The city of Calexico will celebrate 115 years of being an incorporated municipality and what better way to celebrate than by reading a book about its origins and history?
To preserve its rich history, the Calexico Arts Council called for historians and writers to participate in constructing the historical memory of Calexico, which offers historical information about the native groups and first inhabitants of the city, narrating what happened through the decade of the 1920s.
On April 4th, the book The History of Calexico: The Origin, written by Yolanda Sanchez Ogas, was presented to the public. This was a project that had been a dream of Carmen Durazo for more than 15 years. After much work and dedication, the first volume of the history of Calexico was published.
“I feel honored by all the support of the community and to find such a wonderful writer and it’s only the beginning,” Durazo said. “Nothing is done by itself so a lot of people gave us information for the book. Without them, this wouldn’t be possible.”
The historical researcher and writer were tasked to collect historical data from various sources, including archives, books, artifacts, diaries, interviews, letters, newspapers, etc. that will help trace the history of the land, people, and culture from which the city of Calexico was founded and evolved.
Calexico arose out of necessity. In the vicinity of the Cameroon Lagoon, the first camp was built for the workers who built the irrigation necessary for agricultural development. Those who worked on the construction of the Delta Canal were also the founders of Calexico, who in December 1900 obtained the authorization to work.
Later, there was a change in the location of the town because the water in the lagoon was no longer suitable for human needs. In 1901 the construction of canals allowed the arrival of drinking water to Calexico, and the population was moved to the east of the lagoon. In 1903 the first lots were sold and a year later, the people had already grown to 1,000 inhabitants. They began the great efforts of the pioneers of Calexico to develop their city.
“The first concern of the settlers was the education of the children and almost together with the establishment of the Laguna Cameron camp, the first school emerged under the direction of Professor Carr. In 1904, a school census was made and it was changed to the population of Calexico,” the author said.
Since then, the schools improved every year, with better buildings and more teachers to serve all the school-age children. Soon Calexico with a secondary school, with the best conditions for adequate education of young people.