Ghosts from Mineral de Pozos
By Jesús Aguado
Abandoned twice, Mineral de Pozos has risen again from its mines to show everybody that it is more alive than ever.
Nestled deep in the mountains of San Luis de la Paz, Mineral de Pozos is a magic town that shelters ghosts from other ages, phantasmagorical constructions that are the source of the most extraordinary legends. Pozos is old Mexico, a pure, simple colonial town with the vestiges of a blessed past, a town that had its rise and fall, but is now spreading its wings again.
The town was part of the colonial Silver Route, and in the mid-1500s several forts, like Santa Brígida, were constructed to protect merchandise being transported to Santa Fe, New Mexico, against the native Chichimecas. In 1552 Jesuit priests arrived to convert the natives to Catholicism, and they signed an agreement of peace. Through these priests, the natives learned the art of mining.
In Pozos in 1600 there were more than 100 mines. Silver and gold were the main minerals extracted. With the wealth from mining, haciendas emerged—constructions that now are part of the panorama—and invite visitors to close their eyes and travel through time to this splendid period.
The place was so important that before 1900, it was called Porfirio Díaz to honor the dictator. After the Mexican Revolution and the fall of the price of metals and minerals, the legislature of the state of Guanajuato decided in 1928 to close down the city. Due to the lack of funds and the crisis, the miners did not have enough resources to extract the water from the mines, and the deep excavations ended up being inundated. Then the inhabitants started to leave the town until it almost became a ghost city.
Want to go down into a mine?
Weekly, on Mondays, the Biblioteca organizes a tour to this Magic Town. Attendees visit the streets of Pozos, and a real gold miner takes visitors inside his gold mine. The tour also visits a pre-Hispanic musical instrument workshop. A Mexican lunch is offered at Posada Las Minas. The tour departs at 9am and ends at 3pm. The cost is 60 US dollars. For more information call 152 0293.