BIG PICTURE

A long stretch in the desert

More than 50 people attended a yoga class organised by the YSYoga System community in the Samalayuca Dune Fields in Juarez municipality, in Chihuahua state, Mexico, last Saturday.

The sand dunes are part of the Chihuahuan Desert, the largest in North America. They occupy an area of 2,000 sq km, a third of which was declared a protected area in 2009.

Their location, just 50km south of Ciudad Juarez, means few venture out there as many are put off by the city's high murder rate. While the number of homicides has gone down, the city has struggled to shake off its reputation as a violent place.

For locals, however, the dunes have always been an oasis where they find respite and have fun.

Besides yoga, others go to the dunes for extreme sports. Mr Tony Reyes, 22, first visited the area when he was a child.

He is part of a racing team which goes to practise off-road driving for tournaments that take place in the area every couple of months. "What I like most about doing off-road in Samalayuca is the calm of the desert," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2019, with the headline 'A long stretch in the desert'. Print Edition | Subscribe