Seated on the edge of the Urique Canyon is an idyllic village called Cerocahui. First contacted by outsiders in 1679, Jesuit Padre Pecoro arrived and quickly realized the Raramuri peoples were not interested in his faith. That didn’t stop Father Juan Maria de Salvatierra from pushing forward with his ambitious plans within the year. Arriving on November 23, 1680, (four years before he set-off for Urique), Father Salvatierra not only began his religious teachings of Christ, but also began construction of the misison church. He remained in the Urique Canyon region for ten years before leaving to found the Church at Loreto – the first mission of Baja California.
In 1767, political strife between the Jesuits and the King of Spain resulted in the closure of the mission in Cerocahui. The Jesuits were given one month with which to vacate the area, returning to Spain. It wasn’t until 1936 when the Jesuits returned. Padre Andres Lara is credited with founding Cerocahui. In 1940, he began restoration work on the crumbling church. In 1941, Padre Lara founded the Tarahumara Indian Girls Boarding School, which is still open today. He was also responsible for the first road between Bahuichivo and Cerocahui, which was completed in the 1950’s.
Father Lara died in Guadalajara in 1976 and was buried in Sisoguichi. On March 11, 1997 his remains were repatriated to Cerocahui, and interred within the walls of the mission church that was so dear to him.
Today, Cerocahui remains a small and relatively isolated village of about 900 inhabitants.
Location: Cerocahui, Chihuahua Mexico
Population: 1556 (2010 Census),
Altitude: 1600 Meters (5250 Feet)
Climate: Warm & Temperate
Known For: Cerocahui Mission Church, Cascades & Mirador del Cerro del Gallelo. Cerocahui has a winery with a vineyard that was founded by the Jesuits in the 16th Century.
EXPLORE WITH US!
The journey to Cerocahui is an exciting adventure all on its own, as you will embark on El Chepe Train to the Bahuichivo Station.
Custom Tours can include anywhere in the Copper Canyon and beyond. If you have an extended amount of time, we strongly recommend visiting Paquime and Mata Ortiz in the desert, as well as Cuarenta Casas in Huapoca Canyon. We can arrange a fully or partially guided tour for you, your friends and family.