Progreso Bridge and Nuevo
Progreso. Their history is intertwined.
Nuevo Progreso's History
The area was originally called Las Flores, which
was the name of the rancho that was there. The river has moved
around a bit over the years and used to pass to the South of town's
current location. The area where the town sits was previously
on the US side, but the river flooded and changed course in that
year. About 500 acres of land was transferred back to Mexico and
the whole town in now built on land that the River took back.
They built the dam at Lake Falcon and brought all the river's
periodic floods under control in the late 1940's.
The name of the city was changed to Nuevo Progreso
about 1933. The full name is now officially La Villa Nuevo Progreso,
but most folks just call it Progreso, which can be confused with
the Texas town of that name just north of the border.
There were about 40 or 50 houses here until Campo
Treviño was built South of town in the early 1950's.
The was so Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) company could drill for
from the US side using the first bridge. By 1960 there were a
number of stores that had been built to sell products to the
of the drilling camp.
The first grocery store, called Abarrotera Pulido,
was built by the Pulido family onn October 15, 1959.
Arturo's Restaurant and Licores Gavilan were built in 1953..
a number of cantinas on the Southeast side of town with numerous
bordellos which developed into what become known as "Boy's
Town". In all, this area grew to include about sixty
houses, coffee houses, cantinas and beer joints. All of this
was moved south of town about 1980 when the main streets were
being developed and the town was evolving into what exists
The period from the mid-1950's saw some growth
in the business community. There were a couple of meat markets,
a fish market, and tortilla factories. The Pavi Indian Market,
the first curios shop, was opened by Pablo Bautista about 1965
or 1966. A bunch of shops and beauty parlors and barber shops
opened during this time also. Enrique Abrigo opened a restuarant,
During the 1950's there were two medical doctors,
Dr. Aguirre and Dr. Mandragon (1953) and Dr. Borrego established
his office in 1955. Pharmacies began to be developed in the latter
part of the 1970's and the early 1980's. There were only two pharmacies,
two doctors and one dentist who had been there since the earliest
days. Many of the pharmacies we see today began to be developed
during the 1980s and now there are about sixty stores, or stores
with pharmacy departments in the major part of town.
Dr. Jesus Aguirre was the first dentist, having
started almost 40years ago. He remembers working in the
little village when the streets were dirt and turned to slush
whenever it rained. Under his tutelage about fifteen of
today's dentists were developed and eventually moved into practise
on their own. The dental community today numbers about
a hundred doctors, both men and women. He has been a vital member
of the community and involved in the Red Cross, Rotary International,
and the Lion's Club and remains active in his church.
More will be told about the various businesses
on their webpages. Go check them out by clicking on the
yellow buttons to the left.