The Tecate Community Museum

Is dedicated to fostering greater understanding of the cultural, historical and natural heritage of Tecate, Baja California, Mexico and the larger binational region to which it belongs. Located in the Tecate Cultural Center (CECUTEC), the museum includes:



Events and workshops in native culture led by local indigenous instructors, including basket-making and other arts, acorn processing, music and language.

A museum gift store with fairly traded indigenous arts of the region.

Training programs will be carried out for members of the Kumiai communities in the documentation of indigenous language, oral history, and traditional lifeways. The resulting materials will be incorporated into a permanent archive, ensuring access to future generations of Kumiai.

Ongoing educational outreach program to encourage the attendance of thousands of students from throughout the border region. A web-site with teaching materials and information for the general public will supplement the educational and promotional programs.

Ethnobotannical plant gardens and interpretive materials related to the diverse ecosystems of the region, featuring native plants traditionally used for food, medicine, clothing and tools.

Our Gallery


Museum programs focus on the documentation and revitalization of native cultures, historical archives, oral tradition, education, events and workshops

The permanent exhibits feature authentic regional artifacts, photographs, murals, sculptures, and interactive bilingual (English/Spanish) signage that creatively illustrate three main phases of Tecate’s culture and history: the prehistoric period, the historical period and the contemporary period. Phase one, the Cavern of the Ancestors, (designed by California artist James Hubbell) explores the thousands of years of prehistoric life in the region.


The Story of the Museum

A project of this scope can only become reality through the collaboration of a wide variety of people and institutions committed to the establishment and long-term sustainability of the museum. The good news is that our project team is already off to a remarkable start.

The museum project began as an idea of Kumiai community members who dreamed of a place where Kumiai culture could be passed on to future generations. Tecate area Kumiai community members have participated in the planning process, and have set clear priorities for the museum, which they hope will “instill respect for our territory (sacred sites, environment), cultures and customs; provide accurate information on the history of the native regions of Baja California; create a neutral space for all the communities, and involve Kumiai in the whole process. We want this museum to become a reality.”

The idea was further developed through the work of a team of experts from San Diego State University, with support from the President’s Leadership Fund and the Southwest Consortium for Environmental Research and Policy. SDSU professor Dr. Lynn Gamble and anthropologist Michael Wilken-Robertson have spearheaded the effort.

The project finds a home thanks to the enthusiastic collaboration of the Tecate community organization Corredor Histórico CAREM A.C., which envisions this museum as the first stage of a larger museum complex located in the Tecate Cultural Center (CECUTEC). CAREM, which has already established a community library and media auditorium at the CECUTEC, will manage the museum. Through the affiliation of CAREM with the International Community Foundation, tax deductions may be offered to donors.

The municipality of Tecate has given its formal support to the project through a council resolution providing a permanent land-use agreement for the grounds.

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