More was happening in Yuma than in most of the Southwest, hundreds of years ago. Yuma grew, as “The Crossing,” the only place narrow and shallow enough to cross the Colorado River for hundreds of miles upstream, before the age of modern bridges and vehicle travel. Home to the Quechan and Cocopah people for millennia, Spanish explorers were sent north from Mexico as the Franciscans aimed to colonize the west coast of California. Because tacking north in the Pacific Ocean was extremely difficult, time-consuming and dangerous, even though it didn’t seem much easier, friars and soldiers sought an overland route to California. Indeed it did not prove much easier at all, but it did bring more people to this land of “the Yumas” until a small city was rooted. Many of the pioneer families have now been here for generations and the influences of Mexicans, Native Americans, and later settlers have all colored the tiles that form the picture of Yuma now. 

In many Yuma shops and stores, Spanish may be the first language you hear. Restaurants, music and art are all flavored by Mexican and native cultures. More people eat their breakfast with tortillas than toast, and Banda music and rock bands compete for the most listeners on local radio stations. Exciting murals, vibrant paintings, colorful clothing show off the bright flowers of the desert. Parts of Mexican culture and life are also common in Yuma. With a strong emphasis on family, nearly all events and places are family-friendly, and visitors find Yuma’s pace to be relaxing and comfortable. In the earliest days at The Crossing, “the Yumas” greeted the early explorers with gifts of hundreds of watermelons, beans, and gourds to carry water. Visitors today also remark on the very friendly welcome they receive in Yuma. We welcome you to be our guests in Yuma!

Arts & Entertainment

One of the areas of growth that does Yuma proud is its art and artists communities. A certain “coming of age” has turned Yuma into a regional center for the arts, which in turn attracts more artists and fresh ideas, unleashing an art force to be reckoned with! Gallery shows, new murals...

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