Pajarito Mesa is a tiny village that lacks essential amenities including running water, paved roads, and electricity. In the 1970s, the mesa was populated. It does not fall within the United States government’s definition of Colonia because it is nearly 250 kilometers away. It’s a completely other universe. Only dunes and gullies exist, with no well-paved roads. It also lacks access to all government services. It was once known as San Ysidro and was named after Isidore, a Catholic patron saint of farmers. However, its name was eventually changed to Pajarito, which literally means “little bird,” implying that it was formerly a tiny, primitive settlement.
But not for long, since by the 1920s, a California-based business called Norins Realty had begun acquiring acreage for the purpose of oil prospecting. Many others, including international speculators and free-willed pioneers wishing to live off the grid, acquired a portion of Pajarito over time. People from all walks of life flocked to get their hands on a slice of Pajaroti. The landowners continued to be greedy, selling their homes and making false promises to the buyers about the advent of facilities. There was no check on these actions because it was not under the control of the US government.
Pajarito Mesa, a roughly 18,000-acre expanse of lonely territory within 15 minutes from downtown Albuquerque, NM, is bathed in pale sunlight. Horses and cows are seen grazing freely because. Here no one has an address. A rundown trailer may be the home of one family, while a multistory house constructed from the ground up and painted a pleasing burnt orange may be the home of another. Trash collection, sewage treatment, regulated power, and high-speed Internet are all unavailable. The county established a grid system to compensate for the absence of addresses, assigning each parcel a unique number. However, not all homeowners, not all police officers, firefighters, or sheriff’s deputies, are aware of their phone number.
The property, on which Pajarito rests, however, is precious. It is one of the county’s few underdeveloped areas, with the Isleta Pueblo reservation on the south, the Rio Puerco Valley on the west, and Albuquerque on the east. Atrisco, a very well former land grant to the north, is seen by several inhabitants as a model for what Pajarito should have been.
Pajarito Mesa is a very interesting place, because unlike other New Mexican well settled cities, it is an extremely undeveloped area. It is an experience which only a person who enjoys the wilderness can only dare to have.