Chihuahua (state): Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


(Redirected to Chihuahua article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Estado Libre y Soberano
de Chihuahua
—  State  —


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): "Land of Encounter", "The Big State"
Motto: Bravery, Loyalty, Hospitality
Location within Mexico
Country  Mexico
Capital Bandera del Municipio de Chihuahua 2006-Presente.png Chihuahua
Municipalities 67
Largest City Ciudad Juárez
Admission July 6, 1824[1]
Order 18th
 - Governor José Reyes Baeza Terrazas (Template:PRIparty)
 - Federal Deputies PRI: 5
 - Federal Senators PAN: 2
PRI: 1
Ranked 1st
 - Total 244,938 km2 (94,571.1 sq mi)
Population (2005)
 - Total 3,241,444 (Ranked 11th)
 Density 13.2/km2 (34.2/sq mi)
 - Demonym Chihuahuense
Time zone MST (UTC-7)
 - Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
HDI (2004) 0.8340 - high
Ranked 5th
ISO 3166-2 MX-CHH
Postal abbr. CH
Website Chihuahua State Government

Chihuahua (Spanish pronunciation: [tʃiˈwawa]) is a state in northern Mexico with a mainland area of 247,087 square kilometers (95,400.8 sq mi),[2] slightly larger than the United Kingdom. It is surrounded by the states of Sonora to the west, Sinaloa to the south-west, Durango to the south, and Coahuila to the east, and by the U.S. states of Texas to the north-east and New Mexico to the north. Chihuahua is the largest state in Mexico by area, and therefore has the nickname El Estado Grande ("The Big State").

Although Chihuahua is primarily identified with its namesake, the Chihuahuan Desert, it has more forests than any other state. On the slope of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains (around the regions of Casas Grandes, Cuauhtémoc and Parral), there are vast prairies of short yellow grass, the source of the bulk of the state's agricultural production.

As of 2005, there were 3.2 million inhabitants of the state. In February 6, 2010, Governor Baeza proposed to moved the three State Powers (Executive, Legislative and Judicial) to Ciudad Juárez in order to face the insecurity problems in the city,[3] but that request was rejected by the State Legislature on February 12.[4]

The state also has a large service sector: tourism, banking and high-tech enterprises.

One of the most notable features of Chihuahua is the Barranca del Cobre, or Copper Canyon, a spectacular canyon system larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon.

Chihuahua played a pivotal role in the Mexican Revolution and was a battleground between revolutionary forces led by Pancho Villa and federal forces.




Colonial era

Nueva Vizcaya was the first province of northern New Spain to be explored and settled by the Spanish. Around 1528, a group of Spaniard explorers, led by Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, first entered the actual territory of what is now Chihuahua. The conquest of the territory lasted nearly one century, and encountered fierce resistance from the Conchos Indians, but the desire of the Spanish Crown to transform the region into a bustling mining center led to a strong strategy to control the area.

In the second half of the 16th century, the Spaniards organized several expeditions into the north of Mexico to find the mythical Seven Golden Cities of Cibola, and in 1564, the conquistador, Lieutenant Rodrigo del Rio y Loza, found gold in the area when the Sierra ends, and founded the first Spanish city in the region, Santa Barbara, by bringing 400 European families to the settlement. Later, in 1631, Noah Carrasco de Biesma discovered a rich vein of silver, and subsequently established San Jose del Parral near the site. Parral remained an important economic and cultural center for the next 300 years.

Many other mining towns, missions and presidios were founded in the region - Santa Eulalia, Camargo and Paso del Norte (now Ciudad Juárez) in Chihuahua. The Spanish society that developed in the region replaced the sparse population of indigenous peoples. The absence of servants and workers forged the spirit of northern people as self-dependent, creative people that defended their European heritage and made it survive until now.

Constituent legislatures

In the constituent legislature or convention, the conservative and liberal elements formed using the nicknames of Chirrines and Cuchas. The military entered as a third party. The elections for the first regular legislature were disputed, and it was not until May 1, 1826, that the body was installed. The liberals gained control and the opposition responded by fomenting a conspiracy. This was promptly stopped with the aid of informers, and more strenuous measures were taken against the conservatives. Extra powers were conferred on the Durango governor, Santiago Baca Ortiz, deputy to the first national congress, and leader of the liberal party.[5]

Gonzalez’s rebellion

Opponents continued to plot against the new government. In March 1827, Lieutenant J.M. González proclaimed himself comandante general, arrested the governor, and dissolved the legislature. General Parras was sent to suppress the movement. Comandante general J. J. Ayestaran was replaced by José Figueroa. When elections failed, the government intervened in favor of the Yorkino party, which had elected Vicente Guerrero to the presidency.[5]

Because of the general instability of the federal government during 1828, the installation of the new legislature did not take place until the middle of the following year. It was quickly dissolved by Governor Baca, who replaced it with a more pronounced Yorkino type. When Guerrero's liberal administration was overthrown in December, Gaspar de Ochoa aligned with Anastasio Bustamante, and in February 1830, organized an opposition group that arrested the new governor, F. Elorriaga, along with other prominent Yorkinos. He then summoned the legislature, which had been dissolved by Baca. The civil and military authorities were now headed by J. A. Pescador and Ochoa.[5]

Vicente Guerrero

The general features of the preceding occurrence applied also to Chihuahua, although in a modified form. The first person elected under the new constitution of 1825 was Simón Elías Gonzalez, who being in Sonora, was induced to remain there. J. A. Arce took his place as ruler in Chihuahua. In 1829, González became comandante general of Chihuahua, when his term of office on the west coast expired. Arce was less of a yorkino than his confrere of Durango. Although unable to resist the popular demand for the expulsion of the Spaniards, he soon quarreled with the legislature, which declared itself firmly for Guerrero, and announcing his support of Bustamante's revolution, he suspended, in March 1830, eight members of that body, the vice-governor, and several other officials, and expelled them from the state. The course thus outlined was followed by Governor J. I. Madero, who succeeded in 1831, associated with J. J. Calvo as comandante general, stringent laws being issued against secret societies, which were supposed to be the main spring to the anti-clerical feeling among liberals.[5]

Durango and Bustamante

The anti-clerical feeling was widespread, and Durango supported the initial reaction against the government at Mexico. In May 1832, José Urrea, a rising officer, supported the restoration of President Pedraza. On July 20, Governor Elorriaga was reinstated, and Baca along with the legislative minority were brought back to form a new legislature, which met on September 1. Chihuahua showied no desire to imitate the revolutionary movement and Urrea prepared to invade the state. Comandante-general J.J.Calvo threatened to retaliate, and a conflict seemed imminent. The entry of General Santa Anna into Mexico brought calm, as the leaders waited for clarity.[5]

Santa Anna

Bishop Zubiria was banished for resisting the law relating to priests and other encroachments on the church; another joined the western states in a short lived coalition for sustaining the federal system. Chihuahua adopted the Cuernavaca Plan in July 1834 while President Valentín Gómez Farías was in power. Because the plan was not enforced, commanding officer, Colonel J.I. Gutiérrez, declared the term of the legislature and governor expired on September 3. At a convention of citizens called to select a new provisional ruler, Gutierrez obtained the vote, with P. J. Escalante for his deputy, and a council to guide the administration.[5] Santa Anna ordered the reinstatement of Mendarozqueta as comandante general. Gutiérrez yielded, but Escalante refused to surrender office, demonstrations of support ensued, but Escalante yielded when troops were summoned from Zacatecas. A new election brought a new legislature, and conforming governors. In September 1835 José Urrea a federalist army officer came into power.[5]

Comandante general Simón Elías González, was nominated governor and military command was given to Colonel J.J. Calvo, whose firmness had earned well-merited praise. The state was in the midst of a war with the Apaches, which became the focus of all their energy and resources. After a review of the situation, Simón Elías González declared that the interests of the territory would be best served by uniting the civil and military power, at least while the campaign lasted. He resigned under opposition, but was renominated in 1837.[5]


The latest population census, which took place nationwide during the year 2005, reported 3,241,444 inhabitants in the state of Chihuahua, each gender taking 50% of the total. The northern state is placed seventh in the nation regarding quality of life and sixth in terms of life expectancy at 75.2 years of age. The median age is located at 25 years.

Chihuahua holds one of the largest proportion of white population of Mexico, as is the case in much of northern Mexico. Caucasians make up 55% of the population, most of them of Spaniard origin, but also of French, Basque, Italian, German, Dutch and Middle Eastern descent, while the rest of the population are Mestizo groups of predominant Spaniard descent. Indians form 5% of the state habitants and remain isolated in the woods of southwestern Chihuahua. The admixture with Indians never existed in Nueva Vizcaya due to the scarcity of natives (most of them warrior and anti-European Conchos and Tarahumaras), and the size of the territory.

85% of people in Chihuahua claim to follow the Catholic faith; only 3% of those over 5 years of age speak a native dialect, mostly Tarahumara, the largest indigenous group, followed by the Pimas, Tepehuanes and Warojios.


Average schooling is 8.5 years, which means that in general the average citizen over 15 years of age has gone as far as a second year in secondary education. On the other hand, 9 out of 100 inhabitants has a professional degree.

Institutions of higher education include:

Administrative divisions

Chihuahua is subdivided into 67 municipios (municipalities). See municipalities of Chihuahua.

The state's major communities include:


As of 2005, Chihuahua's economy represents 4.5% of Mexico's total gross domestic product or 29,826 million USD.[6] Chihuahua's economy has a strong focus on export oriented manufacturing (i.e. maquiladora). As of 2005, 329,939 people are employed in the manufacturing sector.[7] There are a more than 406 companies operating under the federal IMMEX or Prosec program in Chihuahua. The average wage for an employee in Chihuahua is approximately 193 pesos per day.[8]

In fiction


See also


  1. ^ "La diputación provincial y el federalismo mexicano" (in Spanish). 
  2. ^ Microsoft Encarta Premium 2009
  3. ^ Correspondents (6 February 2010). "Trasladan Poderes de Chihuahua a Juárez" (in Spanish). El Universal. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  4. ^ Correspondents (12 February 2010). "Diputados dicen no al traslado de Poderes" (in Spanish). El Universal. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h History Of The North Mexican States And Texas, Vol. II 1801-1889, San Francisco, The History Company, Publishers, 1889, Chapter 24
  6. ^ Industrial Costs in Mexico - A Guide for Foreign Investors 2007. Mexico City: Bancomext. 2007. pp. 92. 
  7. ^ iluv u jomamma ! Industrial Costs in Mexico - A Guide for Foreign Investors 2007. Mexico City: Bancomext. 2007. pp. 92. 
  8. ^ "Banco de Información Económica". Sistemas Nacionales Estadístico y de Información Geográfica.,&nd&nd&nd&nd&nd&2002&2008. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 

External links

Coordinates: 28°48′51″N 106°26′22″W / 28.81417°N 106.43944°W / 28.81417; -106.43944

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Travel Warning

WARNING: As of May 2009, travel near all border areas of the United States and Mexico is dangerous. Rival narcotics gangs have increased violent activities against each other and against non-involved citizens.

Chihuahua is a state in Northern Mexico.


The state is composed of desert plains in the east, and mountainous land (the Sierra Madre) in the west. A subsection of the Sierra Madre, the Sierra Tarahumara is considered by many to be the most rugged landscape in Mexico.

  • Chihuahua - The state capital, a modern city with a historical center.
  • Juarez - Largest border city between the coasts.
  • Creel - Backpacker mecca, gateway to the canyonlands.
  • Ojinaga -- An ancient border town.
  • Basaseachi National Park, with Basaseachic Falls, Mexico's highest waterfall.
  • Copper Canyon - One of the great natural attractions of Mexico. Beautiful scenery, hidden waterfalls, and timeless canyon villages.
  • Cumbres de Majalca National Park - Erosion created this rock-climbers paradise in the forest between Chihuahua and Juarez.
  • Lake Arareko
  • Peguis Canyon - A dramatic geologic feature near Ojinaga in the area contiguous with Big Bend National Park across the Texas border.
  • Madera a lumber town north of Creel on the edge of the Sierra. The canyon to the west of town besides being beautiful and a great area for hiking is also filled with numerous ancient cliff dwellings of Pueblo Indians.


Chihuahua is a vast area, the largest state in Mexico. Its area of 245,000km2 makes it roughly half the size of Spain or about the size of the UK. Transport costs can add up quickly in such a large rugged region.


A basic understanding of Spanish while not necessary will make your visit much smoother and more enjoyable. Those traveling in tour groups are often accompanied by an English speaking guide. Tarahumara living in remote areas will often speak only their native language and very limited Spanish.

Get in

By air

Major airports are located in the cities of Chihuahua and Juarez, and in El Paso, just across the border from Juarez.

By car

From the United States

  • Ancient cave-dwellings, at various sites near Casas Grandes and Paquime.
  • Mennonite colony around Cuahtemoc - The largest in the world. Well known for a variety of farm products, especially its cheeses and apples.
  • Rock-climbing and rappelling in the states many canyons and rock formations.


Chihuahua is not as well known for its crafts and artisans as some of the southern states that are generally preferred by tourists. But western wear (boots, hats, and shirts) as well as saddles and tack are of high quality and fairly priced. Finding appropriate sizes may be a challenge for some visitors.

  • Pottery - Pottery made in the pueblo at Mata Ortiz is considered to be some of the best in the world.
  • Cheese made by the Mennonites in the north of the state should also be tried and is famous throughout Mexico and the Southwest United States.
  • Vanilla and tequila are good values and are worth taking home.
  • Burritos with various fillings.
  • Caldo de oso - Spicy dish with chilies and fish.
  • Empanadas de Santa Rita - Stuffed with pork fried with onions, almonds, raisins.
  • Gorditas de cuajada - Small corn tortillas covered with butter, sugar, cinnamon, and egg and cooked in an orange leaf.
  • Machaca con huevo - Traditional scrambled beef and egg dish served with flour tortillas.
  • Quesadillas - Tortillas grilled with white cheese and salsa.


Some travellers report that tap water here is safe, but still most tourists play it safe and buy bottled water.

  • Margaritas - This world-famous tequila concoction originated here in Juarez in 1942.

Stay safe

The canyonlands are intolerant of incompetence. This a harsh, rugged land with a dry climate that sees wild temperature extremes. Know your limits and abilities. Don't go out into remote areas alone. The money spent to hire local guides is nearly always well-spent. Guides can introduce you to the people living back in the remote barrancas. They can also explain the cultural history of the area and some are quite familiar with the flora and fauna of the area (note there is little remaining wild fauna other than birds). There are military checkpoints throughout remote sections of the state. Most soldiers are young but polite, all are heavily armed. There are also narcos in most remote sections of the Sierra Tarahumara. They are also heavily armed. Guides will know which sections should be avoided. The greatest danger is probably the terrain itself. The mountains aren't especially tall, but are very steep and rugged. It is easy to twist an ankle or break a wrist out here. Medical services are few and far between. Travel in large groups usually isn't practical because of the limited supplies available in the backcountry. Rather the preferred mode of travel would be to form small self supporting groups.

Get out

Take the time to continue south to Durango, another overlooked destination in the north of Mexico. Further south is Zacatecas, one of Mexico's most attractive cities.

This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!

Simple English

File:Flag of
State flag

Chihuahua is a state in Mexico.

Other websites


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address