Silver City has enormous diversity among the residents of the area. You'll see 4th- or 5th-generation ranchers, migrants who have moved here to work in copper mining, artists, gays, straights, hippies, Hispanics, Native Americans, college students, and more. What this often means to the visitor is that Silver City can be a mirror: you tend to see your own kind of people, sometimes to the exclusion of others. It is important to understand that while the population is varied, this does not mean that everybody lives together in peace and harmony.

The relative isolation of Silver City also means that many residents may not have experienced what life is like in bigger towns and may not have traveled far from home. As a result, many young people get their lifestyle cues from television, often without the filtering process that comes with being streetwise. For example: there is a certain amount of gang activity in the area, but few (if any) of the local gang-bangers have had any first-hand experience with gang life in an urban area (and probably would not survive there for long). 

Old habits die hard, so while most Anglos deny that there is any discrimination against Spanish-speakers, many Latinos still remember when they were not welcome in certain places and some still don’t feel comfortable shopping Downtown.

Though it may be heresy to say this, in many respects Silver City is not a "tourist town." Copper mining remains the primary influence on the economy of the region, and farming/ranching is still important as well. This means that many long-time residents of the area are conflicted about the role of tourism as an aspect of economic development. These fiercely independent people are not always comfortable with the idea of the economic well-being of the area being linked to the hearts and minds (and wallets) of strangers. Believe it or not, this can be a good thing: in Silver City you are unlikely to feel like everyone's out to drain you of your last dime, and while some of the niceties that some travelers have come to expect may be absent, the people here are genuine.