ABOUT PALOMAS, MEXICO
Puerto Palomas de Villa, also known
simply as Palomas, is a small town
of 4,700 people in the municipality
of Ascensión, in the Mexican state
of Chihuahua. It borders with the
Columbus, New Mexico, in
the United States.
Most US tourists come to Palomas to purchase low cost
prescription drugs, get dental work done, eye
examinations and same day purchases of
prescription eye glasses or contact lenses, or
to visit "The Pink Store and Restaurant". The
store has arts and crafts from all across
Mexico, and is known for its
dishes made from queso menonita
(cheese of the Mennonites) produced in the
state of Chihuahua.
That in itself is enough to make
folks want to take the short drive
to Palomas, Mexico. In just
a half an hour from Hwy 10 at the Deming
city exit, and just
3 minutes from
New Mexico, you can be
in another country.
Columbus NM - Palomas MX Border
more than welcome to drive your
vehicle into Mexico, but most
folks simply utilize the free
parking lot on the U.S. side of the
border and walk across. The parking
lot is right on the border--as is Palomas.
Everything you'll want to do and see
there can be done within 4 blocks of
the border. At this time, you
don't need a passport or special
papers to visit Palomas. You
can even take your dog.
back to the United States is a
different matter. If you don't
have a passport, you will need a
driver's license or a birth
certificate or some other
with a photo to prove you are a U.S.
citizen. You may also be asked
to prove your pet has all its shots. The rules are ever-changing so it is
a good idea to
check with customs
before you cross the border. It is
also a good idea to check and see
what you may bring back, such as
alcohol and tobacco products.
Some items are prohibited.
Mexican welcome wagon usually
consists of street vendors selling
bootleg copies of American-made
movies, "designer" sunglasses and
wallets. Child "entrepreneurs" make up the
second wave with their little hands
held out asking for your pocket
streets of Palomas are lined with
just about every type of shop
someone will try to hand you a sale
flyer for a store further in town
that offers cheaper prices than
those shops on the border.
Palomas is located in the
Chihuahuan Desert at an
approximate elevation of
4100 feet (1250 m) above sea
level and as a result of
this rather high elevation,
in addition to its location
in the far north of Mexico,
winter temperatures are cool
to warm, with an occasional
cold snap producing about 5
inches of snow per year.
big, it's very pink, and you
absolutely can not miss it. It
is called the Pink Store and it has
developed an almost cult following
of locals from Deming,
Lordsburg, Las Cruces, Silver
City and El Paso.
Watch the Pink Store
Store owners, Ivonne and Sergio
Romero, have been serving up
old-time Mexican hospitality for a
quarter century. "This is
going to be our 25th year, holy
guacamole," exclaimed Ivonne. "My grandparents had a similar
business for 54 years and I said I'd
never do it -- and here I am."
Pink Store and Restaurant is not the
typical Palomas establishment.
The wares for sale reflect a broad
cross section of Mexican artists.
"We don't sell seconds, we don't
take buyers. We hand pick all
of our own stuff and we have artists
that we have been buying from for
years," Ivonne said. "That
is why people drive here from
all parts of the United States." One of our artists,
Mario Lopez, is featured in the
Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago."
beauty here, everything is just so
beautiful," said Dolores Chaves of
Deming. "They have a lot of stuff you
just don't see in a regular store." The
Pink Store does carry a number of
what you might consider traditional
Mexican souvenirs, such as hats and
paper flowers, just so "regular"
tourists won't be disappointed.
Store Plaza General Pershing
& Pancho Villa
many, the authentic Mexican food is
the main draw to the Pink Store.
The cheese for the chile rellenos
and other Mexican favorites is
actually made by a nearby Mennonite
community. "What a great
place," said Bayard resident Mark
Richard. "It is so much fun.
We have been coming here for years --
the guacamole is the best."
people you meet make Palomas an
interesting place. It is sort
of like one of the watering holes of
the Old West. "It's like a
melting pot," said Deming resident
Vicki Bellinger. "I meet
people from all over the world
decades, U.S. residents have come to
Mexican border towns seeking more
affordable dental work, prescription
medication and eyeglasses.
Others come in search of cheaper
grocery and fuel prices; many just
for trinkets. There are still
bargains to be found.
area attractions include
three miles north of Palomas.
It was here that Gen. Francisco "Pancho"
Villa made his raid on U.S. soil on
March 9, 1916. He even has a
state park named after him.
Original article written by Sam
Conn. It has since been edited to
reflect the changes in Palomas.
It was from here
his attack on
Mexico, on March
9, 1916. In
over a year of
including one of
the first large
scale uses of
transport by the
Pancho Villa was
Lt. George S.
Patton, later to
be known as
was to become
ten soldiers of
the 6th Infantry
this action, as
well as Patton's
affinity for the
Photo by Don Bartletti