means "warrior" in Spanish.|
There are three Guerreros on the Texas/
Mexico border - all of them on
the Mexican side. There is a Guerra in Jim Hogg County - but that's another story.
The other two Guerreros are in the State of Tamaulipas: Guerrero Viejo
was flooded when the Falcon Reservoir was formed in the 1950s and the new Ciudad
Guerrero remains not far from its namesake.
The Guerrero we're visiting
here dates to Spanish rule and among other things - was the point where Santa
Anna's army crossed the Rio Grande in 1836. Guerrero was once a very busy crossing
point until smugglers moved about 30 miles upriver to avoid involving government
in their business.
to Guerrero, Coahuila|
Guerrero is only about 30 miles from Piedras
Negras and is certainly worth the trip if you're in the area and don't mind
the absence of nightlife.
From downtown Piedras
Negras - follow the signs that say Highway 57 (To Saltillo). As the town thins
out you'll come to a major intersection where you'll see the directional sign
to Nuevo Laredo (Hwy 2).
After passing scores of ranches on a smooth
30-mile trip road you'll arrive at Guerrero.
street scene in Guerrero|
is spacious with well-paved streets. The feeling of spaciousness is perhaps due
to the removal (or collapse) of some buildings - but the wells remain in place
- many of them on vacant lots. |
Many buildings and some crypts in the
cemetery show that Guerrero dates to the 1700s.
town square consists of the two story municipal building/city hall on the south
side and a church to the east. A bandstand is the centerpiece and a primary school
is on the NW corner. A casual restaurant sits north of the church.
smaller bell of the Guerrero church|
bell tower of the church contains two bells - the smaller of which has a large
noticeable crack. The larger bell is rung by means of a screaming yellow plastic
rope. Rather than confine the bell ringer to inside the tower - he rings the bell
from the outside. This practice is wearing a groove into the masonry - but it
doesn't seem to bother anyone enough to abandon the practice. |
store "Tres Esquinas" (three corners)|
is so rare that housewives actually sweep the street in front of their houses
with their household brooms. Kids in the street may be actual kids - since many
househods keep goats.|
During our visit a woman stopped in the middle
of the street to deliver a cake to the primary school - leaving her car door open
for the ten minutes she was inside.
decorative strip on a downtown wall|
row of buildings|
of Guerrero's decorative strips|
things give Guerrero a distinctive color - one is their trademark type of well
- an arch over a rustic natural crosspiece from which the pulley is hung - and
a decorative strip of paint waist-high on all of the houses and stores. Within
the decorative strip the pattern may vary but it's always the same height. |
The wells (we are told) reach the water table 1500 feet below the surface.
April 2002 Feature
Topics: South Texas Towns
you were down in Eagle
Pass did you cross the border and go to Guerrero, about 25 miles down river
from Piedras Negras, to visit the mission San Juan Baptista?
This mission was the original mission and the headquarters from which the fathers
operated in their forming and governing the missions in Texas including the Alamo.
It is a ruin now but the Mexican government has made some attempts to save it.
- Sincerely, Bick Eubanks, June 24, 2002