Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The city is located in a fertile valley where the Río Tamazula and Río Humaya rivers meet to form the Río Culiacán , and is located 54 m above de the sea level. It is placed in the center of the state with almost equal distant to the other urban centers of the state: Los Mochis to the north, and Mazatlán to the south. Culiacán is a sister city of Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA.
- Total (2001)
|Time zone||Mountain Standard Time Zone: UTC-7|
Experts do not agree on the meaning of the name, but it apparently comes from the word colhuacan, which can mean "place where roads turn", "place of snakes", but traditionally the most accepted translation would be "place of the those who adore the god Coltzin". Before the Spaniards arrival, this site had been a small Indian settlement since 628 when passing Aztecs had first founded it.
The city existing today was founded in 1531 by the Spanish captain Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán and named San Miguel de Culiacán. Explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado set out from Culiacán to explore what is now the southwestern United States. Settlers from Europe came to Culiacán, and in the following centuries, Culiacán continued to be a quiet town. It was only after the federal government built dams in the adjacent areas in the 1950s that agriculture exploded and the city began to grow exponentially. It still has a yearly shortage of workers, who have to be brought from south Mexico, especially the state of Oaxaca. Because of this, unemployment has been characteristically low, around 3.0% over the last 10 years.
Average year temperature is 24°C, with minimum of 2 C and reaching as high as 47°C in summer with an annual rainfall of 658 mm. Hot, humid summers and cool and generally dry winters are characteristics of this city’s weather.
The total population of the city is 745,532 reaching almost a million adding the inhabitants of the satellite cities of Navolato (a municipality of its own),Costa Rica and Eldorado and those of the rural villages such as El Salado , Quila ,Culiacancito , Imala and San Pedro. People from Culiacan are called Culiacanenses or Culichis. Immigration to Culiacán comes from all parts of the world, but especially from southern Mexico and Europe. There are Greek, German, French and Japanese communities in Culiacán, largely because of the economic boom of the last 50 years. Culiacan is world famous for the beauty of its people, maybe as a result of the mixture of all these diverse background. Culiacan is growing so fast in both, population and surface, that the former towns fo El Barrio, Aguaruto and Bachigualato (home of Culiacan International Airport) are now boroughs within the city. In order control this unmeasured growth, authorities of the three levels of government set up the Desarrollo Urbano Tres Rios, an urban development program intended to urbanize the areas along the three rivers that go across the city. Now at days, the area surrounding the rivers is a dynamic sector with high speed avenues and boulevards, shopping malls, parks, commercial and governmental offices and housing developments, all of these conjugated with the beauty provided by the magnificent scenery of its three rivers.
Tourism industry in Culiacán has grown considerably in the last decade from a small number of hotels and small jet airport to a busy international fishing and hunting destination for thousands of tourists every year. Culiacán has a very active nightlife and social scene.
Attractions in Culiacán include:
- Imala 's hot springs, which are about a 30 minute ride from the city and close to several dams and reservoirs where you can fish large mouth bass all year round.
- Altata beach located 30 minutes from Culican where there has been extensive development over the last couple of years, with the goal of becoming a great travel destination in the next decade. Altata beach is a favorite destination for actress Salma Hayek and singer Thalia.
- The Cathedral, a 19th century church which began construction in the 1830s.
- Plazuela Alvaro Obregón, which was the place for social gatherings in the 1800s.
- The Santuario is a church where you can still see the scars of the 1910 revolution that occurred downtown.
- La Lomita or Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is the tallest church in Culiacán, and it has a view of the entire city.
- Dancing Fountains located on a peninsula formed by the junction of the Tamazula and Humaya rivers, this fountain system dances at the rhythm of local and international music displaying a colorful lighting show at 19:00 and 20:00.
- The Centro Cultural Genaro Estrada known by the locals as "Difocur" encompasses a theater, movie theater, a cafe and a group of museums specialized in local culture, is worth a visit (closed on Mondays).
- Regional History Museum in the "Parque constitucion", a big art museum downtown and a number of small art galleries owned by several of the local universities.
- Botanical Garden and Centro de Ciencias de Sinaloa, a science museum where you can admire the second largest meteorite on earth.
- For sports lovers, there is a big baseball stadium, a bigger football arena, and several university stadiums.
- Downtown Culiacán still has many colonial style buildings, with a typical old market and its cathedral. The best preserved old street is the "calle Rosales", between rosales square and the cathedral. Traffic is heavy along this street, so it's better to walk it on weekends or in the evening.
Safety: Tourism related petty crime, such as pocket-picking and tourist scams, is almost zero in the city. In Culiacán, your main concern should be watching out for the mix of careless drivers and narrow colonial streets. Stay in the sidewalks, even if tempted to wander around the colorful streets. Zebra crossings are only cosmetic, but crossing lights are to be taken seriously. There are police women who will admonish you the first time, and give you a ticket if you are a known offender, if you cross the street when the red "Do not walk" sign is on. Although there is drug related crime in the zone, it's victims are individuals who take part in illegal activities, and it finds place in the low income neighborhoods outside the metropolitan area. Most of it involves drug traffickers, not average citizens, like any other big sized town.
Though there are several high speed roads, most of the city’s streets are rather narrow and traffic jams are common on rush hours. The city has a total of 9 bridges: 6 across the Tamazula river, 2 in Humaya River and the longest one crossing Culiacan river, most of them of great architectural beauty. Efforts to solve traffic problems have been made but most of the city streets and bridges are now crowded and insufficient to handle regular and rush hours traffic; and a 40 km/h speed limit in most parts of the city worsen the situation. It was recently published that there are 530,000 cars in Culiacán making the per capita number of cars one of the highest in the country considering the 745,000 inhabitants. The city is a rail junction and is located on the Panamerican Highway that runs north to the United States and South to Guadalajara and Mexico City and the Benito Juárez Highway or Maxipista which is a toll road that runs parallel to the free highway. Culiacán is linked to the satellite city of Navolato by an excellent Freeway that is planned to be continued to Altata , in the Pacific Ocean coast. Culiacan is served by:
- Aeropuerto Internacional de Culiacán.
- Central Internacional de Autobuses Millenium.
The city is home of two professional league sport teams: baseball with los Tomateros de Culiacán from the Liga Mexicana del Pacífico and soccer with Los Dorados de Sinaloa from Federación Mexicana de Futbol . Duck, dove and goose hunting season goes from early november through march. Culiacán also holds a yearly international marathon.
- Tomateros de Culiacán.
- Dorados de Sinaloa.
- Patolandia Hunting Club.
- Culiacán International Marathon.
- Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa
- Universidad de San Miguel
- Instituto Tecnológico de Culiacán
- Universidad Casa Blanca
- ITESM Campus Sinaloa
- Universidad de Occidente Campus Culiacán
- Universidad de Veracruz Campus Culiacán
- Universidad Católica de Culiacán
- Universidad Valle de Bravo Campus Culiacán
Companies headquartered in Culiacan
News and media
Drug traffic issue
A word about drugs and Culiacán. After the fall of Burma in World War II, the USA were short of opium for medical purposes. The climate in the Sierra near Culiacán was ideal for growing opium, and the government encouraged its trade and production. After the war ended, the many US soldiers who became addicts continued to encourage the opium growers to stay in business, and though the practice was by then illegal, small plantations continued to be a source of extra income for farmers in the mountains of the sierra. The amount of opium produced was not especially high, but this created the first chain of drug trafficking in Sinaloa. Later, as cocaine came into fashion in the 1970s, Culiacán became the contact point between Colombian and U.S. druglords, given the high numbers of small landing strips in the state, its high quality of life, and the big size of the city, which makes it easy to remain unnoticed.
Overall Culiacán is a beautiful place to visit. It is a beautiful mixture of modern and colonial Mexico, nearby sea and mountains. It can be a bit difficult to navigate because of the three rivers crossing the city, but the locals are always happy to give you a hand and are proud of their lively and beautiful city.
- Gobierno del Municipio de Culiacán
- Difocur, Cultural Center Site
- Culiacan Night Life and Social Scene
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