El Desemboque

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El Desemboque, known as "Haxöl Iihom" in the Seri language, is a town located 376 km[citation needed] from Hermosillo on the shore of Gulf of California in the Mexican state of Sonora; coordinates N 29° 30' 13", W 112° 23' 43". It is part of the Municipality of Pitiquito,[1] and is one of two major villages on the Seri Indian communal property, the other being Punta Chueca. The Spanish name refers to the fact that the (generally dry) Río San Ignacio meets the sea near that point. The Seri name is literally where the clams lie. It has been a good location to find the small clams Protothaca grata (haxöl). According to the Mexican census of 2010, the town (officially a locality, or localidad) had a population of 287 inhabitants.[2]


El Desemboque is thought to have been originally located about 2 kilometers to the north of its present location. At some point, probably in the 1930s, it was moved to its current location which offered better protection for the developing fleet of small skiffs (local Spanish, pangas) that the Seris used for commercial fishing. El Desemboque was the center of political and cultural activities until the early 1970s. After the construction of the highway linking Bahía de Kino to Hermosillo by the year 1953 (Sonora State Highway 100), the small community of Punta Chueca to the south (and closer to Bahía de Kino) rose in prominence to become the focal point of Seri political life.

El Desemboque remains a thriving community with commercial fishing and artisanal crafts as the two major economic activities. The village is home to a primary school, cultural center and small clinic as well as one of Mexico's oldest fishing cooperatives.


Felger, R. S. and M. B. Moser. 1991. People of the desert and sea. Ethnobotany of the Seri Indians. Tucson: University of Arizona

Griffen, William. B. 1959. Notes on Seri Indian Culture, Sonora, Mexico. Latin American Monographs 10. Gainesville: University of Florida Press.

Yetman, David. 1988. Where the Desert meets the Sea: a trader in the lands of the Seri Indians. Tucson: Pepper Publishing.

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Coordinates: 29°30′18″N 112°23′44″W / 29.50500°N 112.39556°W / 29.50500; -112.39556