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Saltillo
The skyview of Saltillo, Coahuila
Nickname(s): The Athens of Mexico
Location of Saltillo within Coahuila
Saltillo is located in Mexico
Saltillo
Location in Mexico
Coordinates: 25°25′37″N 100°59′W / 25.42694°N 100.98333°W / 25.42694; -100.98333Coordinates: 25°25′37″N 100°59′W / 25.42694°N 100.98333°W / 25.42694; -100.98333
Country  Mexico
State  Coahuila
Municipality Escudo Saltillo.gif Saltillo
Founded 1577 (Alberto del Canto)
Government
 - Mayor Jorge Torres Lopez
Elevation 1,600 m (5,249 ft)
Population (2005)
 - City 648,929
 - Metro 750,000
 - Demonym Saltillense
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
Postal code 25000
Area code(s) 844
Website www.saltillo.gob.mx

Saltillo is the capital city of the northeastern Mexican state of Coahuila and the municipal seat of the municipality of the same name. The city is located about 400km south of the U.S. state of Texas, and 90km west of Monterrey, Nuevo León.

As of the 2005 census, Saltillo had a population of 633,667 people, rising to 725,259 if the full Metropolitan Area is considered, making it the 20th biggest metro area in the country. The metro area comprises the municipalities of Saltillo, Ramos Arizpe, and Arteaga. The municipality of Saltillo had a population of 648,929. The Gross Domestic Product per capita in the Metropolitan Zone of Saltillo is one of the highest in Mexico with $13,936 USD. According to the ranking of the Inversionista magazine of 2006, Saltillo is the best Mexican city to live in, chosen from more than 53 Mexican cities.

Contents

Geography

El Cerro del Pueblo (The People's Hill) and its 4 metres (13 ft) cross overlook the city. The city's elevation is 1,600 metres (5,200 ft), making it cooler and windier than its neighbor city, Monterrey. Saltillo lies near the city of Arteaga and in the Chihuahan Desert.

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Climate

Saltillo
Climate chart (explanation)
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average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: MSN Weather UK (2009-01-07),INEGI, 2006 report

Saltillo has an arid climate (Koppen climate classification BWh). Saltillo is located in the Chihuahuan Desert but temperatures are cooler than other desertic cities in Mexico because it is located in an altitude of 1,600 meters. Summers are slightly hot with cool nights and winters are very cold. Rainfall is scarce but more prominent in summer.

Government

The city of Saltillo is the municipal seat of the municipality of Saltillo. The current municipal president is Fernando de las Fuentes from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) who will remain in office until 2009.

History

Historical Aqueduct

Founded in 1577 by Spanish colonists, Saltillo is the oldest post-conquest settlement in northern Mexico. Fourteen years later in 1591 the Spanish resettled a community of their Tlaxcaltec allies in a separate nearby village (San Esteban de Nueva Tlaxcala), in order to cultivate the land and aid colonization efforts that had stalled in the face of local hostility to the Spanish presence.[1]

In 1824, Saltillo was made the capital of the State of Coahuila and included the area which is now the US State of Texas until the Texas War of Independence and the founding of the independent Texas Republic.

The city is flanked by the Zapalinamé mountains, which are part of the Sierra Madre Oriental. By looking at the relief of the mountains, one can see, according to local legend, the relief of Zapaliname, chieftain of the Huachicil tribe.

Economy

Sarapes being made

Saltillo's most famous exports are Saltillo tile and the locally woven multi-coloured sarapes. There is a General Motors assembly plant and Chrysler's Saltillo Truck Assembly plant, two engine facilities and a car transmissions plant. 37.4% of cars and 62.6% of trucks produced in Mexico are assembled in Saltillo.[2] Saltillo is home to the Grupo Industrial Saltillo, an important manufacturing conglomerate that makes home appliances, silverware, and auto parts. Some criticism has been made of this new urbanization and the lack of conservation and planning.

During the early 20th Century, Saltillo was called the Athens of Mexico because of its number of famous intellectuals. Nowadays, it is considered the Detroit of Mexico because of the importance of its automotive industry, including the huge Chrysler, General Motors, and Delphi plants.

The General Motors plant, the Complejo Industrial Ramos Arizpe (The Ramos Arizpe Industrial Complex) exports vehicles to Japan, Canada, and Central America. In this plant, the following vehicles are assembled: Chevy C2, Monza and Chevrolet Captiva for Mexican and South American markets. Saturn Vue hybrid and HHR are exported to many nations. In addition, 2010 Saab 9-4X and the Cadillac BRX, will be built at the GM plant in Ramos Arizpe. [1]

Points of interest

Plaza de armas fountain
Saltillo Cathedral
City Baseball stadium

Alameda Zaragoza is the largest park in the city and has an artificial lake in the shape of the Mexican Republic. The park is located just west of the downtown plaza.

The Colonial Center of the city is built in pink marble, giving Saltillo's architecture a distinctive flavour. Prominent buildings are the cathedral(built from 1745-1800), the Palacio de Gobierno (state government building), the Ateneo Fuente and the Instituto Tecnológico de Saltillo. The large cathedral is the best example of colonial religious architecture in northeastern Mexico; its facade is mainly Spanish Baroque, with less exuberant areas. The Centro Cultural Vito Alessio Robles (Vito Alessio Cultural Center) is an 18th Century repository of antiquities and documents from historians Vito Alessio Robles and Oscar Davila. The repository is also a temporal museum. The Casa Purcell (Purcell Mannor) is a Victorian style mansion built in the 19th Century by Irish merchant William Purcell. Today it is a cultural center.

The city has two world-class museums. The Museo de las Aves de México (Bird Museum),[3] featuring a collection of bird specimens from all over Mexico in realistic displays. The Museo del Desierto (Desert Museum)[4] focuses on the geography, geology, paleontology (with dinosaur fossils) and biodiversity of the Chihuahuan desert, and the history and culture of the local people through time. It includes a cactus greenhouse and exhibits, with dozens of species.

The Mirador is an amazing place to observe a panaromic view of the city.

Education

Local government palace
Inside the government palace

Saltillo's main universities are the Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, the Instituto Tecnológico de Saltillo, the Tec de Monterrey Saltillo Campus, El Instituto de Filologia Hispanica, and the Universidad Autonoma Agraria Antonio Narro. Other universities include Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Avanzados del IPN (CINVESTAV Saltillo), Universidad Interamericana del Norte (Tec Sierra Madre [2], Universidad Autonoma del Noreste, Universidad Pedagogica Nacional, Universidad del Valle de Mexico, Escuela Normal de Coahuila [3], and many others.

Transportation

Saltillo Metropolitan Area air traffic is served by Plan de Guadalupe International Airport. It takes 15 minutes to get from downtown Saltillo to the airport. It has several flights per day to Mexico City and a daily flight to Houston, Texas. There is a comprehensive bus system in Saltillo along with man taxis.

Sister cities

The following are sister cities of Saltillo: [4]

People

  • Fernando Soler (1896 - 1979) Film actor and director
  • Ruben Aguirre Actor best remembered for his characterization of Professor Jirafales in the television show El Chavo del Ocho.
  • Katie Barberi Actress best known for her work in telenovelas.
  • Magda Guzman [5] Actress with many film and TV credits 1941 to the present (2008.)
  • Brissia Mayagoitia Singer, former member of a band called La Nueva Banda.
  • Rosario Ybarra Activist and prominent figure in Mexican politics.
  • Carlos Bee Former U.S. Representative from Texas, great-grandson of Thomas Bee.
  • Manuel Acuña 19th-century Mexican writer. He focused on poetry, but also wrote some novels and plays.
  • José Narro Robles Former director of the Faculty of Medicine of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
  • Enrique Martínez y Martínez Mexican politician affiliated to the Revolutionary Institutional Party, former governor of Coahuila.
  • Humberto Moreira Valdés Governor of the Mexican State of Coahuila (2005-2011).
  • Fernando de las Fuentes President of the Congress of Coahuila.
  • Roque González Garza Mexican general and acting president of the Republic from January to June 1915.
  • Julio Torri Mexican writer and teacher who formed part of the Ateneo de la Juventud (1909-1914).

Trivia

  • Saltillo has underground tunnels, starting in the Catedral de Santiago and ending at the city's limits.

Notes

  1. ^ INAFED (Instituto Nacional para el Federalismo y el Desarrollo Municipal) (2005). "Saltillo, Coahuila". Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México (online version at E-Local ed.). Secretaría de Gobernación. http://www.e-local.gob.mx/work/templates/enciclo/coahuila/mpios/05030a.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-28.   (Spanish). The Tlaxcaltec community remained legally separate until the 19th century.
  2. ^ "COAHUILA, PRIMER LUGAR NACIONAL EN PRODUCCIÓN AUTOMOTRIZ". http://www.plataformafinancierajz.com/notas.php?IDNOTA=2305&IDSECCION=La%20Maquila&IDREPORTERO=El%20Financiero. Retrieved 2007-12-01.  
  3. ^ "Museo de las Aves de México". http://www.museodelasaves.org. Retrieved 2007-12-01.  
  4. ^ "Museo del Desierto". http://www.museodeldesierto.org. Retrieved 2007-12-01.  

References

External links


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