Mata Ortiz

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Mata Ortiz
Picture pages:  Mormon Temple   |   Mata Ortiz   |   Hacienda de San Diego

From Casas Grandes we stopped in Colonia Juarez to visit the Mormon Temple.  The community really looked out of place, with dirt streets and poverty all around the Mormon settlement.  The temple grounds and school were immaculate with paved streets and green lawns.  The community was started in 1884.  There are 5 Mormon Temples in Mexico.

We continued on a dirt road that our air conditioned tour bus could not travel, to the famous village of Mata Ortiz.  The surrounding hills have clay that the local people make museum quality pottery.  No dyes are used.  Natural clay is used to make black, typical clay-colored and white pottery.  The pottery tradition started 30 years ago by one man experimenting with the clay he found in the local mountains.  The town has a population of 600, with 400 involved in pottery making.

We returned on another dirt road when we passed the Hacienda de San Diego.  The Hacienda is minimally maintained by descendents of the original caretaker - his great-grand-daughter.  They live in a few rooms in one wing of the main building.  They are trying to get federal money to restore the building and open a museum.  The hacienda has 20 rooms, 8 fireplaces and 2000 acres.

Casas Grandes page

Copyright 2004 by John Walter.  All rights reserved.  The web  site content may not be copied, published or duplicated without consent.