|Elevation||420 m (1,380 ft)|
|Time zone||MST (UTC-7)|
Altar (O'odham: Wawuk) is small city in Altar Municipality in the Mexican state of Sonora. It is located in the northwest region of the state at . Surrounding municipalities are Sáric, Tubutama, Atil, Trincheras, Pitiquito, Caborca and Oquitoa. The northern boundary is with Pima County in the U.S. state of Arizona.
The total area of the municipality (urban and rural) is 3,944.90 square kilometers. The municipal population in 2010 was 9,049 inhabitants, with 7,927 (87.6%) living in the municipal seat. Other settlements are La Cabecera Municipal, Ejido 16 de Septiembre, Ejido Llano Blanco, and Ejido Santa Matilde.
The territory of the municipality was originally inhabited by the O'odham people. It was founded in 1775 by Captain Bernardo de Urrea, as a military fort, being called Santa Gertrudis del Altar and later Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Altar.
The land lies at an elevation of between 200 and 400 meters sloping towards the Gulf of California. The climate is dry with extremely high temperatures in the summer. The temperatures sometimes exceed 131 degrees fahrenheit ( 55 degrees celsius ) and is among the hottest places in the world from May to September.
The economy is based on agriculture and cattle raising. The main crops are wheat, cotton, corn, beans, sorghum, and table grapes. The town is also a staging area for the flow of immigrants that will attempt entry into the United States through the shared Sonoran Desert.
The town of Altar is situated on the important Mexicali to Hermosillo Highway (Federal Highway 2). Most of the roads leading into the desert are not paved.
- Altar, Ayuntamiento Digital (Official WebSite of Altar, Sonora)
- Pulitzer Center Project on Illegal Immigration
- MotherJones.com article on the mexican exodus across the desert
- Article on illegal immigrants from MSN
- Braceros: sanctuary for border crossers
- Altar, tierra de coyotes Article in Spanish about illegal border crossing