Volcanoes are not uncommon in Mexico. There are many volcanoes across the Mexican Highlands. This desert-covered plateau lies between the eastern and western ranges of the Sierra Madre. In this region, earth's crust is pulling apart. This creates weak spots. Magma pushes up through the weak spots, causing volcanoes.
One day in 1943, something uncommon happened. A farmer named Dionisio Pulido was working in his field in western Mexico. Steam began coming from the ground. The ground cracked open. The farmer and his wife smelled something like rotten eggs. It was sulfur. They heard a hissing noise. The ground shook. Then ash and stones began to erupt. By the end of the day, ash and cinders had built a mound about twenty-five feet tall!
The next day, it was almost twice as high. After a week, the mound was nearly as tall as a five-story building. Today, it looms more than 1,345 feet above where the farmer's field once lay. This volcanic mountain is called Paricutin (pah REE koo TEEN).