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Durango
Estado Libre y Soberano
de Durango
—  State  —

Flag

Coat of arms
Location within Mexico
Municipalities of Durango
Country  Mexico
Capital Durango
Municipalities 39
Largest City Durango
Admission May 22, 1824[1]
Order 17th
Government
 - Governor Ismael Hernández Deras (PRI)
 - Federal Deputies PRI: 3
PAN: 1
 - Federal Senators PAN: 2
PRI: 1
Area
Ranked 4th
 - Total 123,181 km2 (47,560.4 sq mi)
Population (2005)
 - Total 1,509,117(Ranked 23rd)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
HDI (2004) 0.8045 - high
Ranked 15th
ISO 3166-2 MX-DUR
Postal abbr. Dgo.
Website Durango State Government

Durango (Spanish pronunciation: [duˈɾaŋɡo]) is one of the constituent states of Mexico, with a population of 1,509,118.[2] It has Mexico's second-lowest population density, after Baja California Sur. The city of Durango is the state's capital.

Contents

History

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Pre-Colonization

Durango, along with the states of Chihuahua, Sonora and Sinaloa, formed the historical and geographical unity of Northern Mexico, for what was the majority of the last millennium; it wasn't until the territories were reorganized after the independence struggle that they emerged as independent entities. This broad area represents the natural corridor that the Sierra Madre Occidental offered to the Toltec and Nahuatlaca tribes, both whom took advantage of the large accidental stone conformations to survive in the wilderness of the territory. The new formations formed as the only security for the tribes that moved among Northern Mexico and the Valley of Anahuac, eventually becoming a home-state for these tribes who then began to form small communities, united by language and region. The Huichol, Cora, and Tarahumara Tepehuanos incorporated perfectly distinct nations, each with evident sedentary purposes, and a strong family structure, all whilst setting aside the bellicose attitude of the Chichimec tribe of the center of the then-current Republic. The exceptions were the Acaxees, Humas, and Xiximes who were constantly at war but always on the look-out for final settlements in the region of the Quebradas.
On the east bank of the state a longitudinal zone can be found, that extends from the current state of Zacatecas to the Laguna area between the entities of Durango and Coahuila. The "Indios Laguneros" (Laguna Indians) traveled interchangeably between this area, they were characterized by their rebellious attitude, instability, religious customs and for being hunters and gatherers. These Natives of which so little was recorded were the first inhabitants of the region long before they were exterminated by the Spanish colonists. Today, only a few remain of the Tepehuanos, Huicholes, Coras and Tarahumara tribes.

Spanish Colonization

Captain Francisco de Ibarra

Once the province of New Spain was established in the rest of the country, new explorers ventured out to conquer Northern Mexico, establishing the province of Nueva Vizcaya, in honor of the Spanish province of the same name. Francisco de Ibarra, the first to colonize Durango, settled this part of the vast northern province of Nueva Vizcaya. On July 8, 1563 he founded the capital city and named it Durango for the Basque town Durango, Biscay, Spain, Europe. Durango along with the three aforementioned states (Chihuahua,Sonora,and Sinaloa), formed part of the province of Nueva Vizcaya, a name that was used during the Colonial Period to designate the territory discovered by Captain Francisco de Ibarra between 1554 and 1567. Several important factors contributed to the region being named Nueva Vizcaya, one was that the valley in which the "Cerro de Mercado" is located had a resemblance to the "Valley of Guardiana" that existed in the province of Biscay. The second reason was the fact that iron mines which were found in Durango also existed in the aforementioned Spanish province of Biscay; reasons of which gave more meaning to the assigned name of the region. Additionally, many of the soldiers who then came on the expedition of Captain Francisco de Ibarra and formalized the conquest of the region, were Basques.
Equally important to note is that in 1552 Spanish Captain, Ginés Vázquez del Mercado, discovered one of the world’s richest iron-ore deposits (now an important part of Durango) which was named after him, present-day Cerro de Mercado. Gradually, in the following decades, the Franciscans followed by the Jesuits began the evangelization of Nueva Vizcaya, laying the foundations of a large diocese. The towns, Nombre de Dios, Peñol (Peñón Blanco), San Juan Bautista del Río, Analco, Indé, Topia, La Sauceda, Cuencamé and Mezquital arose from the evangelical work of the Franciscan order; Mapimi, Santiago Papasquiaro, Tepehuanes , Guanacevi, Santa Maria del Oro, Tamazula, Cerro Gordo (Villa Ocampo), San Juan de Bocas (Villa Hidalgo) and two establishments that originally belonged to the Franciscans, La Sauceda (Canatlan) and Cuencame, were established by the religious members of the Society of Jesus at the invitation of the Basque Governor Rodrigo del Río de Lossa. The establishment of garrisons in Northern Mexico, provided security to the people immersed in isolation, a characteristic of the territory. The new routes enjoined the military camps and thus emerged the 'Courier of the Provinces', a government scheme adopted by the Spanish monarchs in 1767. The neo-Basque territory began to split in the colonial period. The first to emerge was the Sinaloa Province, which then included the areas known today as Sonora and Arizona. Later, the state of Coahuila separated, and with the Constitution of 1824, was divided into provinces creating the states of Durango and Chihuahua, and attaching some municipalities to the state of Zacatecas.
Durango did not escape the great national struggle between conservatives and liberals and the capital was taken several times by representatives of both sides, as was the case of siege imposed by Coronado and Patoni in 1858 for the liberal cause, as well as the French intervention that between 1864 and 1866 that occupied the state with the support of conservative forces. At the time that Porfirio Díaz was at the head of the Republic, Durango also experienced local dictatorships such as that of Governor Juan Manuel Flores, who held office between 1884 and 1897. Esteban Fernandez, who also became governor, was reelected in 1908 after his 4-year term only to leave in 1911.
During the Porfiriato, Durango joined the network of railway and telegraph networks that he lay down on the country, resulting in the creation of new regions, as was the case of the Laguna region from which the cities of Lerdo and Gomez Palacio emerged, both now of paramount importance. The railroad also connects the state capital with Mexico City and the border towns, which allows the marketing of goods produced in the region, and the transportation of mineral resources for exportation.

Photo of Gen. Francisco Villa and his wife, Sra. Maria Luz Corral de Villa (1914)

Durango played a very important role in the Mexican Revolution. Important revolutionary figures of extraordinary historical validity in important battles between 1910 and 1924 emerged, such as Francisco Villa, Calixto Contreras and Severino Cenicero, in support of the "Maderistas", supporters of the ideoligies of President Francisco I. Madero. On November 21, 1910, Duranguense military personnel Jesús Agustín Castro and Oreste Pereyra, took up arms in the Laguna region commanding a small army that would join the forces of Francisco I. Madero, shortly after his assassination.
The splitting of the territories would continue with the government of Enrique R. Calderon, who implemented the provisions of President Lazaro Cardenas with the distribution of 100 thousand acres in the Laguna region of Durango, and the formation of the Municipality of Tlahualilo, shedding Mapimí and Gomez Palacio. At the half century the "educational crusade" began which bestowed upon Durango important colleges of upper education such as Instituto Tecnológico de Durango (Technological Institute of Durango) and Universidad Juarez del Estado de Durango (University of Juarez in Durango). The latter was based on the historical Instituto Juarez (Juarez Institute), which dates back to the eighteenth century. At this time the town of Vicente Guerrero also emerged, separating itself from Suchil an action which resulted in completion of the geographical pattern which now is the state of Durango, with modern means of communication that in the form of paved roads connects most of the municipalities with the capital and connects the capital with the important cities across the country. The last years are representative of the rural exodus to the main cities of the entity, requiring the implementation of numerous development services, that completely changed the traditional image of the Colonial and Porfirista Durango that seemed rooted in the style of life of most of its inhabitants. This was a late colonization for the Spanish, due mostly to heavy resistance by the indigenous population. From first contact to modern times, the indigenous peoples have attempted to gain some autonomy, address grievances, and maintain traditional land ownership. Spanish colonists became highly attracted to the Durango area for its mining and grazing prospects. In 1823, shortly after victory over Spain in the Mexican War of Independence, Durango earned the right to become a separate state.

Geography

Abies durangensis in Tamazula, Durango, Mexico

The state of Durango is bordered to the north by Chihuahua, to the north-east by Coahuila, to the south-east by Zacatecas, to the south-west by Nayarit, and to the west by Sinaloa. Most of the state is heavily mountainous and a good part forested; the Sierra Madre Occidental occupies the western and central part of the state. This mountain range contains a good supply of minerals, including the silver that encouraged Spanish occupation of the territory after it was discovered. These mines extend north into Chihuahua and south into the state of Zacatecas. Vast desert basins in the Laguna District are irrigated by the Nazas River.

Major crops grown in the area include cotton, wheat, corn, alfalfa, beans, sorghum, and other vegetables.

Durango is famous for its scorpions. Mexicans generally refer to the people of Durango as Alacrán de Durango (Scorpions from Durango). The demonym for the natives of Durango is Duranguense(s).

The major occupations in Durango are farming, lumbering and ranching.

Arts and culture

The Land of the Cinema

Durango is known nationally and even internationally for two reasons: one being that it is "the land of the scorpions" due to the many species of spiders in the state, especially in the colonial areas, and second as "the land of cinema." Durango has among its credits over 120 film productions, both domestic and foreign, and as a result, during the decades of the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, had earned that title. Durango has established itself as one of the favorite places of film producers and directors due to its picturesque views and scenic beauty.

Film had arrived in a train heading to Durango in 1889; when the Mexican Revolution began in 1910, film producer Raoul Walsh recorded the battles of General Francisco Villa. These scenes were included in the film The Life of General Villa produced by D. W. Griffith, and directed by Christy Cabanne in 1914. Hollywood had discovered Durango in the mid-century.

In 1954, the film industry officially entered the state; American film art director Jack Smith had flown over Durango and was instantly seduced by the landscape. Subsequently, the first movie filmed in Durango was White Feather, directed by Robert D. Webb. Durango also had close ties with John Wayne. The close friendship between Durango and John Wayne, an American actor and icon of Western movies, started in 1965, and resulted in the making of the films The Sons of Katie Elder, The War Wagon, and Chisum, among many others. Such was the amount of time that Wayne spent filming in Durango, that he acquired a ranch in the state.

Cuisine

Basque conquerors who founded Durango and began the conquest of the northern territory brought their recipes and the first herds. Among the dishes from Durango, is "caldillo", particularly noted for its antiquity. Along with beef it can be prepared with chile verde (green chile), chile Colorado (red chile), or chile pasado (dehydrated green chiles). The broth is the first culinary preparation in the long history of culture in Durango, and demonstrates the influence of cultures that have been in the genesis of Durango. Its origin goes back to the days of Basque Captain Francisco de Ibarra; one of the first conceptions appears in an old manuscript that belonged to wealthy miner and landowner, Joseph del Campo Soberón and Larrea Soberon, the Count of Súchil Valley.

Durango is also known for its marmalades and preserves made from quince, figs, and peaches, as well as the native pitahaya. Gallina Borracha or 'drunken chicken' is a dish unique to Durango, comprised of mostly Spanish ingredients, such as raisins, sherry and almonds. Traditional drinks include Licor de Membrillo, a liquor made from quince. Durango is also known for its cheeses, in particular queso chihuahua, also called 'queso menonita', a type of cheese made by the state's numerous Mennonite residents. The people from Durango also enjoy traditional Mexican dishes, such as tamales, tacos, cabrito, and enchiladas.

Eco-Tourism

Durango consists of geographical diversity which allows sports enthusiasts to participate in extreme sports such as kayaking, mountain biking, abseiling, free climbing and more; Durango is also home to a quantity of gorges, and voluminous waterfalls that measure 80 feet one of which is Salto del Agua LLovida. The state also has numerous lakes that measure over 800 meters in diameter such as Lago de Puentecillas (Puentecillas Lake). Located in the desert patch known as Bolsón de Mapimí, is the famous Mapimí Silent Zone known for its magnetic properties similar to the Bermuda Triangle and the unique fauna and flora found in the region.

Demographics

According to the last census that took place in 2005, Durango, with just over a million and a half inhabitants, occupies the 24th position within the 32 federal entities regarding population, and reports an average growth rate so low that it would take more than 250 years to double its number of inhabitants. It is estimated that roughly 45-50% of the population is Caucasian. Europeans, like in the rest of Northern Mexico, make up the majority of the population; most of them are Spanish criollos , but smaller communities include Germans, French, Irishmen, Italians, Swiss, and Swedish. Romanians, Ukrainians, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Croats, Greeks, Austrians, Russians, and Poles are smaller communities which are represented by more-recent immigrants from the post-Soviet era. The state also has a significant population of Armenians, Lebanese, and Syrian/Arabs. The rest of the population includes mestizos of predominantly European descent (castizos) and a minuscule Native American population. Only 2% of the population over 5 years of age speak a native dialect, 80% of which belong to the Tepehuana ethnic group, a native culture from Durango. Other smaller indigenous groups include the Huicholes and the Mexicaneros, the latter of an unknown descent and who speak the Nahuatl tongue.

90% of the state population are baptized Catholics which are mostly concentrated in the rural areas; the urban areas of the state contain significant religious minorities consisting of Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Ashkenazim Jews, Muslims and Buddhists.

Despite the low demographic density it contains, only 12 inhabitants per km2., 60% of the population is concentrated in only three of the 39 state municipalities: Durango, Gómez Palacio, and Lerdo. The rest live in small and disperse localities, for as much as 6,258 communities can be found in the state, 82% of which have less than 100 inhabitants.

Some 67% of the population lives in urban areas, below the 76% national average. Even so, the migration of people from the rural zones towards urban environments represents a serious issue for the government of Durango, because it implies satisfying a high demand for public services and utilities.

Municipalities

Durango is divided into (39 municipalities). Durango has recently experienced an increase in organized crime and vandalism.

Major communities

Notable people

References

  1. ^ "La diputación provincial y el federalismo mexicano" (in Spanish). http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=i_GK_-6deKIC&pg=PA227&lpg=PA227&dq=22+De+Mayo+De+1824+durango&source=bl&ots=eyvDzsrMIz&sig=zYxzmtG7gTQgGV-WNDfHgqcG_kU&hl=es&ei=FtAxS9joN56ltgf-_ojFDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=22%20De%20Mayo%20De%201824%20durango&f=false. 
  2. ^ As of the 2005 census
  3. ^ http://www.imps4ever.info/specials/centaur/durango.html
  4. ^ http://www.geocities.com/hasselhoffline/images/mm/aco/propdurango.jpg
  5. ^ http://www.superherohype.com/news/topnews.php?id=6499

External links

Coordinates: 24°56′05″N 104°54′43″W / 24.93472°N 104.91194°W / 24.93472; -104.91194


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Map of Mexico highlighting Durango

Etymology

Named after the city of Durango, in northern Spain.

Proper noun

Singular
Durango

Plural
-

Durango

  1. A state of Mexico.

Translations

See also

Anagrams


Spanish

Etymology

Named after the city of Durango, in northern Spain.

Proper noun

Durango m.

  1. A state of Mexico.

Related terms

See also

  • Wikipedia-logo.png Durango on the Spanish Wikipedia.es.Wikipedia

Simple English

State of Durango
File:Flag of
Flag
File:Coat of arms of
Coat of arms
Location within Mexico
Country
Capital Durango
Municipalities 39
Government
 - Governor Ismael Hernández Deras (PRI)
 - Federal Deputies PRI: 3
PAN: 1
 - Federal Senators PAN: 2
PRI: 1
Area
Ranked 4th
 - Total 123,181 km2 (47,560.4 sq mi)
Population (2005)
 - Total 1,509,117(Ranked 23rd)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
HDI (2004) 0.7910 - medium
Ranked 15th
ISO 3166-2 MX-DUR
Postal abbr. Dgo.
Website Durango State Government

Durango is a state in northwest Mexico. About 1,510,000 people live there. It capital is also called Durango.


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