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Texas Heritage Society

Guerrero Viejo

November 1, 2009

   The history of Guerrero Viejo is important to Texas and Mexico.  Below are some of the photographs taken by members and guests of the Texas Heritage Society during the Tour of Texas History #3, "The Mier Expedition," when they visited Guerrero Viejo on November 1, 2009.  As there are quite a few photographs, please give this page a little time to download. 

   In a joint effort between the United states and Mexico to provide a steady supply of water to southern Texas and northern Mexico, Lake Falcon was built in the early 1950's.  Engineers knew that the towns of Guerrero in Mexico and Zapata in Texas would be flooded when waters of the new lake, Lake Falcon, began to rise. The inhabitants of Guerrero were moved to a new town called Nuevo Guerrero in 1953.  Guerrero began to be called Guerrero Viejo or Old Guerrero following the creation of Nuevo Guerrero or New Guerrero.

   In the 1990's due to several years of drought, Guerrero Viejo began to emerge from the Lake.  Most of the buildings had fallen down completely into piles of stone, but some structures had withstood the lake and time. Some buildings including portions of the church were still standing.

Restoration of Church in Guerrero Viejo

   On November 1, 2009, members and guests of the Texas Heritage Society visited Guerrero Viejo and took this picture in front of the church.  The church has undergone a great deal of restoration in recent years.  Historian "Chuy" Jesus Correa, Executive Director of the Roma, Texas Chamber of Commerce, explained that since the restoration of the church began, Lake Falcon has risen several times.  The water line can be seen just above the heads of the people in the photo above.

   As most web pages about Guerrero Viejo only show a photograph or two of the church, we have included a number of photographs of the ruins in Guerrero Viejo.


Ruins - Guerrero Viejo

House in Guerrero Viejo


Ruins Guerrero Viejo

Buildings and Houses in Guerrero Viejo

Still Standing in Guerrero Viejo


Ruins - Home of Brothers Guitierrez de Lara

Ruins of the House of the Brothers Gutierrez de Lara


Casa de Los Hermanos Guitierrez de Lara

Historical Marker - The Brothers Gutierrez de Lara


Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara

Close-up of Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara Marker in English

   Close up of the marker in front of the ruins of the Gutierrez house in Guerrero Viejo.  Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara was one of the leaders of the Gutierrez-Magee Expedition which was an early attempt to separate Texas from Spain.  The Gutierrez-Magee Expedition came to an abrupt end at the Battle of Medina. Though the Gutierrez-Magee Expedition failed, Gutierrez would later go on to become the first Governor of the State of Tamaulipas.  The marker reads:

Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara


Insurgent soldier, and politician, Jose Bernardo Gutierrez De Lara, was commissioned along with his brother Antonio by independence leader Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla to incite the northern peoples and towns to rebellion against the Spanish viceroyship.  Acting as Insurgent Mexico's diplomat, he travelled to the United States to negotiate a loan for the purchase of weapons and ammunition.  He distinguished himself as a participant in the insurgent struggles in Texas.  He went on to become the first constitutional governor of Tamaulipas.


Texas Heritge Society