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Guadalajara

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Location of Guadalajara within Jalisco
Guadalajara is located in Mexico
Guadalajara
Location of Guadalajara within Jalisco
Coordinates: 20°40′00.17″N 103°21′01.23″W / 20.6667139°N 103.3503417°W / 20.6667139; -103.3503417
Country  Mexico
State  Jalisco
Foundation 1542
Government
 - Mayor Jorge Aristoteles Sandoval
Area
 - City 151 km2 (58.3 sq mi)
 - Metro 2,734 km2 (1,055.6 sq mi)
Elevation 1,566 m (5,138 ft)
Population (2008)
 - City 1,579,174
 Density 10,458/km2 (27,086.1/sq mi)
 Metro 4,300,000
 - Metro Density 1,572/km2 (4,071.5/sq mi)
 - Demonym Tapatío
Time zone Central Standard Time (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) Central Daylight Time (UTC-5)
Website guadalajara.gob.mx

Guadalajara (English pronunciation: /ˌɡwɑːdələˈhɑrə/,[1] Spanish: [waðalaˈhaɾa]) is the capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco, and the seat of the municipality of Guadalajara. The city is located in the central region of Jalisco in the western-pacific area of Mexico. With a population of 1,579,174 it is Mexico's second most populous municipality.[2] The Guadalajara Metropolitan Area includes seven adjacent municipalities with a reported population of 4,095,715 in 2008, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Mexico, behind Mexico City.[2][3] The municipality is the second most densely populated area in Mexico; the first being Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl in Estado de México.[4] The city's economy is based on industry, especially information technology with a large number of international firms having manufacturing facilities in the Guadalajara Metro Area. Other, more traditional industries, such as shoes, textiles and food processing are also important. Guadalajara is the cultural center of western Mexico, considered by most to be the home of Mariachi music and host to a number of large-scale cultural events such as the International Film Festival of Guadalajara and the Guadalajara International Book Fair and a several number of international renown cultural events which draw international crowds. It is also home to the Chivas football/soccer team, one of the two most popular in Mexico. This city was named American Capital of Culture in 2005 and will be the city host for the 2011 Pan American Games.

Guadalajara is the 10th largest city in Latin America in terms of population,[5] urban area [5] and Gross Domestic Product.[6] The city is named after the Spanish city of Guadalajara, with the name originating from the Arabic word wād al-ḥaŷara (واد الحجارة o وادي الحجارة), meaning "Valley of Stones"; the literal translation of the Iberian name Arriaca, meaning "stony river".[7]

In a 2007 research of the FDi magazine Guadalajara was the highest ranking major Mexican city having the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city and only Chicago scored more highly for sheer economic potential,[8] in the same research was considered the "city of the future" due to its youthful population, low unemployment and large number of recent foreign investment deals, it was also found the third most business friendly city in North America.[8]

Contents

History

Guadalajara Cathedral.

The city was established in three other places before where it is now. The first settlement in 1532 was in Mesa del Cerro, now known as San Juan. This site was settled by Juan de Oñate as commissioned by Nuño de Guzmán. The purpose of the city was to secure the recent conquests made and to provide defense against still-hostile natives. This site did not last long due to the lack of water, so in 1533, it was moved to a location near Tonalá. Two years later, Guzmán ordered that the village be moved to Tlacotán. While the settlement was here, Spanish king Carlos V granted the coat of arms the city has today.[7]

This settlement was ferociously attacked during the Mixtón War in 1541, by Caxcan, Portecuex and Zacateco peoples under the command of Tenamaxtli.[7] This war was initiated by the Indians due to the cruel treatment of Indians by Nuno de Guzmán, especially the enslavement of captured natives. Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza had to take control of the campaign to suppress the revolt after the Spanish were defeated in several engagements. The conflict ended after Mendoza made some concession to the Indians including the freeing of Indian slaves and amnesty.[9] The village of Guadalajara barely survived and credit was given to the aid requested from the Archangel Michael, who remains as patron of the city. It was then decided to move the city once again, this time to Atemajac as it was more defensible and the city has remained here to this day. In 1542, records indicate that 126 people were living in Guadalajara, and in the same year, the status of city was conferred by the Spanish king. The settlement’s name came from the Spanish hometown of Nuño de Guzmán.[7]

In 1560, royal offices for the province of Nueva Galicia were moved from Compostela to Guadalajara, as well as the bishopric. Construction of the cathedral was begun in 1561. In 1570, religious orders such as the Augustinians and the Dominicans arrived, which would make the city a center for evangelization efforts.[7] The historic city center encompasses what was four centers of population, as the villages of Mezquitán, Analco and Mexicaltzingo were annexed to the Atemajac site in 1667.[7]

In 1791, the University of Guadalajara was established in the city, which was then the capital of Nueva Galicia. The inauguration was held in 1792 at the site of the old Santo Tomas College. While the institution was founded during the 18th century, it would not be fully developed until the 20th starting in 1925. In 1794 the Hospital Real de San Miguel de Belén, now simply known as the Hospital de Belen, was opened.[7]

Guadajara’s economy during the 18th century was based on agriculture and the production of non-durable goods such as textiles, shoes and food products.[10]

Guadalajara remained the capital of Nueva Galicia with some modifications until the Mexican War of Independence.[7] After Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla decided not to attack Mexico City despite early successes, he decided to retreat to Guadalajara in late 1810. Initially, he and his army were welcome in the city as living conditions had become difficult for workers and Hidalgo promised to lower taxes and put an end to slavery. However, violence by the rebel army to city residents, especially royalists soured the welcome.[11] Hidalgo did sign a proclamation ending slavery, which was honored in the country since after the war. During this time, he also founded the newspaper “El Despertador Americano” dedicated to the insurgent cause.[7]

During this time, royalist forces marched to Guadalajara, arriving in January 1811 with nearly 6,000 men.[12] Insurgents Ignacio Allende and Mariano Abasolo wanted to concentrate their forces in the city and plan an escape route should they be defeated, but Hidalgo rejected this. Their second choice then was to make a stand at the Puente de Calderon just outside the city. Hidalgo had between 80,000 and 100,000 men and 95 cannons, but the better trained royalists won, decimating the insurgent army, forcing Hidalgo to flee towards Aguascalientes. Guadalajara would remain in royalist hands until nearly the end of the war.[13][14] After the state of Jalisco was erected in 1823, the city became its capital.[7] In 1844, General Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga initiated a revolt against the government of President Antonio López de Santa Anna, which the president managed to quell personally. However, while Santa Anna was in Guadalajara, a revolt called the Revolution of the Three Hours brought José Joaquín Herrera to the presidency and put Santa Anna into exile.[15] During the Reform War, President Benito Juárez had his government here for a time in 1856. French troops entered the city during the French Intervention in 1864, and the city was retaken by Mexican troops in 1866.[7]

Despite the violence, the 19th century was a period of economic, technological and social growth for the city.[16] After Independence, small-scale industries developed, many of them owned by immigrants from Europe. Rail lines connecting the city to the Pacific coast and north to the United States intensified trade and allowed products from rural areas of Jalisco state to be shipped. The ranch culture became a very important aspect of Jalisco’s and Guadalajara’s identity since this time.[10] From 1884 to 1890, electrical service, railroad service and the Observatory were established.[7]

Guadalajara again experienced substantial growth after the 1930s,[17] and the first industrial park was established in 1947.[7] The city’s population surpassed one million in 1964,[7] and by the 1970s it was Mexico's second largest city,[17] and the largest in western Mexico.[10] Most of the modern city’s urbanization took place between 1940 and the 1980s, with the population doubling every ten years until it stood at 2.5 million in 1980.[18] The population of the municipality has stagnated, and even declined, slowly but steadily since the early 1990s.[3]

The increase of population brought with it the increase in the size of what is now called Greater Guadalajara, rather than an increase in the population density of the city. Migrants coming into Guadalajara from the 1940s to the 1980s were mostly from rural areas, who living in the city center until they had enough money to buy property. This property was then generally bought in the edges of the city, which were urbanizing into “fraccionamientos” or subdivisions.[19] In the 1980s, the city was described as “divided city” east to west based on socioeconomic class. Since then, the city has evolved into four sectors, which are still more-or-less class centered. The upper classes tend to live in Hidalgo and Juárez in the northwest and southwest, while lower classes tend to live in the city center, Libertad in the north east and southeast in Reforma. However, lower class development have developed on the city’s periphery and upper and middle classes are migrating toward Zapopan, making the situation less neatly divided.(napolitano21-22) .[20] Since 1996, activity by multinational corporations has had a significant effect on the economic and social development of the city. The presence of companies such as Kodak, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola and IBM has been based on production facilities build just outside the city proper, bringing in foreign labor and capital. This was made possible in the 1980s due to surplus labor, infrastructure improvements and government incentives. These companies focus on electrical and electronic items, which is now one of Guadalajara’s two main products (the other being beer). This has internationalized the economy, steering it away from manufacturing and toward services, dependent on technology and foreign investment. This has not been favorable for the unskilled working class, and traditional labor sectors.[21]

On April 22, 1992, numerous gasoline explosions in the sewer system over four hours destroyed 8 kilometers of streets in the downtown district of Analco.[22] Gante Street was the most damaged. Officially, 206 people were killed, nearly 500 injured and 15,000 were left homeless. The estimated monetary damage ranges between $300 million and $1 billion. The affected areas can be recognized by the more modern architecture in the areas that were destroyed.[23]

Three days before the explosion, residents started complaining of a strong gasoline-like smell coming from the sewers. City workers were dispatched to check the sewers and found dangerously high levels of gasoline fumes. However, no evacuations were ordered. An investigation into the disaster found that there were two precipitating causes. The first was new water pipes that were built too close to an existing gasoline pipeline. Chemical reactions between the pipes caused erosion. The second was a flaw in the sewer design that did not allow accumulated gases to escape.[24]

Numerous arrests were made in an attempt to indict those responsible for the blasts.[25] Four PEMEX (the state oil company) officials were indicted and charged, on the basis of negligence. Ultimately, however, these people were cleared of all charges.[26] Calls for the restructuring of PEMEX were made but they were successfully resisted.[27]

On May 24, 1993, Archbishop Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo, along with six other people, was assassinated on the parking lot of Guadalajara International Airport. He was inside his car and received 14 gunshot wounds. A government inquiry concluded he was caught in a shootout between rival cocaine cartels and was mistakenly identified as a drug lord, but no one was ever imprisoned for the slaying. Juan Francisco Murillo Díaz "El Güero Jaibo" and Édgar Nicolás Villegas "El Negro", members of the Tijuana Cartel, were identified as the masterminds of the homicide.[28]

The city has hosted several important international events, such as the first Cumbre Iberoamericana in 1991, the Third Summit of Heads of State and Governments from Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union in 2004, the Encuentro Internacional de Promotores y Gestores Culturales in 2005, and will be the host city of the 2011 Pan American Games. It was also named the American Capital of Culture in 2005, Ciudad Educadora (Educator City) in 2006 and the first Smart City in Mexico due to its use of technology in development.[29]

In its 2007 survey entitled "Cities of the Future", FDi magazine ranked Guadalajara highest among major Mexican cities, and designated Guadalajara as having the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city behind Chicago. FDI Magazine also ranked the city as the most business-friendly Latin American city in 2007.[30]

Historic center

Morelos Street, looking towards the Hospicio Cabañas

The historic center of Guadalajara is the oldest section of the city, where it was founded and where the oldest buildings are located. It centers on Paseo Morelos/Paseo Hospicio from the Plaza de Armas, where the seats of ecclesiastical and secular power are, east toward the Plaza de Mariachis and the Hospicio Cabañas. The Plaza de Armas is a rectangular plaza with gardens, ironwork benches and an ironwork kiosk which was made in Paris in the 19th century.[7][31]

The Metropolitan Cathedral began construction in 1558 and was consecrated in 1616. Its two towers were built in the 19th century after an earthquake destroyed the originals. They are considered one of the city’s symbols. The architecture is a mix of Gothic, Baroque, Moorish and Neoclassical. The interior has three naves and eleven side altars, covered by a roof supported by thirty Doric columns.[31]

The Rotunda

The Rotonda de los Hombres Ilustres (Rotunda of Illustrious Men) is a circular monument made of quarried stone, built to honor the memory of distinguished people from Jalisco. It was built in 1952, and it contains seventeen columns which mark off a circular space, containing ninety-eight urns with the remains of the figures honored here. Across the street is the municipal palace, which was constructed in 1952. It has four facades of quarried stone, and it mostly of Neoclassical design with elements such as courtyards, entrances and columns that imitate the older structures of the city.[7][31] The Palace of the State Government is in Churrigueresque and Neoclassical styles, and was begun in the 17th century and finished in 1774. The interior was completely remodeled after an explosion here in 1859. This building contains a number of murals done by José Clemente Orozco, a native of Jalisco, and includes “Lucha Social,” “Circo Político” and “Las Fuerzas Ocultas.” The last one depicts Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla with his arm raised above his head in anger against the government and the church.[31]

The Plaza de la Liberación is on the east side of the Cathedral. It is nicknamed the Plaza de las Dos Copas, referring to the two fountains on the east and west sides. Facing this plaza is the Teatro Degollado (Degollado Theater). It was built in the mid nineteen century in Neoclassical design. The main portal has a pediment with a scene in relief called “Apollo and the Muses” sculpted in marble by Benito Castañeda. Inside the vaulted ceiling contains a fresco which depicts a scene from the “Divine Comedy” painted by Jacobo Gálvez and Gerardo Suárez. Behind the theater is another plaza with a fountain called the Fuente de los Fundadores (Fountain of the Founders). The plaza is located in the exact spot where the city was founded and contains a sculpture depicting Cristobal de Oñate at the event.(finsemana) .[7]

Mammoth skeleton at the Regional Museum

The Jalisco Regional Museum (Ex seminary de San José) was constructed at the beginning of the 18th century to be the Seminario Conciliar de San José. From 1861 to 1914, it housed a school called Liceo de Varones. In 1918, it became the Museum of Fine Artes. In 1976, it was completely remodeled for its present use. The Museum contains sixteen halls displaying its permanent collection. Fourteen of the halls are divided into zones named Paleontology, Pre-History, and Archeology. One of the prize exhibits is a complete skeleton of a mammoth. The other two halls are dedicated to painting and History. Some of the paintings in the collection were done by Juan Correa, Cristóbal de Villalpando and José de Ibarra.[7][31]

Between the Cathedral and the Hospicio is a large plaza called Plaza Tapatía. It is an important cultural and commercial area which covers an area of 70,000 m2. Its centerpiece if the large Quetzalcoátl sculpture/fountain.(encmuc) Southeast of this plaza is the Mercado Libertad, also called the Mercado de San Juan de Dios. It is one of the largest traditional markets in Mexico. Next to it is the Temple of San Juan de Dios constructed in the 17th century of Baroque style.[31]

Orozco's Hombre del Fuego at the Hospicio

At the far east end is the Plaza de los Mariachis and the Ex-Hospicio Cabañas. The Plaza the Mariachis is faced by a number of restaurants in which one can hear live mariachis play, especially at night. The Ex-Hospicio Cabañas extends along the entire east side of the Plaza. This building was constructed by Manuel Tolsá beginning in 1805 under orders of Carlos III.(encmuc)(hospiciodes) It was inaugurated and began its function as an orphanage in 1810, in spite of the fact that it would not be finished until 1845. It was named after Bishop Ruiz de Cabañas y Crespo. The facade of the building is Neoclassical and its main entrance is topped by a triangular pediment. Today, it is the home of the Instituto Cultural Cabañas (Cabañas Cultural Institute) and its main attraction is the murals by José Clemente Orozco, which covers the main entrance hall. Among these murals is “Hombre del Fuego” (Man of Fire) considered to be one of Orozco’s finest works.[7][31]

Off this east-west axis are a number of other significant constructions. The Legislative Palace is Neoclassical which was originally built in the 18th century. It was reconstructed in 1982. The Palace of Justice was finished in 1897. The Old University Building was a Jesuit College named Santo Tomás de Aquino. It was founded in 1591. Later, it became the second Mexican University in 1792. Its main portal is of yellow stone. The Casa de los Perros (House of the Dogs) was constructed in 1896 in Neoclassical design.[7] On Avenida Juarez is the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora del Carmen which was founded between 1687 and 1690 and remodeled completely in 1830. It retains its original coat of arms of the Carmelite Order as well as sculptures of the prophets Elijah and Elisha. Adjoining it is what is left of the Carmelite monastery, which was one of the richest in New Spain.[31]

Economy

Apartments in the City.
Torre Chapultepec.
Office buildings

Guadalajara has the second largest economy and industrial infrastructure in Mexico,[32] and contributes 37% to the state of Jalisco’s total gross production. Its economic base is strong and well diversified, mainly based on commerce and services, although the manufacturing sector plays a defining role.[33] It is also ranked in the top ten in Latin America in terms of gross domestic product and the highest ranking in Mexico. In its 2007 survey entitled "Cities of the Future", FDi magazine ranked Guadalajara highest among major Mexican cities, and designated Guadalajara as having the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city behind Chicago. FDI Magazine also ranked the city as the most business-friendly Latin American city in 2007.[34]

Most of Guadalajara’s economic growth since 1990 has been tied with foreign investment. International firms have invested here to take advantage of the relatively cheap labor, establishing manufacturing plants which re-export their products to the United States, as well as provide goods for the internal Mexican market.[35] Exports from the city went from 3.92 billion USD in 1995 to 14.3 billion in 2003.[36] From 1990 to 2000, socio-economic indicators show that quality of life improved overall; however, there is still a large gap between the rich and the poor, and the rich have benefited from the globalization and privatization of the economy more than the poor.[37] International investment has not only affected the labor market in the Guadalajara metro area but also that of rural towns and villages that surround it. Guadalajara is the distribution center for the region and its demands as such have lead to a shifting of employment from traditional agriculture and crafts to manufacturing and commerce in urban centers. This has led to mass migration from the rural areas to the metropolitan area.[35]

As for the municipality’s finances, in 2009, Moody's Investors Service assigned ratings of Ba1 (Global scale, local currency) and A1.mx (Mexican national scale). During the prior five years, the municipality’s financial performance had been mixed, but has begun to stabilize in the last two years. Guadalajara manages one of the largest budgets among Mexican municipalities and its revenue per capita indicator (Ps. $2,265) places it above the average for Moody's-rated municipalities in Mexico.[33]

The city’s economy has two main sectors. Commerce and tourism employ most, about 60% of the population. The other is industry, which has been the engine of economic growth and the basis of Guadalajara’s economic importance nationally even though it employs only about a third of the population.[7][33][36] Industries here produce products such as food and beverages, toys, textiles, auto parts, electronic equipment, pharmaceuticals, footwear, furniture and steel products.[7][36] Two of the major industries here have been textiles and shoes, which are still dynamic and growing.[38] Sixty percent of manufactured products are sold domestically, while forty percent are exported, mostly to the United States.[39] This makes Guadalajara’s economic fortunes dependent upon those of the U.S., both as a source of investment money and as a market for its goods.[40]

A Lanix computer factory located in Guadalajara

However, it is the electronics and information technology sectors here that have given the city the nickname of the “Silicon Valley of Mexico.”[39] Guadalajara is the main producer of software, electronic and digital components in Mexico. Telecom and computer equipment from Guadalajara accounts for about a quarter of Mexico’s electronics exports.[40] Companies such as General Electric, IBM, Intel Corporation, Freescale Semiconductor, Hitachi Ltd., Hewlett-Packard, Siemens, Flextronics ,TCS and Jabil Circuit have facilities in the city or its suburbs.[39] This phenomena began after the passage of NAFTA. International firms started building facilities in Mexico, especially Guadalajara, displacing Mexican firms, especially in information technology. One of the problems this has created is that when there are economic downturns, these international firms scale back.[41] The city also has to compete with China, especially for electronics industries which rely on high-volume and low wages. This has caused the city to move toward high-mix, mid-volume and value-added services, such as automotives. However, its traditional advantage of proximity to the U.S. market is one reason Guadalajara stays competitive.[40] Mexico ranked third in 2009 in Latin America for the export of information technology services, behind Brazil and Argentina. This kind of service is mostly related to online and telephone technical support. The major challenge this sector has is the lack of university graduate who can speak English.[42]

Galerias Mall.

Most of the economy revolves around commerce, employing 60% of the population.[7] This activity has mainly focused on the purchase and sale of the following products: food and beverages, textiles, electronic appliances, tobacco, cosmetics, sport articles, construction materials and others. Guadalajara’s commercial activity is second only to Mexico City.[36] Globalization and neoliberal reforms have affected the form and distribution of commerce in Guadalajara since the early 1990s. This has led to tensions between traditional markets, such as the Mercardo Libertad, and retailers such as department stores and supermarkets. Local governments in the metropolitan area used to invest in and heavily regulate traditional markets but this is no longer the case. To attract private corporate investment, regulatory control eased and most commercial developments now are controlled by private concerns.[37] The city is the national leader in development and investment of shopping malls. Many shopping centers have been built, such as Plaza Galerias, one of the largest shopping centers in Latin America, and also Andares. Galerías Guadalajara [2] covers 160,000m2 and has 220 stores. It contains the two largest movie theaters in Latin American, both with IMAX screens. It hosts art exhibits and fashion shows, and has an area for cultural workshops. Anchor stores includes Liverpool and Sears and specialty stores such as Hugo Boss, Max Mara and Lacoste.[43] Also Best Buy opened its first Guadalajara store here. It’s on the third floor and has its own additional private entrance on the top floor of the adjacent parking lot. Another Best Buy will open shortly in Ciudadela Lifestyle Center (Moctezuma and Patria), which will be the chain’s third largest in the world, according to company publicity.

Also there is Andares wich is a shopping mall located in Zapopan. This outdoor and indoor shopping center is Guadalajara’s most exclusive shopping mall and is set in Puerta de hierro which is the most exclusive neighborhood in the city. It was opened in November 19, 2008 in a blaze of consumer frenzy that has affected the city in recent years. The 530 million dollar complex features luxurious world class residencies designed by famous Mexican architect Sordo Madaleno, a luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel and the shopping center complex which features elegant corridors, outdoor restaurants and cafes, anchored by upscale department stores as Liverpool (store) and El Palacio de Hierro in where brands such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Valentino, Gucci, Oscar de la Renta, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Fendi, Dior, Burberry, Ralph Lauren and most of the high-end fashion boutiques have a "corner shop" avaliable, the corridors and indoor mall features dozens of upmarket clothing stores, including Thomas Pink, BCBG Max Azria, Stuart Weitzman, Façonnable, Marc Jacobs, DKNY, Hugo Boss, Salvatore Ferragamo, Max Mara, Ermenegildo Zegna, Lacoste, Swarovski, Diesel, Pal Zileri etc.

A large segment of the commercial sector caters to tourists and other visitors. Recreational tourism is concentrated in the historic center of the city.[7] In addition to being a cultural and recreational attraction in its own right, the city also serves as an axis to other nearby attractions such as Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo and Mazatlan.[36] Other types of visitors include those who come here to attend seminars, conventions, expositions and other events in fields such as academia, entertainment, sports and business. The city has a number of venues and luxury hotels for this purpose, The best-known venue is the Expo-Guadalajara, a large scale convention center situated among luxury hotels. This venue was constructed in 1987 and is considered the most important venue of its kind in Mexico.[36] Despite the impact of the international economic crisis in 2008 and 2009, tourism and hotel occupancy rates have remained strong.[32]

The municipality and the metropolitan area

The eastern area of the City is covered with greenery.
Guadalajara Metropolitan Area

The city of Guadalajara and the municipality of Guadalajara are essentially co extensive with over 99% of the municipality living within the city limits, and nearly all of the municipality urbanized.[7][44] Urbanization centered on the city spreads out over seven other municipalities; of Zapopan, Tlaquepaque, Tonalá, Tlajomulco de Zuñiga, El Salto, Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos and Juanacatlán.[3] These areas form the “Guadalajara Metropolitan Area” (Zona Metropolitana de Guadalajara in Spanish) , which is the most populous in the state of Jalisco and the second most populous in the country after the Mexico City Metropolitan area.[3] This metropolitan area had a population of 4,298,715 in 2008.[2][3]

Education

The main entrance to the University of Guadalajara.
Guadalajara's University, Rectory Building.

Guadalajara is an important nucleus of universities and educational centers with national prestige. The most important is the Universidad de Guadalajara, which was established in October 12, 1791 by royal decree.[45] The entity underwent a number of reorganizations since then, but the modern university as it exists today was established in 1925, when the governor of Jalisco convened professors, students and others to re-establish the university. These precepts were organized into a law called the “Ley Organica.”[46]

Guadalajara is also home to ITESO, a Jesuit university, and has campuses of several private schools such as a campus of the Universidad del Valle de México, Tec de Monterrey, Universidad Panamericana Sede México, Universidad Marista de Guadalajara,Universidad Guadalajara LAMAR, as well as the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara (UAG), which was founded in 1935 and is the oldest private university in Mexico.[47], and Universidad del Valle de Atemajac (UNIVA) wich is a young private univeristy committed to building a strong international student educational program that supports its mission of providing an alternative to state-sponsored higher education. In addition, the city hosts The American School Foundation of Guadalajara (ASFG). ASFG has 1420 students in pre-school through twelfth grade; it is the only US-accredited school in Guadalajara.[48]

Climate

Under the Köppen climate classification, Guadalajara has a humid subtropical climate (Cwa), featuring dry and mild winters and warm and wet summers. Guadalajara's climate is influenced by its high altitude and the general seasonality of precipitation patterns in western North America. Although the temperature is mild year-round, Guadalajara has very strong seasonal variation in precipitation. The North American Monsoon brings a great deal of rain, whereas for the rest of the year, the climate is very arid. The extra moisture in the wet months moderates the temperatures, resulting in cooler days and warmer nights during this period. The highest temperatures are usually reached in May averaging 32°C, before the onset of the wet season. March tends to be the driest month and July the wettest, with an average of 249 millimetres (9.8 in) of rain, over a quarter of the annual average of about 921 millimetres (36.3 in) Winters are cold, with temperatures reaching 0°C.[49]

Climate data for Guadalajara, Mexico
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average high °C (°F) 24
(75)
26
(79)
28
(82)
30
(86)
32
(90)
30
(86)
27
(81)
27
(81)
27
(81)
27
(81)
26
(79)
24
(75)
Daily mean °C (°F) 16
(61)
17
(63)
19
(66)
21
(70)
23
(73)
24
(75)
22
(72)
22
(72)
22
(72)
20
(68)
18
(64)
16
(61)
Average low °C (°F) 7
(45)
7
(45)
9
(48)
12
(54)
14
(57)
17
(63)
17
(63)
17
(63)
16
(61)
13
(55)
9
(48)
7
(45)
Precipitation mm (inches) 18
(0.71)
5
(0.2)
3
(0.12)
8
(0.31)
33
(1.3)
168
(6.61)
249
(9.8)
208
(8.19)
150
(5.91)
48
(1.89)
18
(0.71)
13
(0.51)
Source: Weather Channel[50]

Transportation

Guadalajara metro
Guadalajara international airport

Guadalajara is well connected by modern highways to Mexico City, to the Northwest and to the major beach resorts of Manzanillo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. The main highways are Highway 15, which connects the city northwest to Nogales, Sonora, via Tepic, Nayarit and east Mexico City via Morelia. Highway 80D leads northwest towards Aguascalientes, and Highway 54D leads south to the coast via Colima[51] The city is served by the Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla International Airport, also known as Guadalajara International Airport (IATA code: GDL) openedin 1966. It is located 16 kilometers south of downtown Guadalajara on the highway to Chapala. This airport is the third most active of the country (after Mexico City and Cancún) with direct flights to many Mexican and American cities. It also has a lively and distinctive network of car-free streets.[52]

Within the city itself, there are various forms of public transportation. The Guadalajara Metro system, officially known as SITEUR (Sistema de Tren Eléctrico Urbano), Spanish for Urban Electrical Train System, provides service within Guadalajara and the neighboring municipalities of Zapopan and Tlaquepaque. There are 2 lines: line 1, running from North to South, with 19 stations, and line 2, running from downtown to east, with 10 stations. Trains are electrical, with a top speed of 70 km/h (43 mph), and travel on metal rails. Currently there are 48 trains in service, built in Mexico by Siemens. There is a plan for Line 3 going from north-central Ávila Camacho station to Tesistán as well as plans to extend Line 2 from Tetlán to Tonalá.[53] The Guadalajara Macrobus is a public transportation based on the Bus Rapid Transit, where buses run on lanes specifically for them and have stations for boarding. Phase I of the Macrobús project has built a line that following Avenida Independencia with twenty seven stations extending sixteen km.[54] The city also has a widespread trolleybus system, which has been operating since the 1970s.[55]

Culture

Telmex auditorium.

Guadalajara is the cultural center of western Mexico and the second most important cultural center in the country.[37] It is nicknamed the “Pearl of the West.” While it is a modern city, it has kept many of the rural traditions of Jalisco, such as mariachi.[56] Cultural tourism is one of the most important economic activities, especially in the historic center.[7] Guadalara is a center of learning with six universities, two culinary institutes and a thriving art scene.[56] Guadalajara has twenty two museums, which include the Regional Museum of Jalisco, the Wax Museum, the Trompo Mágico children’s museum and the Museum of Anthropology.[57] The Hospicio Cabañas in the historic center is a World Heritage Site.[58] For these attributes and others, the city was named an American Capital of Culture in 2005.[59]

This city has been the cradle and dwelling of distinguished poets, writers, painters, actors, film directors and representatives of the arts, etc, such as : José Clemente Orozco, Dr. Atl, Roberto Montenegro, Alejandro Zohn, Luis Barragán, Carlos Orozco Romero, Federico Fabregat, Raul Anguiano, Juan Soriano, Javier Campos Cabello, Martha Pacheco, Alejandro Colunga, José Fors, Juan Kraeppellin, Davis Birks, Carlos Vargas Pons, Jis, Trino, Erandini, Enrique Oroz, Rubén Méndez, Mauricio Toussaint, Scott Neri, Paula Santiago, Edgar Cobian, L.Felipe Manzano, and (the artist formerly known as Mevna); The freeplay guitarist and music composer for the movies El Mariachi and The Legend of Zorro, Paco Renteria; important exponents of Literature such as: Juan Rulfo, Francisco Rojas, Agustín Yáñez, Elías Nandino, Idella Purnell, Jorge Souza, among others; classic repertoire composers like Gonzalo Curiel, José Pablo Moncayo, Antonio Navarro, Ricardo Zohn, Carlos Sánchez-Gutiérrez and Gabriel Pareyon; film directors like Felipe Cazals, Jaime Humberto Hermosillo, Erik Stahl, Guillermo del Toro and actors like Katy Jurado, Enrique Alvarez Felix and actual exponents like Gael García Bernal.

Torta ahogada

The cuisine is a mix of pre-Hispanic and Spanish influences, like the rest of Mexico, but dishes here have their own favors and are made with their own techniques. One of the main distinguishing dishes is birria. This is goat or lamb meat cooked in a spicy sauce seasoned with chili peppers, ginger, cumin, black pepper, oregano and cloves.[60] The traditional way of preparing birria is to pit roast the meat and spices wrapped in maguey leaves.[61] It is served in bowls along with minced onion, limes and tortillas.[60] One of the best-known birria restaurants is called Las Nueve Esquinas. It has three locations, all located in the historic center. Although it does not advertise, it has received diners from Spain, Germany, Switzerland and other countries. On the walls are photographs of notable people who have frequented here, including Irma Serrano, journalist Ricardo Rocha, Guillermo Ochoa, Manuel Valdés, María Victoria and Paco Stanley.[62]

Another dish that is strongly associated with Guadalajara is tortas ahogadas, literally “drowned tortas (sub sandwiches).” This sandwich is an oblong “bolillo” bun (made denser in Guadalajara than in the rest of the country) filled with pork and other ingredients. Then the sandwich is covered in a red tomato/chili pepper sauce. Other dishes that are popular here include pozole, a soup prepared with hominy, chicken or pork and various condiments and pipián, which is a sauce prepared with peanuts, squash and sesame seed. The city hosts the Feria Internacional Gastronomía (Internation Gastronomy Fair) each year in September showcasing both Mexican and international cuisines. A large number of restaurants, bars, bakeries and cafés participate as well as producers of beer, Mexican winewine and tequila.[60]

Mariachi band playing in the historic center of Guadalajara

Mariachi music is strongly associated with Guadalajara both in Mexico and abroad even though the musical style originated in the nearby town of Cocula, Jalisco. The connection between the city and mariachi began in 1907 when an eight-piece mariachi band and four dancers from the city performed on stage at the president’s residence for both Porfirio Díaz and the secretary of State of the United States. This made the music a symbol of west Mexico, and after the migration of many people from the Guadalajara area to Mexico City (mostly settling near Plaza Garibaldi), it then became a symbol of Mexican identity as well[63] Guadalajara hosts the Festival of Mariachi and Charreria, which began in 1994. It attracts personages in the fields of art, culture and politics from both Mexico and abroad. Regularly the best mariachis in Mexico participate, such as Mariachi Vargas, Mariachi de América and Mariachi los Camperos de Naty Cano. Mariachi bands from all over the world participate, coming from countries such as Venezuela, Cuba, Belgium, Chile, France, Australia, Slovak Republic, Canada and the United States. The events of this festival take place in a number of venues all over the metropolitan area.[64][65] and includes a parade with floats.[65] In August 2009, 542 mariachi musicians played together for a little over ten minutes to break the world’s record for largest mariachi group. The musicians played various songs ending with two classic Mexican songs “Cielito Lindo” and “Guadalajara.” The feat was performed during the XVI Encuentro Internacional del Mariachi y la Charreria. The prior record was 520 musicians in 2007 in San Antonio, Texas.[66] In the historic center of the city is the Plaza de los Mariachis, named such as many groups play here. The plaza is being renovated for the 2011 Pan American Games in anticipation of the crowds that will visit the city. Over 750 mariachi musicians play traditional melodies on the plaza, and along with the restaurants and other businesses, the plaza supports more than 830 families.[67] A recent innovation has been the fusion of mariachi melodies and instruments with rock and roll performed by rock musicians in the Guadalajara area. An album collecting a number of these melodies was produced called “Mariachi Rock-O.” There are plans to take these bands on tour in Mexico, the United States and Europe.[68]

Philharmonic Orchestra of Jalisco playing at the Degollado Theater of Guadalajara.

In addition to mariachi, the city is home to a renowned symphony orchestra. The Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco (Philharmonic Orchestra of Jalisco) was founded by José Rolón in 1915. It held concerts from that time until 1924, when state funding was lost. However, the musicians kept playing to keep the orchestra alive. This eventually caught the attention of authorities and funding was restated in 1939. Private funding started in the 1940s and in 1950, an organization called Conciertos Guadalajara A. C. was formed to continue fundraising for the orchestra. In 1971, the orchestra became affiliated with the Department of Fine Arts of the State of Jalisco. The current name was adopted in 1988, as it became the orchestra for the state, not just the city of Guadalajara although it remains based here. International soloists such as Paul Badura-Skoda, Claudio Arrau, Jörg Demus, Henryck Szeryng, Nicanor Zabaleta, Plácido Domingo, Kurt Rydl and Alfred Brendel have performed with the organization. Today the orchestra is under the direction of Héctor Guzmán.[69]

The city is also host to several dance and ballet companies such as the Chamber Ballet of Jalisco, the Folkloric Ballet of the University of Guadalajara, and University of Guadalajara Contemporary Ballet.

Guadalajara Film Festival with inflatable screen

Guadalajara is also known for several large cultural festivals. The International Film Festival of Guadalajara [3] is a yearly event which happens in March. It mostly focuses on Mexican and Latin American films; however films from all over the world are shown. The event is sponsored by the Universidad de Guadalajara, CONACULTA, the Instituto Mexicano de Cinematographía as well as the governments of the cities of Guadalajara and Zapopan. The 2009 festival had over 200 films shown in more than 16 theatres and open-air forums, such as the inflatable screens set up in places such as Chapultepec, La Rambla Cataluña and La Minerva. In that year, the event gave out awards totaling 500,000 USD. The event attracts names such as Mexican actor Guillermo del Toro, Greek director Constantin Costa-Gavras, Spanish actor Antonio Banderas and U.S. actor Edward James Olmos.[70]

The Guadalajara International Book Fair is the largest Spanish language book fair in the world held each year over nine days at the Expo Guadalajara.[71][72] Over 300 publishing firms from 35 different countries regularly attend, demonstrating the most recent productions in books, videos and new communications technologies. The event awards prizes such as the Premio FIL for literature, the Premio de Literatura Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, also for literature, and the Reconocimento al Mérito Editorial for publishing houses. There is an extensive exposition of books and other materials in Spanish, Portuguese and English, covering academia, culture, the arts and more for sale. More than 350,000 people attend from Mexico and abroad.[71] In 2009, Nobel prize winner Orhan Pamuk, German children’s author Cornelia Funke and Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa participated along with about 500 other authors present.[73] Activities include book presentations, academic talks, forums, and events for children.[72]

The Festival Cultural de Mayo (May Cultural Festival) began in 1988. In 2009, the event celebrated the 400th anniversary of relations between Mexico and Japan, with many performances and exhibitions relation to Japanese culture. The 2009 festival featured 358 artists in 118 activities. Each year a different country is “invited.” Past guests have been Germany (2008), Mexico (2007), Spain (2006) and Austria (2005).[74]

Sports

Chivas stadium under construction.
Chivas banner at a game

Guadalajara is home to three professional football/soccer teams; the Chivas, Atlas and the Tecos Estudiantes. The Chivas, formally known as Club Deportivo Guadalajara S.A. DE C.V. is one of the two most followed teams in the country, along with rival América. In the latest IFFHS's club rankings, Chivas ranks fifth among CONCACAF teams and one hundred eighth overall.[75][76] Atlas also plays in the Primera División de México. Atlas fans are collectively called La Fiel (the faithful)by themselves, but better known to the rest of the population as "Barra 51" ; La Barra 51 is the main organized supporter group. La Barra 51's name recalls Atlas' last and only championship in the Primera División de México in 1951.Club Deportivo Estudiantes Tecos is associated with the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara AC. It currently plays in the Primera División, with home games in the Estadio 3 de Marzo (March 3 Stadium, for the University's 1935 date of founding).

Charreada, the Mexican form of rodeo and closely tied to mariachi music, is popular here.[64]

Guadalajara is the site of 2011 Pan American Games [4]. Since winning the bid to host the Games, the city has been undergoing extensive renovations. The games expect more than 5,000 athletes from approximately 42 countries from the Americas and the Caribbean. Sports include aquatics, football, racquetball and 27 more, with six others being considered. COPAG (the Organizing Committee for the Pan American Games Guadalajara 2011) has a total budget of $250 million USD with the aim of updating the city’s sports and general infrastructure. The center of the city is repaving and creating streets as well as constructing new hotels for the approximately 22,000 rooms that will be needed by 2011. The new bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Macrobús, was launched in March and runs along Avenida Independencia. The Pan-American village will be built around Morelos Park, consisting of twelve new buildings. After the Games, the buildings will be used for housing. There are already 13 existing venues in Guadalajara that the games will use, including the Jalisco Stadium, UAG 3 de Marzo Stadium, and the UAG Gymnasium. Eleven new sporting facilities are being created for the event. Other works include a second terminal in the airport, a highway to Puerto Vallarta and a bypass for the southern part of the city.[77]

Guadalajara is the home of Lorena Ochoa, ranked the #1 female golfer in the world since 2007 in the Women's World Golf Rankings.

Sister cities

Sister cities
Flag City Country Year
Costa Rica Alajuela Costa Rica[78] 1983
United States Albuquerque United States[78] 1985
Peru Arequipa Peru
United States Atlanta United States[78] 2009
Philippines Batangas Philippines
Venezuela Caracas Venezuela[78] 1976
Philippines Cebu Philippines[78] 1976
Peru Lima Peru[78] 1976
Spain Ceuta Spain
Spain Cigales Spain[78] 1992
United States Cleveland United States[78] 1976
Brazil Curitiba Brazil[78] 1995
South Korea Daejeon South Korea[78] 1997
Philippines Dagupan Philippines[78]
United States Downey United States[78] 1960
Spain Guadalajara Spain[78] 1982
Guam Hagåtña Guam[78] 1976
United States Kansas City United States[78] 1993
Jamaica Kingston Jamaica[78] 1976
Poland Kraków Poland[78] 1978
Japan Kyoto Japan[78] 1978
United States Lansing United States[78] 1990
United States Compton United States
Mexico Magdalena de Kino Mexico[78] 1984
Equatorial Guinea Malabo Equatorial Guinea[78] 1976
Italy Milan Italy[78] 1976
Mexico Nochistlán Mexico[78] 1997
Spain Oñati Spain[78] 2002
Panama Panama City Panama[78] 1976
United States Portland United States[78] 1983
United States St. Louis United States[78] 1993
Russia Saint Petersburg Russia[79]
United States San Antonio United States[78] 1974
Costa Rica San José Costa Rica[78]
El Salvador San Salvador El Salvador[78] 1976
Dominican Republic Santo Domingo Dominican Republic[78]
Spain Seville Spain[78] 1977
Honduras Tegucigalpa Honduras[78] 1976
United States Tucson United States[78] 1972
Poland Wrocław Poland[78] 1995
People's Republic of China Xiamen China[78]

Pop culture

  • André Breton visited Guadalajara in 1938; He stated after getting lost in Mexico City (as no one was waiting for him at the airport) "I don't know why I came here. Mexico is the most surrealist country in the world".
  • In the movie Fun in Acapulco starring Elvis Presley, he makes a very amusing and well choreographed musical of the song "Guadalajara".
  • Desi Arnaz recorded the song "Guadalajara". Desi also sang it in the I Love Lucy episode "The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub".
  • Guadalajara is the birth-place of Mexican movie star Gael García Bernal.
  • Singer Alejandro Fernández is from Guadalajara.
  • In Kirsty MacColl's song "In These Shoes", the city is mentioned.
  • In the show Family Guy while in a bank robbery, Peter Griffin asks the hostages to name a location for a game of improv and an old lady replies "Guadalajara, Mexico"
  • In the television series, Ugly Betty, Betty on her first day of working wears a poncho that says Guadalajara.
  • The city is jokingly referred to in Jurassic Park III.
  • In the song "My Old School" by Steely Dan, Guadalajara is mentioned in the lyrics. The lyrics go: "Oh no, Guadalajara won't do / Well I did not think the girl could be so cruel / And I'm never going back to my old school."
  • Guadalajara was a small part of the filming spot of the record-breaking audience soap opera, Destilando Amor.
  • In the episode "Sara Like Puny Alan" of Two and a Half Men, Guadalajara is mentioned by the two brothers, Charlie Harper and Alan Harper.
  • In the worldwide popular game Street Fighter 2, T. Hawk's stage is The Cabanas Orphanage (Hospicio Cabanas).
  • In the fifteenth episode of the sixth season of That '70s Show, called "Who are you" Jackie says that her mom went to a bar called "La Cucaracha" in Guadalajara. "La Cucaracha" is a real bar close to Plaza del Sol in Guadalajara.
  • Las Tontas No Van al Cielo, a famous soap opera was filmed in Guadalajara.
  • Nine Inch Nails video “We’re In This Together” was filmed on location in Guadalajara, Mexico
  • Guadalajara is the birthplace of the famous electro-pop band Belanova
  • The movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua contains several scenes in the historical center in Guadalajara.
  • In the Nickelodeon show iCarly, in the episode iReunite with Missy, when Sam hears that someone knocked the door she yells to Carly "If it's Freddie's mom tell her I moved to Guadalajara."
  • The famous Rock en Español band Maná originated in Guadalajara. They originally went by the name Sombrero Verde.

See also

References

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  62. ^ Blanco, Mireya (2006-11-20). "Las Nueve Esquinas: historia y birria [Las Nueve Esquinas:History and birria]" (in Spanish). El Universal (Mexico City). http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/nacion/145662.html. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  63. ^ Turino, Thomas (Fall 2003). "Nationalism and Latin American music: Selected case studies and theoretical considerations". Revista de Música Latinoamericana (Austin, TX) 24 (2): 169. 
  64. ^ a b "16th Encuentro Nacional del Mariachi y la Charrería Historia [16th National Encounter of Mariachi and Charreada - History]" (in Spanish). http://www.mariachi-jalisco.com.mx/nosotros. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  65. ^ a b "Mariachi hace vibrar a Guadalajara [Marachi makes Guadalajara vibrate]" (in Spanish). 2008-09-02. http://www.terra.com.mx/articulo.aspx?articuloId=728493. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  66. ^ "México suma a récords otro por mariachis [Mexico adds another record for mariachis]" (in Spanish). CNN Expansion. 2009-08-31. http://www.cnnexpansion.com/estilo/2009/08/31/mexico-anade-el-record-del-mega-mariachi. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  67. ^ Informador Redacción (2009-02-28). "Rehabilitación de Plaza de los Mariachis, a cargo de particular [Rehabilitation of the Plaza de los Mariachis in private hands]" (in Spanish). El Informador (Guadalajara, Mexico). http://www.informador.com.mx/jalisco/2009/82537/6/rehabilitacion-de-plaza-de-los-mariachis-a-cargo-de-particular.htm. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
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  73. ^ "Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara" (in Spanish). Mexico: Instituto Mexicano de la Radio. 2009-10-27. http://imer.gob.mx/programas/laferia/2009/10/27/feria-internacional-del-libro-de-guadalajara/. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  74. ^ "Festival Cultural de Mayo" (in Spanish). Guadalajara, Mexico: Municipality of Guadalajara. http://www.festivaldemayo.org/fcmj2009/bienvenida.htm. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  75. ^ "Club World Ranking: top 350". iffhs.de. IFFHS. 25th October 2009. http://www.iffhs.de/?10f42e00fa2d17f73702fa3016e23c17f7370eff3702bb1c2bbb6f28f53512. Retrieved 25 October 2009. 
  76. ^ "Chivas Guadalajara". Fifa.com. http://www.fifa.com/classicfootball/clubs/club=539/index.html. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
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  78. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj Sister Cities, Public Relations, Guadalajara municipal government. Accessed on line March 18, 2008.
  79. ^ Chairman of the Committee for External Relations of St. Petersburg, Business Petersburg, issue 54, 2007-03-30

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Guadalajara Cathedral
Guadalajara Cathedral

Guadalajara is the capital city of the central state of Jalisco in Mexico. It is also the second largest city in the country. It is considered a colonial city, though much of its architecture dates from the independence period. Although it has a far more relaxed feel than Mexico City the centre can still seem a bit stuffy and dusty, especially during rush hour when the sun is out. However, it is still a lovely city and contains many nice areas for walking, not just in the city centre.

  • Sector Juárez -- southwest central Guadalajara, with plenty of shops and 2 malls (Centro Magno and Galerias, encompassing the Minerva and Chapultepec commercial zones.
  • Sector Hidalgo -- northwest central Guadalajara, a largely residential area encompassing the financial district and the country club.
  • Sector Libertad -- northeast central Guadalajara, a largely industrial zone. The southwest part of the sector is pretty close to the historic downtown, there is a traditional market (Mercado San Juan de Dios) and Plaza de los mariachis where you can find the traditional mexican music.
  • Sector Reforma -- southeast central Guadalajara, also a mostly industrial zone. Parque Agua Azul, a large park with many trees, an auditorium and a lake inside similar to Central Park, lies there. On Saturday mornings there's a street market, the Tianguis Cultural, where you can buy alternative apparel and articles for youngsters such as spiked belts, black trenchcoats, military uniforms, used books and trading cards for a fair price.
  • Centro Historico -- the historic downtown. Most of your time will probably be spent here. It is filled with colonial era buildings. It also boasts several important mural paintings by Jalisco-born José Clemente Orozco, one of Mexico's most important artists.
  • Zapopan -- is both a large municipal region comprising much of the western edge of metropolitan Guadalajara and a the small old town center of Zapopan northwest of the Minerva-Chapultepec area. Zapopan the region comrises several shopping malls (Plaza Patria, Plaza Galerias, La Gran Plaza, among others), the Mercado del Mar (Sea Market) where you can eat fish and seafood for a reasonable price, as well as downtown Zapopan where you can find many bars and cantinas. Right south from the downtown there are rich neighborhoods, night clubs such as White Lotus and Bossé, restaurants, three private universities (Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, Tec de Monterrey and Universidad del Valle de Atemajac - UNIVA) and several shopping malls (Plaza Pabellon, Plaza del Sol). Zapopan actually is the largest municipality in the State and also have several parks (Los Colomos, The Country Club) and a forest (La Primavera)
  • Tlaquepaque -- south and southeast Guadalajara, offers an old town Tlaquepaque area with a Mexican village setting. It has an important shopping district as it is a main arts and crafts center within Mexico. The old town offers many interesting restaurants, galleries, a regional ceramics museum and a "Premio Nacional de la Ceramica" (National Ceramics Awards) museum. There is a large variety of shops where you can buy local pottery and handicrafts, including indigenous huichol artesanship. "The Parian" is a square building in the heart of its downtown that houses a collection of 17 restaurant-bars and at the center has a traditional kiosk where mariachi groups and singers play for patrons. It's a great place to enjoy a cool drink on a hot day and listen to good music in a very Mexican setting. Tlaquepaque is about 30 minutes from Guadalajara's downtown and about 20 minutes from the airport. A private university, the ITESO, lies on southern Guadalajara.
  • Tonalá -- eastern Guadalajara, where you can also buy handicrafts. Also lies there a huge park, the Parque Solidaridad.

Understand

Guadalajara is divided into several districts. The main areas of interest to tourists are the Centro Historico and the Minerva - Chapultepec - Zona Rosa areas. These are located on an East-West axis centered on Av. Vallarta (named Av. Juárez in the Centro Historico) and stretch from the Plaza Tapatía/Plaza Mariachis on the East side to the Fuente Minerva/Arcos Vallarta on the West side. Outside of the downtown area are three areas also of interest to the tourist: Tlaquepaque, Tonalá - located SE of the centro and known for their handicraft shops and markets, and Zapopan - located NW of the centro and famous as a site of pilgrimage and for it's old-town charm. Conveniently the 275-diagonal bus route runs from Tlaquepaque through the centro to Zapopan, providing convenient access to all of these sites.

A rose by any other name: Tapatío

Some local vocabulary: a Tapatío is a resident of Guadalajara. Alonso de Molina, a colonial era Franciscan, argued that in Nahuatl the word meant "the price of something purchased." However nobody would call themselves that, and Nauhatl was never spoken in the region. Latter day etymologies have struggled to come up with any credible account. So one might as well just take it as a fact: natives of Guadalajara call themselves Tapatíos.

Guadalajara's Recent History

Guadalajara and Jalisco in general were the center of the Cristero Wars (1926-1929), a rebellion by catholic guerillas against the secularizing reforms of Plutarco Calles's presidency. One of the first armed conflicts of the rebellion took place in Gudalajara in the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe (August 3, 1926), where a group of several hundred cristeros engaged in a shootout with federal troops. Guadalajara itself was attacked (unsuccessfully) by the Cristero armies in March of 1929.

In the 1950s Av Juárez was widened to create the arterial axis of Juárez-Vallarta which you see today. A famous part of that work was moving the central telephone exchange without disrupting service. Pictures of this feat of engineering can be seen in the City Museum.

In April 1992, the Reforma area was rocked by a huge explosion of gasoline, when a gasoline pipe line leaked into the sewers over a period of days until the fumes finally detonated. Some 200 were killed and several thousand injured. The explosion affected mostly the working class and industrial sector on the South side of the city.

In May 1993, Cardinal Ocampo of Guadalajara was killed at the Guadalajara airport. Though at the time the murder was thought to have been some sort of politically motivated assassination, subsequent investigations favor the theory that the cardinal was caught by mistake in drug related violence, his motorcade having been mistaken for that of a drug lord. Cardinal Ocampo is buried beneath the high altar of the Guadalajara Cathedral, probably because his murder was initially fêted as political martyrdom rather than as an accident.

Contemporary Guadalajara

Guadalajara is Mexico's second largest city, and one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country. This growth has been driven in part by the booming electronic industry in the cities industrial outskirts. Other important and growing industries are pharmaceuticals, food processing, and fashion.

The University of Guadalajara is Western Mexico's most important institution of higher learning, and is Mexico's second most important after Mexico City's mammoth UNAM. The University also serves as a center of cultural activity enjoyed by residents and tourists alike. The Ballet Folclórico de UDG is an example, performing regularly to sold-out crowds at the Teatro Degollado.

Guadalajara is home to the Chivas, a professional soccer team.

  • Libertador Miguel Hidalgo International Airport (GDL) is located south of the city along the Guadalajara-Chapala Highway. Along with Mexico's main domestic carriers - Mexicana, AeroMexico and Aviacsa - major airlines, including Alaska Airlines,American Airlines, ATA, Continental, Copa Airlines, Delta and U.S Airways (previous under the America West name) serve Guadalajara. Discount airlines Aerocalifornia, Alma de Mexico, Avolar, Interjet and Volaris jet between Guadalajara and Mexican destinations. A taxi from the airport from anywhere will cost 220 pesos but many hotels offer airport pickups that can be cheaper. There is also a bus that stops at the bottom of Terminal 1 which goes to the Central Camionera Vieja close to the historic centre and costs 5 pesos.
  • The new main bus station is in the suburb of Tonalá, which serves all routes further than 100km or so, generally those which leave the state of Jalisco. The old bus station just south of the centro is served by bus lines motoring to nearby pueblos like Tequila and Chapala. Be warned that bus rides can sometimes be a bit jumpy and jittery because of the state of the roads, but the buses themselves are very comfortable. A taxi from the new bus station to the Centro Historico should cost around 60 pesos, or you can get a city bus which will cost 5 pesos unless you get a TUR bus which costs 10, just ask for 'centro'.

Get around

The Centro (downtown) is mostly accessible by walking, assuming you are capable of bearing your own weight. Most attractions lie within an area of about 3/4 of a mile long by 1/4 mile wide. For longer trips or to get in and out of the Centro, use the bus, subway, or a taxi. There are also horse drawn carriages (calandria), which is more expensive and mainly for tours of the center, for those who want to travel in a previous century's style.

By bus

Dozens of bus routes provide transportation around the city. As of March 2008, regular busses cost five pesos; there are also luxury buses (Turquesa, Tur and Cardenal) costing 10 pesos. Look on the front window of the bus to see where it will go, and ask the driver if you're uncertain. You can also try to purchase a route map (the Guia Roja Red Vial Ciudad de Guadalajara is one option, or ask at any magazine stand or one of the tourism kiosk downtown for a book with bus routes), although as of early 2008 they are no longer being published and are therefore almost impossible to find. This means planning your route ahead, or asking the locals (provided you know some Spanish). Riding the bus also provides a good chance to see different parts of the city and get your bearings. Note that bus drivers will give you change within limits, though after even a day in GDL you might find more 10 peso pieces in your pocket than you can dispose of.

It can be hard to spot bus stops in Guadalajara, in theory there should be a signpost with a blue sign and a picture of bus as well as triangular markings on the road with the word 'Parada' meaning stop. However these aren't always there or the markings having been removed with time. Look around and see where there's a crowd of people waiting, sometimes there are even seats, if not, the buses might stop at the corner or in front of traffic lights. If they drive past you, keep looking at them and try to see where they stop.

If you know a bit of Spanish, try using this page [1]. It has most of the bus routes. Alternatively, this page [2] may fill in any routes the other page doesn't handle.

One particularly useful route for getting back and forth between the Centro Historico and the Zona Rosa - Minerva area is the Par Vial Route. Westbound it travels along Av Vallarta and Eastbound along Av Hidalgo. Just look up for the pair of electrical cables that it uses for power. In the Centro Historico you can catch it on Hidalgo up to the East side of the Plaza Liberación, where it makes the turn to head up to Independencia and back West.

There is also an open top double-decked tour bus (TuriBus) that leaves from the Rotunda and will take you past all the main sites in Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque and Zapopan and will also allow you to ride it all day, getting on and off as you will.

By taxi

Taxis are another option if you don't want to try to figure out the buses. You can either agree to a price with the cab driver or ask him to turn the meter on. Using the latter option, there is a risk that the driver won't the take the shortest possible route if he thinks you don't know it yourself. The meter will normally be a better price than the price the hotel will tell you to pay, if they hail. As always, be sure to ask the fare before you get in. Cabs cost more at night or when they have to cross the outer ring of the city. Day-time fares should never exceed 100 pesos within the city and almost always the price should be even under 50 pesos. At night-time, the prices are doubled. As a rule of thumb, during the daytime the fare is about 3-4 pesos per kilometer and at night about 8-9 pesos, but if the driver is using a meter, there's also a starting price of around 5-10 pesos.

Fares to and from the airport are set at 220 pesos. If arriving at the Guadalajara airport, a taxi monopoly provides the service from the airport. Pre-purchase your taxi ride at the booths outside of the arrival halls. You can take a normal taxi to the airport, though.

By subway

A simple subway network can be useful if you happen to want to travel along its currently limited path. There are two lines that join at the Western edge of the Centro Historico. One runs North-South beneath Avenida Federalismo to the edges of the city in both directions. The other runs East through the Centro Historico to the Eastern suburbs. Fares cost 5 pesos. The subway closes at 11pm.

A new bus service named 'Pre Tren' (Pre Train) goes from the main (Juárez) subway station through the Zona Rosa to the west Outer Ring at a 50% discounted fare for subway card users and provide a good service with new, air-conditioned, red colored units. The service is better than the smaller 'camiones' (bus) service.

  • Guadalajara Cathedral Completed in 1618 and dedicated to the Assumption. The current towers were replaced in the mid 1800s after an earthquake destroyed the originals in 1818. The cathedrals architecture is an eclectic mix of gothic, neoclassical and palladian architecture.
  • Plaza of the Crosses. Four Plazas shaped like a cross with the Cathedral at the center. Any of these offer a nice spot to walk through or rest in for a few minutes. Most have plenty of food vendors nearby.
    • Plaza Guadalajara west of (in front of) the cathedral has a circular fountain and an outdoor restaurant, under the fountain there is an underground comercial centre which offers all kinds of goods for sale including fruit, beverages and even jewellery.
    • Plaza de Armas south of the cathedral it offers one of the best views of the cathedral and the Palacio de Gobierno (Governor's Office). It features a French Ironwork bandstand bought by former mexican president Porfirio Diaz during 1885 and four States on the corners of the place symbolizing the Four Seasons. The bandstand serves as the performing arena for marching bands but due to it's recent use for all kinds of political (soap-box) manifestations it's guarded by the police 24/7.
    • Plaza de la Liberación east of (behind) the cathedral it features two large cup-shaped fountains and a gigantic sculpture of Miguel Hidalgo, the man who signed the Mexican Declaration of Independence in the current Palacio de Gobierno. It also serves as an atrium for the oldest surviving theatre in the city: "Teatro Degollado", and it's the usual spot for massive free concerts.
    • Rotonda de los Jalicienses Ilustres north of the cathedral it serves as a mausoleum for important men and women born in Jalisco, it's bright and busy atmosphere of the park around it contrasts with the serious aspect of the Mausoleum itself. On the southern side (across the street from the cathedral) is the bus stop for the previously mentioned TuriBus.
  • Palacio de Gobierno (Governor's Office)(east of the cathedral) This is the historical center of the government of the State of Jalisco. Today it is mostly visited for the murals painted there by José Clemente Orozco. The most famous of these is a huge portrait of Miguel Hidalgo in the vault of the old chambers of the state council.
  • Museo Regional de Guadalajara 60 Liceo St. Pleasant museum to spend a few hours in, especially on a hot day when you need some time out of the sun. It features a Mammoth skeleton found on the nearby Chapala Lake
  • Mercado Libertad, known by locals as Mercado San Juan de Dios because of the river that used to pass through the area, a very busy multi-storey enclosed market, with hundreds of vendors it is the largest in Latinamerica. The market also houses a very popular and very good food court featuring everything from seafood to local favorites like birria (goat stew) and pozole (hominy and pork stew). Great place to get souveneirs. Unfortunately it isn't the safest place in Mexico so make sure to always keep a look out for the purse snatchers.
  • Instituto Cultutal Cabañas, further east from Plaza de la Liberación, it is a cultural and art center where the fresco paintings of Jose Clemente Orozco are exhibited and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.
  • Plaza de los Mariachis in a small triangular plaza in Guadalajara where you will find several mariachis band who will offer their services for a small fee. This is where the famous "Mexican Hat Dance" (Jarabe Tapatío) was born. Mariachis will serenade you while you eat at one of the small cafes or restaurants at a regular charge per song.
  • Templo Expiatorio Madero at Diaz de Leon - A finely detailed neo-gothic cathedral built over decades starting in the late 19th century. There is a mechanical clock in the bell tower that features a procession of the 12 Apostles at 9am, 12 noon and 6 pm. The interior of the church features a fine collection stained glass windows.
  • Arcos Vallarta West end of Av Vallarta - A romanesque double arch which once signaled the edge of civilization. There are nice views to be had from the top and interesting murals to view on the way up. Also there is something charmingly modest about the scale and coloring of the arch. It is not the Arc de Triomphe, and that is precisely the point.
  • Glorieta Minerva Beside los Arcos, important symbol of Guadalajara, contains the statue of the roman godess "minerva" surrounded by a fountain.
  • Niños Héroes Monument to the child heroes of Mexico.
  • Barranca de Oblatos, Northern terminus of Calz Independencia Norte. This is the forested gorge of the Río Lerma-Santiago. There are two locations with fine vistas of the gorge. At the Northern end of Calz Independencia is the Parque Mirador which not only offers vistas of the gorge, but hiking opportunities as well. Also the Guadalajara Zoo, East of Calz Independencia just past the Periférico, has wonderful vistas of gorge. You can reach both via buses #62A and #62D which run along Calz Independencia.
  • Zoológico - Guadalajara Zoo, [3]. The Guadalajara zoo is a modern zoological park worth visiting both for its collection of animals, its safari ride, and its views of the Barranca de Oblatos. Highlights include a safari ride, reptile house, nocturnal environment exhibit, a tropical forest simulated environment, and more.
  • Parque Agua Azul, East of Calz Independencia about 1.5 km South of the Centro, [4]. Open air concerts, a butterfly enclosure, an aviary and plenty of green to enjoy. This is a good place to take a break from the often dry, dusty and crowded environment of the city. The park houses a museum of paleontology and there is a museum of regional archeology just across Calz Independencia. The 1.5 km from the centro to the park is quite walkable, but it is also accessible via the 62A and 62D buses along the Calz Independencia.
  • Estadio Jalisco, Located in Colonia Independencia, it can be reached by taking any bus along the Calzada Independencia and asking for the Estadio Jalisco. You will almost definitely see it if you look out, it will be on your left as you come from the center. Here the soccer teams Atlas and Deportivo Guadalajara (universally known as 'Las Chivas') play. During the season there are league games every Saturday, alternating between Atlas and Chivas. There are also other games depending on any competitions that involve those clubs, e.g. the Copa Sudamericana, etc. Big games to watch out for are Atlas vs. Chivas and Chivas vs. América (known as the SúperClásico because of the rivalry between these clubs), which have an incredible atmosphere, though most games will have an atmosphere worth experiencing. If you are of a nervous disposition, perhaps avoid the upper stands when there is a large crowd as it's known to shake when the crowds begin to jump.
  • Estadio 3 de Marzo, Another soccer stadium, located in the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara campus in the north of the city. Here the UAG soccer team (universally known as los Estudiantes) play, also in the Primera Liga along with the other Guadalajara teams, Atlas and Deportivo Guadalajara.
  • See a Bullfight, the Plaza de Toros(Bull ring) is located right across the road from the Estadio Jalisco on Calzada Independencia. You might not be able to see it from the bus, as it's hidden behind some trees, so get off when you see the Estadio Jalisco and go in the opposite direction. Bullfights take place every Sunday at 4.30pm.
  • Feria Internacional del Libro (International Book Fair, known by it's Spanish initials as 'la FIL') takes place every November in Guadalajara. Companies and delegations come from all over the world to exhibit their books and see books from other places. Every year a country or region is invited to present its books. Web site
  • Festival Internacional de Cine (International Cinema Festival) Web site
  • Grito de Independencia (Independece Yell) Traditional Independence day 'grito' or 'yell'. Locals go to the main square and collectively shout when the clock strikes midnight. Generally the people shout 'Viva' and then 'México' or the name of an important Mexican person, for example 'Viva Hidalgo', etc.
  • Las Posadas (The Inns) Traditional Mexican christmas practice, recreating the passage of Joseph and Mary through Bethlehem, asking for shelter and being refused. Generally nowadays this is a celebration for family and friends, but if you know a Mexican, it's a great way to experience first hand Mexican culture. Regular appearances include Piñatas, Mariachi bands, Mexican beer, Tequila and much merriment.
  • Tianguis (Street Markets), Typical Mexican place to buy goods and cheaper than other locations. There are a number of them in Guadalajara.
    • Tianguis el Baratillo, Huge tianguis which meets northeast of the centre, contains everything from electronics to old coins to dog toys to animals to DVDs and many more things besids.
    • Tianguis Cultural, [5], Every Saturday from 10:30am to 4:00pm in the Plaza Benito Juarez, immediately SW of the Parque Agua Azul at the corner of 16 de Septiembre and Av Washington. Free concerts, open air chess, artists at work and an open air market draw a young crowd to this weekly celebration of alternative culture.
    • Mercado Libertad, known universally as Mercado San Juan de Dios. Another large tianguis, great for collecting souveniers, also has cloth, food, clothes and traditional dresses.
  • Plaza Galerías, Guadalajara's biggest mall, located in the crossing of the Vallarta and Rafael Sanzio avenues. It houses Guadalajara's biggest multiplex cinema, with 20 THX projection rooms and 4 VIP rooms. Has multi-storey parking areas as well as more than 1 square kilometer of open parking space shared with a Wal-Mart and a Sam's Club. Served by the bus routes 25, 47 and 629.
  • Plaza ANDARES, Guadalajara's newest mall, located in the crossing of the Patria Avenue and Puerta de Hierro. It houses stores like DKNY, Cartier, Hugo Boss, Mont Blanc,Helmut Lang, Fendi, Alexander Mcqueen, Versace, Armani, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Valentino, Diesel, Cavalli, Calvin Klein, Channel and Dior among others.
  • Plaza del Sol, located near the crossing between the López Mateos and Mariano Otero avenues. Guadalajara's second biggest mall, it has a multi-story car park and an open layout, with big, open spaces in the middle, surrounded by hallways. Served by the bus routes 357, 101, 24, 258, 626, 629, 645 and 701, as well as the Santa Anita busses that connect the nearby town of Santa Anita with the metropolitan area. The Torrena Tower, measuring 336.5 m, is under construction next to Plaza del Sol, also next to Plaza Torrena, a smaller, underground mall that can be recognized by its white concrete dome located in the crossing of the López Mateos and Mariano Otero avenues.
  • Plaza Patria, enclosed by the Patria, Ávila Camacho and Américas avenues. It's a two-story mall, not as big as Plaza del Sol or other malls, but with a sizeable assortment of stores, including fashion, electronics, convenience stores and a supermarket. Served by the bus routes 24, 25, 604, 622, 632, 634 and 701.
  • Centro Magno, located between Vallarta and López Cotilla avenues. It has a big, wide, closed space in the middle, surrounded mostly by restaurants, fashion, electronics and bazaar stores, with a cinema on the top floor. Served directly by the bus routes 629A and 629B, and by the nearby routes 626, 622, 24, 258 and 101.
  • Tlaquepaque's Old Town District displays a huge assortment of Mexican arts and crafts as well as decorative traditional and contemporary home furnishings. All product qualities ranging from the finest ceramic, glass, pewter, etc, to traditional pottery created by many of Mexico's Great Masters is on display and for sale. Tlaquepaque is chosen by many homeowners and decorators to furnish and decorate their homes, restaurants or hotels.
  • Goa... un sabor de la India, López Cotilla 1520-A (Colonia Americana), 36156173, [6]. 13:00 - 24:00. Indian restaurant with a lovely and exotic environment. The food is mainly from North India. $100 - $150.  edit

Local Specialties

Birria, tortas ahogadas, and chilaquiles are some of the most traditional dishes in Guadalajara. The food court in the Mercado Libertad is good place to sample the variety of local specialties.

  • Birria Birria is a savory stew made of roast chiles, spices and traditionally goat, though you will usually be given other meat options like mutton or beef depending on the restaurant. For Birria, the restaurants in the Nueve Esquinas area (a few blocks South of Templo San Francisco) are quite popular (and quite good).
  • Tortas ahogadas these are sandwiches of carnitas and beans on a french style roll drowned in a savory chile and tomato sauce. Numerous restaurants in the Centro Historico specialize in these.
  • Pozole A hearty soup of pork and hominy topped with fresh cabbage, radish, onion and cilantro. There are some very good pozole stands in the food court of the Mercado Libertad.
  • Mollete A popular local breakfast food. A french style roll split and covered with refried beans then topped with ham or chorizo and cheese and toasted.
  • La Rinconada, 86 Morelos on the Morelos pedestrian mall. Traditional Mexican fare served to the tourist crowd in a restored 19th century mansion. In the evenings you will be serenaded by strolling Mariachis here.
  • La Chata, Corona 126 South of Juarez, [7]. Very popular and very crowded. Traditional food the way mom used to make it, or so they say. Needless to say the prices are higher here than in other places serving the same fare, but prices are still pretty reasonable. You can view the menu on their website, but it's a bit annoying. You can have a good meal there for $100 pesos.
  • Fonda San Miguel, Donato Guerra No. 25, about 4 blocks W of the Cathedral. The restaurant is housed in an old convent, with most of the seating in the covered courtyard. It is quite picturesque. The fare is traditional Mexican, including standards like chicken in mole poblano, chiles en nogada, etc.
  • El Sacromonte, Av Pedro Moreno 1398 (at Colonias). The food here is traditional Mexican served a little more artfully for a more well off clientele. Subdued old-style violin centered mariachis play here in the early afternoon.
  • TlaquePasta, Calle Reforma 139 in Tlaquepaque area of Guadalajara. Located within the Quinta Don Jose Boutique Hotel offers a nice combination of 1/2 Mexican menu and 1/2 Italian (only Italian menu in Tlaquepaque). Great tasting food, attractive setting, and reasonably priced.
  • El Parián, in the centre of Tlaquepaque, not one restaurant but several surrounding a square with a bandstand. A nice place to sit and have a drink or enjoy a meal. It has numerous mariachis who will play for you for a fee and also public performances from 9.30 at night.
  • La Gran Vastaguera, KM 6.5 Highway OCOTLAN-LA BARCA. It’s the very best in Mexican and International food. At the restaurant you can enjoy a variety of appetizers, drinks, as well as meals including steak, seafood and chicken. We ensure that each guest receives prompt, professional, friendly and courteous service. We also count with three cactus gardens and in your visit you will be able to learn a little about cactus in Mexico, since we have the 65% of these plants. www.lagranvastaguera.com.

In addition, their are 14 McDonald's in the city.

Drink

Search out a bar with large collection of Tequilas and taste a greate blanca, reposada and añejo. Real tequila is nothing like the junk you've had in the USA. If you ask for a tequila from Los Altos that is traditional, you will almost certainly get something good. Los Altos is the region NE of GDL where the best tequila is made and it brings up images of tradition, patriotism and individualism.

There are tons of places, in the centre of Zapopan, there are more than twelve bars near each other.

Sleep

Many inexpensive hotels are available in the city center. If you plan to spend much time downtown, don't get a hotel farther away. It's much more convenient to be able to walk back than to need to find a bus back to a less central location (e.g. the Minerva area).

  • Quinta Don Jose Boutique Hotel, Reforma # 139 (Tlaquepaque area) 1 866 629 3753, [8]. Located in Tlaquepaque which along with Tonala, make up the arts and crafts district of Guadalajara. 15 rooms, bar, pool, small restaurant. Pet friendly.

Budget

Centro

  • Hostel de María, Nueva Galicia # 924 (Zona de las nueve esquinas ) (33) 3614 6230, [9]. Cozy hostel walking distance from down town. 125 Pesos.
  • Hostel Guadalajara Centro, Maestranza # 147 (on the corner of López Cotilla), (33) 3562 7520, [10]. An excellent youth hostel, 125 pesos with a HI card 165 without.
  • Hotel la Calandria, Estadio # 100. Very clean and overall nice hotel. Located very close to the old bus station (Central Camionera Vieja) and a Wal-Mart, which is always helpful when you need to get this and that. 170 pesos for a two person room...even cheaper for one person. Nice and highly recommended.

Around the old bus station (Central Camionera Vieja) one can find very cheap hotels. Try to look around. The best deals usually are not found on the internet or in a guidebook but by walking around the REAL (not tourist) areas of town.

Mid-Level

Centro

  • Hotel San Francisco Plaza, Two blocks East of the Plaza San Francisco, [11]. The hotel is centered on two covered courtyards. There are some awful rooms, so it's worth talking to the person you reserve with to see what it will cost to get something on one of the courtyards, on an upper floor, and away from the North side of the building where there is quite a bit of traffic. Merced is a good guy to talk with about this or anything else. Although he denies being "el jefe", he seems to be in charge. Rooms run about 500 pesos a night. Breakfasts at the hotel restaurant are very good. Beatriz, the usual morning waitress, is a bundle of sunshine.
  • Casa Venezuela, On Venezuela street between La Paz and Guadalupe Zuno, [12]. Like staying in a museum of a tradition mexican home. Everything about the place is beautiful but there are only a few rooms so you have to schedule well in advance (occasionally there are cancellations - we got lucky and snuck in at the last minute). The breakfast is as good or better than any I've had in Mexico and they're included. The location is the Colonia Americana. It's on the outskirts of the actual centro but you can walk there (about 15-20 blocks) but right in the heart of the hip area that has all of the bars, universities, and trendy restaurants. I think the rooms are 70-100 USD a night. By far, our favorite place in GDL.

Expensive

Minerva-Chapultepec

  • Holiday Inn Select, Av. Niños Heroes 3089, 33/3122-2020.
  • Fiesta Americana Guadalajara, Aurelio Aceves 225, Tel: 33/3825-3434. Large, modern, full-service hotel on a busy street in a mostly residential area. Has a decent nightclub on site that seems to draw a fair number of locals. Impressive atrium and comfortably open lobby bar.
  • Quinta Real, near Glorieta Ave. Mexico and Ave. Lopez Mateos, small hotel great for couples, great restaurants.
  • Tequila - great for tequila tasting experience. Drive or take a bus. The bus costs about $9-12USD round trip and about 1.5 hrs each way. It is beautiful countryside. For a memorable weekend day trip, take the Tequila Express --- it's a fun atmosphere with tequila shots and roving mariachis crooning you all the way to Tequila. The train leaves Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10am from the Guadalajara train station, returning the same evening. [13] Jose Cuervo distillery has a packaged tour that will pick you from your hotel, take you to an agave farm, then to the distillery, show you around the distillery, give you samples, take you to their galleria and offer a free margarita and 10% off at a restaurant. The city is quaint and worth exploring.
  • Lake Chapala, with its picturesque towns like Ajijic.
  • Guachimontones, site of a small pre-hispanic pyramid.
  • Mazamitla, a picturesque town in Los Altos south of Lake Chapala.
  • Tapalpa a great mountain town near Cd Guzman, offers hotel and cabana like rooms for a nice weekend retreat
  • San Juan de los Lagos, second most visited pilgrimage site in Mexico after La Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico City.

Places further away include Puerto Vallarta, Bolañas, an indigenous huichol community, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes and Colima.

This is a guide article. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions, arrival and departure info. Plunge forward and help us make it a star!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Guadalajara discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Wikipedia

Etymology

From Arabic وادي الحجارة (wādi al-ħajāra), "valley of stones".

Proper noun

Guadalajara

  1. The capital city of the state of Jalisco, in the center of Mexico

Translations

  • Greek: Γκουανταλαχάρα
  • Japanese: グアダラハラ (Guadarahara)
  • Spanish: Guadalajara es(es)

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|200px|Guadalajara]] Guadalajara is a city in Mexico. Over one and a half million people live there. It is the second-largest city in Mexico. It is the capital of the Mexican state Jalisco. It is in Western Mexico at an elevation of over 5,000 feet (1,500 m). Guadalajara is a major Latin American city in terms of industry, tourism, and culture. A famous football team called Chivas Guadalajara plays there. Guadalajara is thought to be where mariachi music came from. The city is named after a city in Spain


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