Agua Prieta Sonora

Across the border from Douglas, Arizona

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The city of Agua Prieta, Sonora was originally established in 1899 and has a population of approximately 100,000 residents.

Agua Prieta adjoins the Arizona border town of Douglas, Arizona and both cities have a shared history related to the minerals mining industry.

From the time of the city’s origin and for decades after, a main part of the Agua Prieta economy was related to the transport and processing of minerals for the Phelps Dodge Corporation. Many citizens of Agua Prieta worked across the border at the smelter in Douglas, on the railroad and in other support roles.

The town was an active battleground during the 1910-1920 Mexican Revolution, where Pancho Villa made several appearances on both sides of the border. It had a thriving maquiladora industry consisting of light manufacturing of products like seatbelts and window blinds, although that industry has waned in recent years. Tourism consists of a few border pharmacies and stores that cater to tourists, a couple of blocks south of the small, two-lane border crossing. There is also some dental tourism near the border. Click here to see a list of Agua Prieta dentists ( Agua Prieta is the site of a solar-powered electricity generation plant known as Agua Prieta II, one of the few of its kind in the world. It is powered by an array of solar collectors that heat water, generating steam that drives turbines to generate electricity. The nearly 500 megawatts of energy created at the solar facility in Agua Prieta provides electricity to thousands of homes in the region.

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