By Milo Kearney

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Extra info for Border cuates: a history of the U.S.-Mexican twin cities

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20 The wild Indian attacks, combined with a lack of even basic amenities, guaranteed concerned cooperation. Even the mission Indians, fighting with bows and arrows under their own Indian captains, joined in the common defense against the fierce Apaches and Comanches. There was little local food production and even less currency to buy imported goods. The simple thatched-roof cane and mud jacales contained almost no furniture. As was typical of a frontier, women were in short supply, and the Hispanic men fraternized with the Indian women to produce a rapid blending of the two blood groups.

Juárez. Its location was a natural place to start, in a fertile valley Page 8 on the south side of the Rio Grande River next to the lowest, simplest pass across the Rocky Mountains. 1 Several early expeditions had stirred interest in the region, mainly as a passage to New Mexico's fabled Seven Cities of Cíbola. Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, with the Moorish slave Estebanico and two other companions, had brought reports of rich cities. However, Coronado's expedition to New Mexico had dampened hopes for finding wealth in that direction, leaving the way open for a less materialist settlement.

While remaining in Spain, her double would miraculously appear in that far-flung province to scold recalcitrant Indians and send them to the missions for baptism or rededication. It was mainly in this mood of religious idealism that Paso del Norte and the later border towns founded in the following century appeared. ''Lo que nada vale, nada cuesta" ("Whatever is worthwhile comes at a price"), and the settlers had to accept many dangers and deprivations. There were few amenities of life, provided one survived at all, for the wild Indians took a heavy toll of lives in their attacks.

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Border cuates: a history of the U.S.-Mexican twin cities by Milo Kearney
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