Destination: Paricutin, Mexico

Mexico. Volcan Paricutin
Mexico. Artist unknown.
Galas, Mexico. 1943, offset lithograph.
25-mexico-stamp map-legs-25

Red Hot Mexico

The Paricutin volcano—pictured in this dramatic orange and purple nighttime scene—began as a fissure in a cornfield west of Mexico City in February, 1943. The farmer witnessed the initial eruption of ash and stones as he was plowing the field.

The volcano grew quickly, reaching five stories tall in one week. Much of the volcano’s growth—over 1,000 feet—occurred in 1943, while it was still in the explosive phase. For the next eight years, it periodically erupted until it reached close to 1,400 feet. However, the volcano has been quiet since the 1950s, and it is unique in that its formation was witnessed from its inception.