Friday, March 21, 2014

Palomas, Mexico: The Pink Store and More

Yesterday we visited Palomas, the town from where Pancho Villa launched his attack against Columbus, NM, and the home of the "Pink Store" which sells folk art, jewelry, pottery and also has a restaurant.  A local told us it was OK to go to Palomas during the day, but not to go at night because someone "might knock you over the head."  OK then, day trip it is.

We drove the three miles from Columbus to the border, parked the car in a gravel lot, and walked across. Right after we entered Palomas, we were approached by three folks individually selling DVDs, sombreros and hammocks.  Last time we were in Mexico (Los Algodones near Yuma) we were asked so many times if we wanted our teeth cleaned that I thought I better buy some Crest strips.  But no one here asked us if we wanted dental work, eye glasses or medication, which are the big draws in Los Algodones.

Instead, the big draw in Palomas is the Pink Store, a literally pink building that's just as colorful inside as out. Most of what they sell is beautiful Mexican folk art, but they also had a display of stained glass NFL football logos. Jim felt his Seattle Seahawks were being unjustifiably ignored, as there was no Seattle Seahawk logo. My glass-half-full opinion was that they were sold out of Super Bowl champion stained glass.
Part of the border fence that stretches east and west on both sides of the border crossing into Palomas, Mexico, a city of about 4,700 people.
The Pink Store (La Tienda Rosa), plus a couple of guys just hanging out. The same owners have operated the Pink Store for 25 years. 
Hand made, hand painted, clay chickens as seen at the Pink Store.  We were told that the store owners travel across Mexico to select folk art they sell.
You see a lot of skeletons -- dressed in hats and other clothing --  in Mexican folk art, like the figure on  the right. The creature on the left, however -- I don't know what the heck that is.
While there was no Seattle Seahawks stained glass, the Pink Store did feature the San Francisco 49ers.  This one is for you, Pat and Cindy.

Waiting for lunch and drinking Negra Modelos at the Pink Store.  I'm not a big fan of the beer but Jim must have thought it was OK because when I wasn't looking he swapped my nearly full bottle for his empty one.

Jim ordering at the Pink Store restaurant. He had the "Pancho Villa Plate -- cheese enchiladas, chile rellanos, ground beef taco, rice and beans.  Bev had the Generalissimo Zapato Tacos -- grilled beef and onions on corn tortillas, avocados and beans.  Both were excellent and our waiter was a sweetheart.
A Mexican troubadour serenades a Mennonite family during lunch at the Pink Store. Per Wikipedia, about 100,000 Mennonites live in Mexico, with most of them in the state of Chihuahua, the home state of Palomas. We also read that Mennonites make the cheese served by the Pink Store Restaurant.

Bev with statues of Pancho Villa and General John J. Pershing on the Pink Store plaza.  The US government had at one time backed Pancho Villa and we saw photos of US General John J. Pershing  meeting with Villa.  After Villa's attack on US soil, Pershing led what was called the "Punitive Expedition" to track Villa down.  Pershing was not successful.  

A dove/paloma takes a break on a statue of Pancho Villa near the border crossing in Palomas.

And, like with most border towns, the ubiquitous dental clinic.


  1. International Full-Timers, that is pretty exotic. I never much liked Poncho Villa, but with the new information that you have provided, it occurs to me that he just wanted to drink his beer in something besides a pink house.

    1. Carl! Got any Route 66 trips planned for this summer?

  2. Mennonites. My people. Sort of.