The cable car brought us back to street level, and about a quater of a block from the drop off is Mina El Edén (The Eden Mine). Edén was founded in 1586, originally known as “San Eligio” (not sure why they changed the name), and mined Gold and Silver. They also mined alot of Quartz in the process but back in the day Quartz was worth nothing (today its used in countless electronics) so they just disregarded it all.
The mine was of course owned by the ruling class at the time (the Spanish) and was worked by enslaved Indian peoples. The mine is 7 levels deep and the tour only took us down 3 levels (the other 4 are now flooded). In the 3 levels we checked out it stays 30 degrees Ferinheight year round, which is pretty cold but alot worse for the Indian slaves who worked the mine in either a piece of cloth and sandales or naked with sandales. Imagine working naked, in a mine, 12-16 hours a day, in 30 degree and colder tempatures, and at the end of the day climbing out of the mine using just a rope (after about 250 years they got a small ladder) for exit, carrying 160 pounds of ore on you back.
For the people working en El Edén, 30 years was a long life. Most died due to breathing in carbonite and other toxins.
But on a side note, the Spanish weren’t the first to bring slavery to Mexico. Indigenous peoples like the Aztec and Tolteca enslaved other Indian tribes for their use long before the Spanish came. Which dosen’t make it right, but shouldn’t be overlooked.
The mine was in operation till the late 1960’s and since then has been turned into a tourist attraction and a few years ago they added a night club inside Mina El Edén. Yes a night club. It’s Zacatecas’ hottest hotspot, theres a little train that takes people in and out of the mine to the club. Check the pics below of the mine, and the club.
A fountain flowing with the natural water from the earth of the mine.
Light from the flooded levels below.
The enslaved native workers would use ropes like these to get in and out everyday.
Few hundred years later, they got sinnky ladders like this to get in and out.
In da club.
Dee Jay booth.