If you look toward the desert hills northwest of Ciudad Juarez, you will see a whitewashed horse monument emblazoned across the mountainside. The brilliant white horse, a replica of the famous Uffington horse located in the United Kingdom, stands in stark contrast against the sandy brown terrain.
Local architect and artist Hector Acosta Garcia decided to recreate the Bronze Age carving of the Uffington horse of Oxfordshire, England on the hillside outside Juarez, Mexico as a problem-solving exercise. He also wanted locals and visitors to take notice of the sheer beauty of the desert landscape and the surrounding mountains. Working with his son Carlos, the creation of the horse took three years to complete.
Unlike the Uffington horse, which faces right, the Juarez monument faces left. The Juarez horse measures over 1/2 mile long. It is visible from the air and the town of Juarez. In a huge undertaking, the area was first cleared of sand and the surrounding vegetation. The father-and-son team then filled in the design with whitewash paint. It took 2,600 gallons of whitewash to complete the project.
The monument outside Juarez can easily be viewed from the ground because it is situated across a mountainside. The original Uffington horse requires an aerial view to truly appreciate its magnitude. Oxford University archaeologists date the Uffington horse to the late Bronze Age, between 1400 and 600 B.C.E. The original horse was created by digging trenches and filling them with white chalk.
Both the Juarez monument and the original Uffington horse require regular maintenance to retain their design. The surrounding vegetation requires removal, so it does not obscure the image. The Uffington horse's survival has been dependent upon regular maintenance that has spanned three millennium. Today, the maintenance is undertaken by the National Trust.