It might seem irrelevant to think about what happened millions of years ago as important to modern society. But, our aquatic past left behind fossils that would affect this region in the distant future: salt flats. The lasting remnants of fleeting water are solid layers of salt which lay on the floor of any body of water. As the water redistributed and the sun evaporated the little bit that was left, hard salt is what remained.

In the greater region that surrounds El Paso del Norte, a couple of these salt flats would be responsible for how our communities would evolve. However, there is no better icon of the shifting landscape than the river which divides our home.
Although famous as a hot and dry area today, parts of El Paso del Norte were under water a billion years ago. For a long time, the river we now know as Rio Grande was a north-south stream that stopped at a massive lake. Roughly one million years ago, a break in the lake wall formed the eastern and southern extensions synonymous with the Texas/Mexico border. It’s also the process that helped carve the canyons of northern Mexico.

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