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The Story of Tijuana's Ejido Chilpancingo and the Alamar River

Environmental History on the Western U.S.-Mexico Border: The Story of Tijuana's Ejido Chilpancingo and the Alamar River, 1938-2008

By Pedro F. Quijada

This study explores the history of Tijuana's Alamar River and one of thecommunities through which the river stream crosses: the Colonia Ejido Chilpancingo, ahumble neighborhood located just steps below the Mesa de Otay, one of the largestindustrial parks in Tijuana. The time frame of this account begins when there were no maquiladoras (late 1930s, when the Ejido Chilpancingo was created) until the present.This thesis argues that the manufacturing plants had a devastating impact on the river andon the Chilpancingo community. The study looks at how the chemical waste disposed of by the maquiladoras polluted the river and affected the health of the people living in thatneighborhood and beyond. In addition, this study examines the consequences of the rapidincrease in population in the Colonia Ejido Chilpancingo as a result of the labor demandcoming from the maquiladoras, and how that increase in population transformed thenatural environment and thus the life of the people living in that area.

The study employs a bottom up approach: a significant amount of it is based onoral histories. Its intention is to enrich the body of local histories that deal withenvironmental issues on the borderlands and to center the experiences of the residents inthe region.

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