Magdalena de Kino, Sonora

The pueblo of Magdalena de Kino has approximately 25,000 residents and is located on Mexico highway 15 in Northern Sonora, approximately 60 miles south of the Arizona-Sonora border.

The settlement that became Magdalena was originally named Buquivaba, whose residents were native Tohono O’odham (previously known as Papago) and Pima Alto Indians. Buquivaba was first visited by Europeans when Spanish explorer Francisco Vazquez de Coronado arrived in the area in 1540.

Catholic missionaries began to arrive in the Magdalena area in the mid-1600’s, most notably an Italian Jesuit missionary named Eusebio Francisco Kino, who dedicated the site of the first mission church in Buquivaba in 1688.

Magdalena de Kino is the birthplace of Luis Donaldo Colosio, the Mexican presidential candidate who was slain in Tijuana in 1994. His tomb in the Magdalena city cemetery is a national monument, and an inspirational place to visit.

In addition, Magdalena is the final resting place of Padre Kino. His remains can be viewed through glass windows in his mausoleum, located on one side of the church plaza. The city holds a festival every May to commemorate the contributions of Father Kino and the discovery of his remains.

And Magdalena also has a vibrant tourist district, where traditional Mexican crafts and other goods are for sale in a rustic shopping area near the city’s historic and picturesque Plaza Monumental.

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