The Chamizal National Memorial (CNM) was built in 1966 to commemorate a milestone event in the history of relations between the United States and Mexico. The natural change in course of the Rio Grande River between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua (Mexico) resulted in a century of dispute between the two nations. In 1963 the Chamizal Convention brought the conflict to an end, ceding the disputed land north of the river to the United States, where the Memorial was ultimately erected. A corresponding Parque Publico Federal “El Chamizal” was constructed on the portion of land given to Mexico by the Convention.
CNM became a unit of the National Park Service in 1974, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places the same year. The 55-acre Memorial functions mainly as a cultural center, containing a museum detailing the history of the Chamizal Dispute and its resolution, as well as art galleries, a theatre and outdoor amphitheater.
For nearly four decades CNM has been the home of the Siglo de Oro Drama Festival, an internationally recognized event that celebrates Spanish language theatre as a tribute to the cultural heritage shared by the two nations in this region. Other events featured at CNM include a wide variety of theatrical presentations (often dealing with the culture of the region, and featuring local performing groups), musical concerts, and dance presentations, as well as rotating exhibitions of art by local and international artists. Educational programs offered at the Chamizal include weekly children’s story time, and monthly hands-on crafts workshops.
Chamizal National Memorial Information
- Public Transportation: Good (steps from buses 23, 24, and 65 at Pasiano Drive/San Marcial Street)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Approximately 20 events per month, including performing arts events, art gallery exhibitions and more
- Ticket Prices: Admission to the park is free to the public. Groups of 50 or more must obtain a special use permit at least two weeks before visiting (application fee: $25). Admission to special events varies (free–$7) depending on event.