Chamizal National Memorial

In far west Texas, near El Paso, the Chamizal National Memorial is dedicated to the Chamizal treaty of 1963, signed by President John F. Kennedy and Mexican President Adolfo Lopez Mateos.  That treaty peacefully resolved a boundary issue that had been a sore point between the two nations for over 100 years.  Because the Rio Grande had changed course, as rivers do, the two countries couldn’t agree on the exact international boundary.  The 1963 treaty equitably divided 600 acres between the two countries.  Chamizal is one of two national park sites in America that commemorate a peaceful solution to an international boundary dispute.  (The other is San Juan Island National Historical Park in Washington state.)

Today the Memorial serves as a cultural center for the borderland community by welcoming people from all cultures to come together and enjoy common interests such as the visual and performing arts, educational and interpretive programming, and shared history. Chamizal National Memorial stands as an example of what diplomacy and cooperation can achieve.



Like most of the parks of the National Park System, the national parks of Texas face serious challenges as we move toward the National Park Centennial Year of 2016.  These include the need to acquire adjoining, threatened lands, air and water pollution, under-funding and under-staffing, inappropriate use of off-road vehicles, and the challenges of Texas’s location on an international border. 








March 14, 2015

I went to Navarro School for one year in 1962. My Teacher was Mrs. Bedoya. I remember that she was very kind and liked to have us engaged in many activities. In August of 1962, my family moved to Santa Ana, CA. In a sense, I'm happy my parents decided to move but I sorely missed the kids I knew at Navarro like Frankie Flores and Ronco Ronquillo, Silvia, and a girl named Dora. I have a lot of memories about El Paso and most of them are good. I wish I had stayed a little longer but it wasn't my call. To great times!


January 19, 2014

My park story was my childhood. Because my dad was the custodian, we lived in Navarro School on Hammett Street, and I attended Navarro School but then we had to move. Why? Because my white building elementary school was treated out to Mexico as part of Pres. Kennedy and Lopez Matteos peaceful 1963 boundary dispute settlement; my school and home became part of Mexico now. But that's okay, I get to keep a peace of my heart in Mexico, and I love my relatives in Mexico as I do my family in the U.S.A. -Zúñiga Jan. 2014

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