Nacozari de García

human settlement in Mexico

Nacozari de García is a small mining town surrounded by its municipal area in the northeast of the Mexican state of Sonora.


Area and population


The area of the municipality is 3,069.52 square kilometres (1,185.15 sq mi). In 2000, the municipality had a population of 14,363. [1] The town is located at an elevation of 1,040 metres (3,410 ft).[1]

Municipalities close to Nacozari de Garcia


Roads, Railroads, Air travel


The town is on Federal Highway 17, which connects Agua Prieta with Hermosillo. The distance to Agua Prieta is 123 kilometres (76 mi). The town is oconnected to Aguq Prieta by a railroad. There is a small airport for light aircraft.



The land is mountainous and is part of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains. There is a reservoir at La Angostura, which dams up the Río Bavispe (the Bavispe River).


Bust of Jesus Garcia in Nacozari

In 1660, copper was found in the area, and mines were created. A village was begun, called Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Nacozari ('Our Lady of the Rosary of Nacozari').

The mines were owned by the Anglo American U.B. Teader mining company in 1867. They later sold them to the Moctezuma Copper Co., which part of the Phelps Dodge company. American-style houses were built. A library and a small hospital were also built. When the mines were opened, copper was carried by mules. In 1904 the railroad was built, so the copper was moved by train. By 1907, Nacozari had become the metropolis of far northeastern Sonora. The population was 5,000 people, mostly Mexicans and Americans, with some Chinese people. Phelps kept the mines until 1948 when the copper had all been taken out.

A large mine, La Caridad, was found about 32 kilometres (20 mi) southeast of Nacozari in 1968. By 1979, the population of Nacozari was about 3,000 again. The federal government spent hundreds of millions of dollars to develop La Caridad (which was also called Mexicana de Cobre). They also re-opened other mines in the area. Nacozari was estimated to have a population of 18,600 people in 1986, and 30,000 in 1989. La Caridad is ranked the third largest copper mine in the world.[2]

The town was first called Placeritos de Nacozari but changed its name to Nacozari de García. The town was named after the railroad engineer Jesús García, who saved the town from a dynamite explosion on 7 November 1907. There are monuments to Jesús García in many other Mexican cities and towns. November 7 is the Day of the Railroader in Mexico. Everybody who works on the railroad has a day off from work, apart from essential employees of the National Railways of Mexico. Many streets in Mexico are named Jesús García or the Héroe de Nacozari. Poems and songs have been written about him and about the accident.

The name Nacozari is an word from the language of the Opata people who used to live in the area. It means "a lot of nopal (the fruit of the Prickly pear)".

How the town earns money


The main source of income is from the copper mine of Mina Mexicana de Cobre, S.A de C.V, which employs most of the labor force (3,012 workers in 2000).[1]

Cattle raising is also important with 16,375 cattle counted in the 2000 census. Calves are exported to the United States of America.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  2. "Nacozari, Sonora". Sonora Tourism (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2007-12-24. Retrieved 2010-01-11.

Other websites


30°23′N 109°41′W / 30.383°N 109.683°W / 30.383; -109.683