Pancho Villa State Park, New Mexico

This State Park is the site where Francisco "Pancho" Villa's Mexican revolutionary attacked Columbus, NM, and the historic Camp Furlong on March 9, 1916.

Pancho Villa State Park, site #10, this site has water & electric, dump station available, 124 total sites, 4000 ft elevation. Feb 15th - 17th.

Overall Experience: smile

Palomas, Mexico

We were told that we must visit the Pink Store in Palomas, Mexico. So off we went to experience this unique store and have lunch. Crossing the border was pretty painless. We parked on the U.S. side and walked across.

When entering the store, you are greeted with a complimentary margarita. We guess this is to encourage shopping or, in Robt’s case, to ease the pain of shopping. Actually, it was a fun store to browse around in and had some really cool stuff for sale at very reasonable prices. But the fact that we live in an RV, we never have to worry about making too big a purchase. Diana did get a nice pair of silver earrings, and we picked a bottle of good tequila — heck, we were in Mexico, and that seemed fitting.

The lunch we were served was delicious and quite enjoyable. We had Grilled Tilapia Chipotle smothered in onions, mushrooms, chopped chipotle peppers, cheese-stuffed Chile Relleno, and a bowl of House Soup with potatoes, poblano pepper strips, and Queso Menonita. Of course, we had a second round of margaritas with the meal while being entertained by a couple of mariachi singers.

Then a short walk back to the border with passports in hand and a quick drive back to the campground.

Nestled along the U.S.-Mexico border in southwestern New Mexico lies the historic Pancho Villa State Park, a testament to the region's tumultuous past and its enduring spirit. This 341-acre park commemorates the infamous 1916 raid on the town of Columbus, New Mexico, led by the legendary Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa.

On the fateful night of March 9, 1916, Villa and his band of revolutionaries stormed across the border, attacking the unsuspecting town and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. The raid resulted in the deaths of 18 Americans and over 100 Mexicans, and marked a pivotal moment in the strained relations between the two countries.

Exploring History at Pancho Villa State Park

Today, Pancho Villa State Park offers visitors a glimpse into this turbulent history. The park's exhibit hall features displays and artifacts that chronicle the events of the raid, as well as the broader context of the Mexican Revolution. Visitors can also explore the remaining structures from the era, including the old customs house and the town's original jail.

Embracing History in Columbus, New Mexico

Just a stone's throw away from the park lies the town of Columbus, New Mexico, which has embraced its role in this historic event. The town boasts a Pancho Villa Cafe, where visitors can savor local cuisine and learn more about the region's past. Additionally, a statue of the legendary revolutionary stands proudly in the town's center, a testament to the enduring legacy of this complex figure.

Contrasting Cultures in Palomas, Mexico

Across the border, the town of Palomas, Mexico, offers a stark contrast to its American counterpart. Once a thriving hub for cross-border trade, Palomas has faced its own challenges in the wake of increased border security and economic hardship. However, the town has not lost its vibrant spirit, as evidenced by the colorful "Pink Store," a popular destination for American tourists seeking unique Mexican crafts and souvenirs.

A Complex Relationship

The relationship between these two border towns is a complex one, marked by both historical tensions and modern-day cooperation. The annual "Cabalgata Binacional Villista," a cross-border horseback ride commemorating Pancho Villa's legacy, serves as a symbolic gesture of unity, bringing together residents from both sides of the divide.

Reflecting on History and Challenges

As visitors explore the Pancho Villa State Park and the surrounding communities, they are confronted with the enduring legacy of this iconic figure and the ongoing challenges faced by border towns. The park and its neighboring towns offer a unique opportunity to engage with the region's rich history and to reflect on the complex issues that continue to shape the relationship between the United States and Mexico.

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