On Wednesday, March 4, I was in Palomas, Mexico. The following Saturday I was taking pictures and talking with people at the annual Columbus Raid Day celebration across the border in Columbus, NM. The cabalgata, Spanish for horseback cavalcade, (cabalgar means: to ride horseback) is one of the main Raid Day attractions for participants and spectators alike. There were hundreds of riders from all over the Southwest and Mexico. Reenactors, wagons, stagecoaches, and people dressed in period clothes, mixed with entertainers, vendors and visitors. Very young to very old participated and attended. Local and regional businesses sponsored entries, high school mariachi bands and professional entertainers come to play. Vendors with articles from ceramic art and handmade jewelry to popcorn were present. One of the booths had items made by women from the Palomas Cooperativa.
I talked with people from all parts of the US and Mexico. Some have winter homes in the Village of Columbus, Luna County or the surrounding region, others spend the cold months of the north in their RV’s at Pancho Villa State Park. There were permanent Columbus and Palomas residents present, plus others who annually come to Columbus to participate in the cabalgata and Raid Day festivities. The winds of March didn’t deter their enthusiasm, and neither did the fear mongering that seems to be so pervasive in the news.
No one I talked to mentioned how worried they were about being involved in any hostilities that might supposedly, according to what one might be lead to believe from the news, flair up at any moment. The Luna County Sheriffs Department was there for traffic control, fulfilling the serve aspect of their “To Protect and Serve” motto. It was a “good news” day that followed in the foot steps of a good news week in a good news atmosphere that’s part of the lifestyle of the area.
After the cabalgata, and going to the post office where the parking lot was busy and a few people were waiting in line to have packages weighed, stamped and shipped, I stopped by the Patio Cafe to see how business was. They were filled with diners. After talking with the waitress, I walked across the street to the Village Library. At the library I visited with various people, one of whom was quoted in an article printed in the L. A. Times. Everyone said they were tired of all the bad news and felt it was time that something upbeat, plus factual and firsthand, was being written about the border. I have a slide show about the cabalgata “Raid Day Cabalgata” posted on Associated Content. You can access a link at www.newliferoadmap.com or through Associated Content.
Later that afternoon we were the guests of honor at, as on person coined it,”our first annual going away party.” Lots of friends, Anglo and Hispanic, were present as was a general feeling of goodwill and camaraderie. Our summer’s plan is to seek out uplifting experiences, visit with fascinating people, explore places of interest and then chronicle them in text and photos on the Internet for anyone seeking good news. The articles and slide shows can be accessed by going to our www.newliferoadmap.com website, selecting Larry’s articles or slide shows and following the instructions. These, plus other articles and slide shows, will be on the Internet on Associated Content. Adventure, new experiences and learning opportunities lie in the months ahead. We hope you’ll come travel with us.