Caborca (O'odham: Kawulk) is both a municipality and a municipal seat in the Mexican state of Sonora. The area of the municipality is 10,721.84 km², which is 5.78 percent of the state total. The municipal population was 81,308 (2010) of whom 59,922 lived in the municipal seat. The official name of the city is Heroica Caborca.
The municipal seat, Heroica Caborca Pima County, Arizona in the United States of America in the north, Altar in the east, Pitiquito in the southeast, Puerto Peñasco and Plutarco Elías Calles in the northwest, and the Gulf of California in the southwest. Heroica Caborca, lies on Federal Highway 2, which connects Mexico City with Tijuana., lies at an elevation of 280 meters. Municipal boundaries are with
Caborca is nestled among hills in high Sonoran desert scenery. With moderate winter and spring temperatures, the temperatures climb above 38 °C in May and stay there until October or November. Because it has a very dry climate, strong winds can bring localized dust storms as well as "dust devils", localized plumes of swirling dust that resemble tornadoes, often reaching over 100 feet (30 m) into the air. They're harmless, but provide an interesting sight when driving in the area.
Although rain is rare, when it happens it can bring a sudden deluge that causes brief localized flooding. Like the U.S. state of Arizona to the north, the area also has a monsoon season in late summer that brings higher humidity and frequent dust storms or rain showers.
Towns and villages
The largest localities (cities, towns, and villages) are:
|Name||2010 Census Population|
|Plutarco Elías Calles (La Y Griega)||3,725|
|El Diamante (La Retranca)||3,374|
Health and educational infrastructure
There is a hospital in the main town and several clinics spread out in surrounding communities. The educational infrastructure consists of over 150 schools, of which seven are secondary schools. There is one school of post-secondary education, a site of the University of Sonora and a campus of Conalep, a post-secondary technical institute. 
Agriculture is the most important economic activity with more than 1,000 km² of planted area. The main crops are grapes, cotton, and wheat. Despite the arid climate wells are used for irrigated crops.
The cattle herd is modest, concentrating on exporting calves to the United States.
Industry is growing with a scattering of maquiladoras.
There is some fishing on the 130 km long coastline, mainly of shrimp, while oysters are produced in the estuaries.
There is modest tourist potential with the beaches on the Gulf of California as well as the white mission churches, especially Nuestra Señora de la Concepción de Caborca in the municipal seat. The beach at El Desemboque is sought after by North American tourists desiring a less commercialized atmosphere.
One of Caborca's more popular and interesting attractions is the petroglyphs that were etched in stone by ancient inhabitants thousands of years ago.
The municipal seat was formed in the year 1688 as a mission town, by the Jesuit missionary Francisco Eusebio Kino on the point called Caborca Viejo (Old Caborca). In 1790, it was established on the site that it currently occupies, on the right (east) bank of the Asunción River. The place was inhabited by Tohono O'odham.
Father Kino was still the head when the mission town was completed in December 1692. The old site of the municipal seat is now known as Pueblo Viejo (Old Town).
In 1790, the seat was established at the place it now occupies. It was inhabited by Upper Pimas. The name of the municipality comes from "Kawulk", which means "hill with rocks and boulders".
In April 1857, during the Reform War, a force of American colonists, captained by Henry A. Crabb, was defeated and massacred by rebel forces of Ygnacio Pesquiera and Tohono O'odham warriors. Pesquiera had initially invited the Americans to settle in northern Sonora, to help the fight against the federal Mexican government, however, before the Crabb Expedition arrived in Sonora, Pesquiera's rebels defeated the federal troops and took over the state. Because of this, when the Crabb party arrived, Pesquiera's ordered his men to attack the Americans. Over the course of eight days, from April 1, to April 8, about twenty-five Americans and a reported 200 Mexicans and O'odham were killed in battle, at the end of which, some fifty-five captured Americans were executed by firing squad, including Henry Crabb. In memory of the Crabb Massacre, the seat changed its name to Heróica Caborca in April 1948.
At the start of Mexican independence, it was the seat of a parish, under the area of Guadalupe de Altar for its civil administration. It obtained the status of Municipality at the end of the 19th century, assigned to the District of Altar (until districts were abolished by the Mexican constitution of 1917).
- United States Deptartment of State, pg. 69-72
- United States Deptartment of State (1857-1861). Execution of Colonel Crabb and associates: Message from the President of the United States communicating official information and correspondence in relation to the execution of Colonel Crabb and his associates. James B. Steedman.
- Enciclopedia de los Municipios de Mexico
- INEGI Mexican census
- Caborca, Ayuntamiento Digital (Official Website of Caborca, Sonora)
- Viva Caborca Website devoted to the promotion of Caborca (English)
- Mission of Caborca
- Sonora Turismo article on Caborca Spanish
- Heroica Caborca Visita Tu Sitio Web de Caborca