Remodeling of the Ojinaga Regional Museum continues, includes name change

OJINAGA, CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO – The Patronato Cultural Amigos de Ojinaga (Friends of Ojinaga Cultural Board) requested support from various institutions in its tireless search to preserve the acquisition of valuables related to art and culturally important objects for the development of human knowledge. The watershed moment came when the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) stepped in for the remodeling of what is now called the Ojinaga Regional Museum.

“As with all patronages we look for resources, federal and state donations, etc., and one of our major donors was the INAH. We made them aware of the needs and shortcomings of the museum, and in the end it more was done than expected thanks to the INAH director Jorge Carrera Robles who advocated to obtain resources for this institution, which will be destined for remodeling and museography,” said Carlos Rohana, President of the Friends of Ojinaga Cultural Board.

Created by a program of community museums –such as the Manuel Ojinaga House of Culture Museum– 25 years ago, this institution changed its name before being officially inaugurated as the Ojinaga Regional Museum in July. It will reopen before the end of the year. “The name change was suggested because not only is it about Ojinaga but also its surrounding communities, like Manuel Benavides or Coyame, since we have ties that unite us in the cultural, consanguineous and historical aspect,” said Rohana. “In fact, we have relatives here and there, forming a whole.”

In its beginnings, the Ojinaga museum was known as the Francisco Villa Museum and its facilities were in the Federal Secondary School, then on the upper floors of the library, and since 2002 it has been located in the space it was assigned to. The patronage came about in 1993 and its name was “Patronato Pro museum Francisco Villa.” Later, in 1998, it was legally constituted as the Friends of Ojinaga Cultural Board.

“The history of the museum comes from the idea of a program of community museums. The director at that time summoned the society to form a patronage in order to save the old military headquarters since it was the last federal vestige in the north, here in Ojinaga. That’s why we started as a civil society. When this was not achieved, we managed to get the approval for the museum,” said Rohana.

According to a press release from the INAH, the remodeling includes different themes contained in five permanent exhibition halls. The first room will be dedicated to paleontology and archeology. The second will address the characteristics of the natural environment of the region integrated by the municipalities of Ojinaga, Coyame and Manuel Benavides. Room three will have mainly historiographical contents of the pre-Hispanic world, viceroyalty and revolution. Rooms four and five, in a shared manner, will address contents associated with artisan traditions, music, gastronomy, historical memory and life on ranches which is so relevant within the regional identity of this part of the state of Chihuahua. The museography team is producing the furniture that will be installed to house pieces and valuable objects, in addition to making the physical adjustments in the rooms. Finally, the president of the board questioned the absence of a museum in the city of Presidio, stating the rich contribution in culture and tourism that the project could have.

“Presidio should have its museum, something that is born from a group of people who care about and promote culture and therefore tell the story between Presidio and Ojinaga. Why does Marfa cares and Presidio doesn´t? They have even taken advantage of renovating houses for them and it is a form of culture,” said Rohana.