In the 1880’s, in the face of rising anti-Mormon sentiments in the United States, Mormon settlers arrived in Chihuahua, Mexico in search of a potential new home. Through agreements with the governemnt of Porfirio Díaz and local Chihuahuan authorities the Mormons established what would become Colonia Dublán and Colonia Juárez. Though Utah was granted statehood and accepted into the Union in 1896, many of those Mormons who trekked to Mexico decided to stay in their new home, now a flourishing agricultural community.
The Chihuahuan Deseret is a hostile environment in which not much grows easily. Having just successfully irrigated and cultivated the harsh landscape of the Salt Lake Valley in Utah, the Mormons were able to dig out man-made lakes and a system of canals which allowed for agricultural development of the region now known as Nuevo Casas Grandes. Along with their irrigation knowledge, the Mormons brought with them a practice of growing apples, peaches, and pecans. To this day, Chihuahua is renowned for its peaches all over Mexico.
These images follow the supply chain of Paquimé peaches and apples (named for the prehistoric archaeolgical site nearby) from tree to store shelves. I would like to thank Kortney Jurado Taylor for his generosity and assistance to produce this photo essay. Without his help, this project would not have been possible. Peaches are delicate and must be picked, loaded, and sorted by hand. All of the people in these images are responsible for one or more tasks required to get these fruits from the orchard to your kitchen counter at home.