La Chinesca, or the Mexican Chinatown, protects the origins of a city founded on Chinese traditions, and offers visitors the opportunity to experience a fusion of two cultures in one.
Towards the end of the 19th century, there was a significant migration of Chinese people traveling to America due to political and economic changes in their country. Many arrived in Mexicali with hopes of crossing into the United States but eventually stayed in the city.
This community gradually prospered with early generations starting as workers and later becoming established merchants. The first generations settled in the city's square, where they opened up bars, restaurants, shops, and what we now know as La Chinesca.
Myths and legends exist surrounding Mexicali's Chinatown, which is connected via underground constructions and pathways. Many believe that these basements were built to help people escape the extreme climate of the region. Others point out that they were designed to separate this community from others and live undisturbed.
Underneath their shops, you find a network of tunnels leading to a hospital, smoking rooms, and even a jail. The arrival of the Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), however, led to the bankruptcy of the two Chinescas–both underground and above–leaving this neighborhood abandoned.
The site recently opened its doors as a museum for tourists interested in learning about the ancestors and history of Mexicali. The renovation also includes murals representing historical Chinesca heroes.
Visitors visiting the Chinesca museum can descend into the basements and underground tunnels that take you on a trip back in time.
Make sure to make this a complete Mexicali itinerary by visiting one of the hundreds of famous Chinese food restaurants in the region.
The tours last about 1 hour and 45 minutes and can be visited from Thursday to Sunday for about 10 dollars per person. For more information, you may contact the service desk at 686 150 36 94 or send a WhatsApp message.Follow the museum here: https://bit.ly/3GSPxiV