The difficult conditions of Chihuahua's geography have shaped the character of its inhabitants, who like most of their northern compatriots have forged their tenacity and perseverance thanks to the hard work of obtaining from the arid soil some food and water for the sustenance of their families and livestock. This, together with the Mexican people's characteristic hospitality and willingness to help, make up the profile of the hard-working Chihuahuan.

Thus, in a soil that was not very favorable for agriculture, the European colonizers, missionaries, and indigenous people learned to develop techniques to preserve food, since the harvest periods were short and scarce. Thus, chacales (dried corn), chile pasado, fruit preserves, and dehydrated fruits, dehydrated meat or jerky, and the famous "ranchero cheese" made from goat or beef milk were born. These ingredients acquire a characteristic flavor that differentiates them from the natural ones, adding to the Chihuahua stews a very peculiar seasoning.

However, this did not discourage the pre-Hispanic inhabitants of the area known as Paquimé or Casas Grandes to develop a great city with buildings of up to 4 stories beautifully decorated with artistic ceramic objects. In addition to their developed taste for pottery, large cages of exotic birds with heating and patios for ball games were discovered.

As a result, Chihuahua society today is made up of indigenous groups that still conserve their deep-rooted roots and traditions. Currently, the main group in number and cultural influence in the state is the Tarahumara. Original inhabitants of these lands were forced to retire to live in a portion of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains, today is known as the Sierra Tarahumara. As in the rest of the country, this ethnic group is among the poorest and most marginalized in the state. Part of their economy is sustained by the sale of sikolís and bitikolís, clay pots and vessels, and textiles and jewelry made of chaquira, which they offer at tourist sites in the state.

Another cultural group of great influence in the economic and cultural life of Chihuahua is the Mennonites. At the beginning of the 20th century, obtaining exceptional concessions from the Mexican government in office, General Alvaro Obregón, hundreds of Mennonite families from Canada, but originally from Holland, arrived in the community of Santa Clara. Their European origin, their unique religion, the frugality that governs every aspect of their lives and their characteristic dedication to community work came with them all to stay; and today, Ciudad Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua is a flourishing community of Mennonite origin.

A shameful and sad chapter not only in the history of Chihuahua but of all of Mexico is that of the femicides that occurred in Ciudad Juarez. Beginning in the 1990s, the U.S. economic boom reached the Mexican border in the form of maquiladora export factories that opened up opportunities for many Mexicans. The women workers of Juarez, however, saw this opportunity turn into tragedy when, beginning in 1993, they became victims of bloody murders and mysterious disappearances that remain unpunished to this day. The significance of this misogynist violence has transcended borders. Human rights activists, artists, and politicians from around the world have joined the clamor of the victims' families, who demand justice for their women, for the now-famous "dead women of Juarez".

In this regard, the famous Latin American writer Carlos Monsiváis has denounced the corruption of the Mexican authorities, who today have had to make major changes in the high command of the Juarez authorities, assigning, for example, as Federal Prosecutor and State Attorney, women who have decided to work together with civil society. The latter is organized in active associations such as "Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa", "Mujeres por Juárez" and "Voces Sin Eco". In 2007, the premiere of the movie "Bordertown" or "City of Silence" was announced, starring Hollywood star Jennifer Lopez, which addresses this tragic reality.

Typical costumes in Chihuahua.
Typical costumes in Chihuahua. Image: INAFED

May 15th - GUADALUPE DE BRAVOS

Day of San Isidro Labrador.--This festival begins with a series of dances executed by two different groups; these dances are prolonged during the whole day, and at night a parade is organized with which the celebrations conclude.

May 22nd - SANTA RITA FESTIVITIES FAIR

It is celebrated annually on May 22nd in honor of the patron saint of the place. It is organized by the state DIF in the facilities of the fair, which has a surface of 300,000 m2, in which industrial, commercial, and service products are exhibited. In it, the Matachines dance is staged.

December 12 - GUADALUPE DE BRAVOS

Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. On this day, the entire town is filled with joy, since it is the date on which they commemorate the patron saint of the town. In her honor, the young people of the town perform traditional Indian dances, which they have been practicing since before, putting all their care and dedication, and in addition, a procession of floats and sacred images is organized. To get to Guadalupe de Bravos, take the route from Ciudad Juarez.

August 6th - JIMÉNEZ

Day of the Santo Cristo de Burgos--The people of this site celebrate this day with traditional dances performed by two groups of dancers dressed in very colorful attire; the ceremony concludes with a procession. In addition, a fair is also organized, with exhibitions of typical articles, games, and shows of all kinds. There are two ways to get to Jiménez: by Durango or by Torreón.

September 8th - SANTA BARBARA

Day of the Virgen de los Remedios.--For this special occasion, the Dance of the Archers is performed, through which the natives of this town pay homage to the Virgin.

December 4th - SANTA BÁRBARA

In honor of the town's patron saint, different events are organized, among which the Danza de los Arqueros and the Danza Azteca, performed by special and select groups, stand out.

October 12 - MATACHIC

On this day a popular religious festival is held here, which coincides with a very colorful popular fair. There are all kinds of events enlivened by the music of the region, and among which the traditional dances stand out, especially that of the Matachines.

Music

Corrido de Chihuahua. From the Parralense Pedro de Lille. Viva Chihuahua.

Handicrafts

In the city, you can find handicrafts from the Sierra Tarahumara, embossed leather goods, artistic blacksmithing, gold and silver filigree gold and silver work, leather boots of magnificent workmanship, embroidery, blankets, and wooden masks.