Friday, April 29, 2011


South Avenida del Yaqui is the main strip of Guadalupe (photo by Jonathan Delarosa, 2011).

El Mercado de Guadalupe (photo by Jonathan Delarosa, 2011)

The Highline Canal separates Guadalupe (to the west of the canal) and Tempe (to the east) (image from Google Maps, 2011)

South Avenida Del Yaqui, or Priest Rd. as known in Tempe is the main strip of the town of Guadalupe, running approximately one mile from just south of Baseline Rd. to just south of Guadalupe Rd. From east to west, the Maricopa Freeway extends to the Highline Canal, making the town approximately a square mile.
A town of approximately 5900 occupants and slowly rising, Guadalupe remains a place of cultural history and traditions. During a desperate retreat for survival from the fight for Mexican colonialism, the Yaquis Indian population fled to the United States in 1907. With the leadership role of a Franciscan Friar, Friar Lucius, and unlike present times, Anglo occupants accepted the desperate tribe with open arms and protection. “By 1910, Friar Lucius had acquired 40 acres for the Yaquis to build a permanent settlement” (Trujillo, 1998). In 1914 a legal town was established as a Yaqui Community where it flourishes today in forms of culture, named after the Virgin of Guadalupe, who “stands for life, for hope, for health” (Wolf, 2005). It also is a town that proves that racial stereotypes and inequalities are still very prominent in today’s society by essentially pushing minority cultures into a completely separate environment if not out of the country completely. This trend is growing especially throughout Arizona, and only getting worse. In 1975, Guadalupe became an incorporated town, where the citizens joined together to “fight for political voice and economic improvements” (Glaser, 1996).
Today, the town of Guadalupe represents the land “Where Three Cultures Flourish,” Yaqui Indians, Mexican Americans, and Spaniards ( From simply across the intersection of Baseline Road, the town and its Mexican heritage is shown in every way.  The town of Guadalupe is an extreme culture shift that exists for merely a mile outside of Tempe. From the street signs, basic architecture, and lack of infrastructure upkeep, to the styles of food and markets, the difference in the mile strip of Guadalupe as exiting Tempe, is a night and day difference. From Tempe, construction and high rises along with major food restaurant chains and hotels line the streets until reaching South Avenida Del Yaqui. Road conditions become very poor and small run down shops are sprinkled throughout the town along with only one elementary school, the Frank School, and the English language is rarely seen.
An overhead satellite view shows the obvious trends in housing development and spatial inequality that encloses the tiny town. On the west side of the canal, the homes in Guadalupe are clustered confining large families with no room for expansion. This results in clutter and debris filled areas where on the east side of the canal, in Tempe, the homes are very spacious with large backyards, pools and very little cluster.  However, these inequalities do not affect the incredible pride and strength of the community. Passing through on a Sunday afternoon, it is no surprise to find groups of exquisitely dressed men wearing headdresses and other costumes representing the rituals celebrated in the Yaqui Catholic Indian Tribe and Mexican-American tradition walk through town after performing during the “Lenten season” (Parsons & Beals). A large dirt lot surrounds the famous meeting place for the entire town, Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and Yaqui El Templo. Here, Sunday rituals, carnivals, concerts and parades all come together to spread the Yaqui Catholic spirit and continue the traditions dating back to the very beginning of the Yaqui Indian Tribe. Despite adversity and spatial as well as racial inequality, the Town of Guadalupe has become a historic and truly amazing display of true heritage and culture in Arizona.
- Logan Garman and Jonathan Delarosa 
Trujillo, O.V. (1998). The Yaqui of Guadalupe, Arizona: a Century of Cultural Survival through Trilingualism. American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 22(4)
Parsons, E.C., & Beals, R.L. (1934). The Sacred Clowns of the Pueblo and Mayo-Yaqui Indians. American Anthropologist, 36(4), Retrieved from
Wolf, E.R. (2005). The Virgin of Guadalupe: a Mexican National Symbol. The Journal of American Folklore, 279(71), Retrieved from
City Data. "Guadalupe, Arizona (AZ 85283) Profile: Population, Maps, Real Estate, Averages, Homes, Statistics, Relocation, Travel, Jobs, Hospitals, Schools, Crime, Moving, Houses, News, Sex Offenders." Web. 26 Apr. 2011. <>.
Town of Guadalupe . Web. 26 Apr. 2011. <>.
"The Community of Guadalupe." Kyrene School District. Web. 26 Apr. 2011. <>.

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