New Mexico State Overview

By | October 5, 2022

In the southwestern part of the United States of America, the fifth largest state, New Mexico, covers an area of 315,194 km². This federal state was annexed to the Union on January 6, 1912. The landscape is semi-desert to desert in nature, the mountain ridges of the Rocky Mountains rise in the south, and the eastern part is part of the Great Plains. Neighboring states are Colorado, Texas, Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona to the west.

The history of this area is very varied, which is evidenced by the intermingling of Native American, Mexican and American cultures. Numerous Indian tribes have lived in this area since ancient times, which built typical pueblos and later also small towns. The first European to enter these places was the Spanish conquistador Coronado in 1540. He went here mainly to find the fabled seven golden cities. With the influx of the Spanish, the original Indian tribes were either exterminated or pushed north. The Spaniards subsequently named this area Nuevo México and it became part of the Spanish colony of New Spain with its capital Ciudad de México.

The Río Grande River flows through the state, dividing it into two parts. The US first acquired its eastern part in 1845, the western part was won in the American-Mexican War in 1848. On September 9, 1850, the territory of New Mexico was created, and in 1912, the state joined the Union. The year 1945 was also significant for New Mexico, because on July 16, the first atomic bomb was detonated in the Alamogordo desert.

The typical reddish desert landscape contrasts sharply with the snow-capped mountain peaks. The highest peak in New Mexico is Wheeler Peak, reaching a height of 4011 meters above sea level. Although it is a very arid and inhospitable area, we can also find extensive forests here. Among the main tourist attractions are local national parks, such as White Sands National Monument with its white sand dunes and unique fauna and flora. You can find a unique cave with the largest bat colony on the North American continent in the Carlsbad Caverns National park. The Gila National Forest, on the other hand, is a huge area covered with dense forests.

New Mexico today has a population of around 1.9 million. Around 86% of the population is white, 10% is Indian and less than 3% is black. The remaining one percent is split between Asian and Pacific Islander tumors. New Mexico has the largest Hispanic population of any US state. They are mostly descendants of the Spanish colonizers who immigrated here in the 17th and 18th centuries. Recently, the Hispanic population from Mexico has been immigrating here more and more, and the increase in population has also resulted in a high birth rate. The Indians who live here today are mainly descendants of the original Navajo and Apache tribes. All these different ethnic groups make New Mexico a very ethnically diverse state with two official languages – English and Spanish.

According to TRACKAAH, the population of New Mexico is strongly religious, with the largest proportion of Catholics of any state in the western US. Roman Catholics and Protestants clearly predominate, and 19% of the population is unaffiliated.

The main sector of the economy is the mining industry, mainly oil, coal, natural gas, stone, salt, uranium and copper ores are mined. The food and electronics industries and tourism are also significant. The main agricultural products include wheat, maize, cotton, fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products. Cattle, sheep and goats are raised.

The capital is Santa Fé with about 70,000 inhabitants. It preserves many valuable monuments, such as the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi or the Bataan Memorial. The largest city in New Mexico is Albuquerque, which was founded in 1706 by Spanish colonizers. According to COUNTRYAAH, other cities of interest are Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Rio Rancho, Roswell, Farmington, Alamogordo, Clovis, Hobbs, and Carlsbad.

Aztec Ruins National Monument

The American National Monument Aztec Ruins is located in the northwestern part of the state of New Mexico. It can be found northeast of the town of Farmington, near the town of Aztec. The monument protects the ruins of numerous pueblo-type Indian buildings from the pre-Columbian period, i.e. sometime from the 11th to the 13th century. In addition to these ruins, there is also beautiful nature in the area that invites you to numerous hiking trips.

The first European to visit these ruins was the English geologist Dr. John S. Newberry in 1859. He discovered the site still fairly well preserved, with even a 25-foot high stone wall standing there. In 1878, archaeologist Lewis H. Morgan visited here and discovered that many of the original stones had been quarried from here by settlers building their homes nearby. These people thus result in the devastation of this unique monument. The ruins have also been looted in the past, losing valuable artifacts from the golden age of the puebels.

The Aztec Ruins were declared a National Monument on January 24, 1923, and in 1966 they were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From December 8, 1987, it was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Today, the area also houses three Native American craft and art workshops and a museum commemorating ancient Native American cultures.

Aztec Ruins National Monument