as to building sports teams. Mines take an incredible amount of resources to function and while Baja California may be a literal gold mine, government has made many efforts to preserve the natural state of the area.

The mining activity in this area that has been going on for over 250 years has severely contaminated the soils in the area, leaving behind toxic levels of arsenic and other trace metals which have migrate into the local waters. Locals have been warned to not drink the water. Since the area is naturally rich in minerals and metals, in order for scientists to determine if the high arsenic levels in the water were naturally caused or due to mining activity, they surveyed two different areas within the same watershed. The northern and southern parts. The conclusion of their research did recognize that the higher levels of pollutants in the water was much higher than the constant and based upon the locations of these old mines, it can be inferred that the pollutant has occurred due to the increased mining in the area. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

D. Water/Land Use

[edit | edit source]

Ciudad Constitución

[edit | edit source]
Mountain of Comondu municipality

In 1971, due to a new law passed by the president, the first of three municipalities was created in Baja California Sur, the Comondu municipality. The city of Ciudad Constitución was chosen to be the municipal seat of the Baja California Sur Comondú municipality. While the city may be small, it plays a large role in the agricultural economy of Baja California.

The founding date of the city was marked to be in May 10, 1953, when 3 pioneer families established their homes in the now city of Ciudad Constitucion. While for many years, the Baja California Desert had proven to be a difficult place to harvest crops, Ciudad Constitución was able to thrive due to the Valle de Santo Domingo. Due to this valley, hundreds of people came to Ciudad Constitucion to settle their own land and little by little the city grew and became the agricultural power it is today.

As stated before, Ciudad Constitucion is a relatively small town, yet it is very important for the agriculture of Baja California Sur. The city is responsible for the cultivation of wheat, cotton, citruses, and a large variety of fruits and vegetables. This is what helped a small city in the desert grow to the large commercial hub it is today in Comondu. [8] [9]


[edit | edit source]
  1. Museo Ruta de Plata. Museorutadeplata.
  2. La Ruta de Plata / The Silver Route in Baja California Sur. Tosea.
  3. Desarrollo Zapal. Los Cardones. (n.d.).
  4. Baja California Sur. Earthworks. (2019, March 4).
  5. Wurl, J., Lamadrid, M. I., Mendez-Rodriguez, L., & Vargas, B. A. (2018, March 2). Arsenic Concentration in the Surface Water of a Former Mining Area: The La Junta Creek, Baja California Sur, Mexico. International journal of environmental research and public health.
  6. Wurl, J., Mendez-Rodriguez, L., & Acosta-Vargas, B. (2014, May 26). Arsenic content in groundwater from the southern part of the San Antonio-El Triunfo mining district, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Journal of Hydrology
  7. Arsenic. Caroline Mifsud PHR 7588 Blog. (2019, July 29).
  8. COMONDÚ. Inafed.gob.
  9. Soto Molina, Jose. Ciudad Constitución Baja California Sur. comondu.gob.