“Cuarenta Casas” is an archaeological site located in the Sierra Madre Occidental, at 336 kilometers northwest of the capital of the state of Chihuahua. In this area there are several caves with inside buildings, of which the best known is “Cueva de las Ventanas”. It is called Cuarenta Casas because they thought there were forty houses inside and the name has been respected. It is thought that one of the aims of the foundation of this center was to protect the trade routes of Paquimé
It is quite probably that hunter-gatherer groups living in the Sierra Madre Occidental built the first structures in the settlement of La Cueva de las Ventanas. When these groups became sedentary the culture of Paquimé in Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, began. The construction of Cuarenta Casas occurred during the period of greatest splendor of Paquimé (1205 -. 1260 AD).
In 1520, the caves were still inhabited by a native group. It was possible to gather information about their lifestyle. Aborigines living there use to call themselves “Jovas”, with that name they referred to a large group or family. That ethnicity is now considered extinct.