HERMOSILLO - CITY OF ORANGES?
Hermosillo is the capital of the northwestern Mexican State of Sonora. It is known as the City of Oranges as you used to be able to tell you were near the town miles away by the scent of the orange blossoms in the air. The baseball team is known as the Naranjeros - the Orangemen. Alas, Like in the case of California’s Orange County by Los Angeles, the orange groves have given way to urban development.
History here goes back to the early 1700’s when a fort was established to protect settlers along the Rio Sonora. Recent growth has mushroomed - the town was only 45000 during the 1970’s and is now over a million - and growth sprawls gar out into the nearby desert like other northern Mexican cities - Mexicali, Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez - and southern Arizona cities - Phoenix, Tucson. The historical core is the small area near the base of the Cerro de la Compania and the Plaza Zaragoza. Many new factories - Ford Motors makes several lines of automobiles here - have spurred growth and the outlook for the future is more of the same. The City lies on the historical western route from the heartland of Mexico to el Norte beyond and if you are driving to or from the US, it makes a nice stopping place.
Hermosillo is about five hours south of Tucson, Arizona by car. An interesting phenomena here is to note how many cars have no licenses. This is a result of President Fox’s allowance of unlicensed ‘rural’ vehicles - an act done to try an make small trucks more affordable for the rural poor. Many took advantage of the situation - that and the fact that they discovered Mexican customs did not man the border during the night. Thousands of cars were brought south over the border, some unlicensed and others with make-believe licenses. You have an accident with one of these cars and it officially does not happen!
I was here to help out with a vision clinic run by the local Lions clubs in association with the Lion In Sight group from California. We were able to see and help almost 700 patients in two days of work - not bad for a weekend’s vacation.