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Mines of the Real de Catorce Area

El Negrito

The El Negrito Mine is located high above and to the southeast of the "Pueblo Fantasma" area (See Map).  It was notible for having a picturesque chapel that has in the course of time almost totally disintegrated.  The circumstances of the mine discovery and development are not clear except that it appears to have been associated with the colorful person of 
Ventura Ruiz, nicknamed El Negrito due to his dark complexion, who discovered the El Milagro mine in 1779. According to  Ipina (IPIÑA, p 27-38), Ruis was originally a wandering musician in the area who found a rich silver outcropping when, after losing his horse, he had to sleep out over the night, and in the morning found beads of silver in the ashes of his cold campfire. Different versions of this story are told about several mines in the Catorce area.

Negrito Mine Clain Marker

The white claim marker is still a legal boundary for Norabec's El Negrito concession on their Real de Catorce property.

El Negrito Mine 1986

A view of the entire El Negrito mining complex in 1986. The chapel tower can be seen in the upper part of the complex, on the horizon in the center of the view.

Neglect by man and the ravages of time have had their effect on the Negrito chapel. By the turn of the present century only half of the dome and three supporting corners remained. Now all that is left are these photos.
1986 March 2004 November 2007
Negrito Capella 1986
Negrito Capella 2004
Negrito Capella 2007
1986 March 2004 November 2007
Closeup 1986
Closeup 2004
Closeup 2007
March 2004
November 2007
The above views show the continuing deterioriation of the ruins at the El Negrito mine. What was a complete dome with all four corners intact in the late1980's is now almost totally collapased.

Negrito overview with new road

An view of the upper parts of the old Negrito mine in November of 2007, including the structure with the collapsed chapel. The road below the ruins is for access to an exploration drilling pad by the current mining concession.