Original Cocopah Territory

Hi, we are going to tell you about the Cocopah, one group of Yuma who are affected by the border. The Cocopah currently live in Baja California, Sonora Mexico, and in Arizona. The Cocopah's land has been cut in half by the border. There are only around 912 people left in the tribe even though Early Spanish explorers found an abundance of Cocopah living on that land.

The Cocopah's name for themselves is "Xawitt Kw├▒chawaay" which means "those who live on the river." Sadly the US and Mexico are taking all the water away from the Colorado River before it gets to the Cocopah. Before the river even gets to Mexico, the US has already used 90% of the water for cities and farms. After the water flows into Mexico, it gets dispersed across nearly 500,000 acres of the Mexican desert to irrigate farms. The Cocopah who live on the river don't get any water. It is a problem because there aren't many fish anymore.

Current Cocopah Reservations in the United States

In the United States, the Cocopah have a casino and a program where they teach their language. They also have access to the water from the river to irrigate their land. However, in Mexico, the Cocopah don't have access to the resources that Cocopah have in the US. For example, El Mayor, the main town in which the Cocopah live, has dirt streets and doesn't even show up on maps. The head of the Cocopah community in Mexicali, Mexico, doesn't even have a telephone in his office.

If the Cocopah weren't divided by the border, the Cocopah living in Mexico might have a better life with access to the water from the Colorado river.

Find out more by clicking on these links below:

// archives/arcglobal/7heause6. html//