Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Coat of Arms of the City of Tijuana
|Motto: Aquí empieza la patria, "The Homeland Starts Here". The government translates the phrase as "Gateway to Mexico".|
|Date Founded||July 11, 1889|
|Demonym||Tijuanense in Spanish|
|Population||1, 210,820. (2000)|
|Density of population||2 212 hab/km² (2000)|
|Latitude||32° 31' 30" N|
|Longitude||117° 02' W|
|Time Zones (UTC)||Pacific Standard Time – 9 hours (GMT)|
|Telephone area code||664|
|Sources: INEGI, Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México|
Tijuana is the largest city in the state of Baja California, Mexico. Tijuana is also the most northerly city in Latin America. It is known as the corner of Mexico and consequently of Latin America. The city is bordered to the north 41 kilometers by the county of San Diego, California, United States; to the south, by the municipalities of Playas de Rosarito and Ensenada; with the municipality of Tecate to the east; and to the west, by the Pacific Ocean. The municipality of Tijuana has an extension of 1,727 square kilometers and includes part of the Coronado Islands located against the coasts of the municipality in the Pacific Ocean.
According to the INEGI (Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática National Eng: National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Data Processing) the municipality of Tijuana in 2000 included 1,210,820 inhabitants, making it the eighth largest city in the country. Included in the estimated population of 2 million is a dynamic student sector from the more than 22 universities and centers for higher education. The city ranks fourth in population in the Republic of Mexico, following Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey.
Tijuana is at . This border city just south of San Diego, California, USA, is sometimes considered a mix of Mexico's good and bad: known for its economic prosperity, popular discos, and shopping areas, Tijuana is also considered to be Mexico's biggest illicit drug and prostitution center; a majority of the prostitutes are women from other Latin American countries, mainly Central America, who have hopes of crossing the border, ultimately, into the United States.
Origin of the city's name
Through the years, historians have investigated where the origins of the name of the city of Tijuana came to be.
One legend says that it was the name of a ranch in the area, property of "Tía Juana" – Aunt Jane. In actuality, it is recognized that name comes from the Yuman Indian language from the early inhabitants. In other documents there are mentions of "La Tia Juana", "Tiguana", "Tiuana", "Teguana", "Tiwana", "Tijuan", "Ticuan", "Tijuana". Based on the Yuman language, historians have come to recognize Tijuana originating from "Tiwan", meaning close to the sea.
Tijauna's city motto is Aquí empieza la patria. The Mexican government actually translates it as "Gateway to Mexico", but the literal translation is "The homeland starts here".
Culture and education
The city has various schools of superior studies, such as conservatory music, dance schools, plastic art schools, schools for science of the arts, and with various universities and technical institutions.
The city is the seat of the COLEF (College of the Northern Frontier), an institution of scientific investigation and superior education. Their main focus is the study of the problems of the Mexican border with the United States.
For cultural activities, Tijuana has the CECUT , the Tijuana Cultural Center. As the cultural impression of the city, the CECUT has inside its intallation, a theatre, lecture rooms, video rooms, library, exhibition hall, museum of the Californias, a futuristic planetary movie theater, and a restaurant. Since 1992, the CECUT has harbored the Orchestra of Baja California (OBC), it headquarters the Center of Scenic Arts of the Northwest (CAEN) and the Hispanic-American Center for Guitar (CHG). Since 2001, the CECUT receives an average of a million vistors, yearly, and is of prominent interest to the student population.
The city also has: Casa de la Cultura (House of Culture), Instituto Municipal de Arte y Cultura (Municipal Institute of Art and Culture), Museo de las Californias(Museums of the Californias), located within the CECUT, the Tijuana Wax Museum and the Museo El Trompo(The Trompo Museum).
The official currency in Tijuana is the Mexican peso (MXN). The current conversion rate is eleven pesos to one U.S. dollar, or fourteen to one euro. The U.S. dollar is also a secondary and acceptable form of currency in businesses all around the city and vicinity.
Tijuana is particularly famous among the millions of U.S. college students who flock to its location each year in search of an easily accessed place with few inhibitions and a legal drinking age of eighteen. Wednesday's are dubbed as "college nights". The El Torito Pub, Safari, Club Iguana Ranas, Mystere, and Animale are clubs along Avenida Revolución that are the most popular with the students.
Due to Tijuana's proximity to the USA and its cheap labor, it is an attractive city for companies to establish extensive industrial parks comprised of maquiladoras where foreign companies employ thousands, usually in assembly related labor. This makes Tijuana an attractive city for poor migrant workers originating from the center and southern parts of Mexico, as well as other Latin American countries. Many of these migrant workers also travel illegally into the United States in search of better paying jobs.
Sports and entertainment
Tijuana boasts two bullfighting rings, a racecourse and a dogtrack located in the old Hipódromo de Agua Caliente, the franchise of a soccer team in first division, a Mexican baseball team that plays the league during the summer, professional and university theater, the opera, as well as diverse festivals along the year.
The area in which the city of Tijuana is situated in a region once inhabited by the Kumiyay Indians, a tribe of Yuman-speaking hunter-gatherers. Europeans first arrived in 1542, when the Spanish explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo toured the coastline of the area, which was later mapped in 1602 by Sebastián Viscaíno . In 1769, Father Juan Crespí documented more detailed information about the area that would one day be called the Valley of Tijuana and Father Junípero Serra founded the first mission of Alta California in San Diego.
More settlement of the area took place near the end of the mission era when José María Echendía , governor of the Baja California and Alta California, awarded a large land grant to Santiago Argüello in 1829. This large cattle ranch, Rancho Tía Juana ("Aunt Jane"), covered 10,000 hectares.
In 1848, as a result of the Mexican-American war with the United States, Mexico lost all of Alta California. Tijuana acquired a new and distinct character and purpose on the international border. The city began to shed its cattle ranching origins and began to play in a new role, forming a socio-economic structure for the city.
The year 1889 marked the beginning of the urban setllement, when descendants of Santiago Argüello and Agustín Olvera entered an agreement to begin development of the city of Tijuana. The agreement was dated July 11 of that year. Decades later, during the II Symposium of History held in 1975, this date was recognized as the date the city was founded.
Tijuana saw its future in tourism from its inception. From the end of the 19th century to the first decades of the 20th, the city attracted large numbers of Californians crossing over the border, coming to Mexico for trade and entertainment.
During the Mexican Revolution, Tijuana was also a small stage for revolutionaries loyal to Ricardo Flores Magón, who took over the city in 1911. Shortly, thereafter, federal troops arrived and routed the rebels. Being so close to the action, San Diegans could watch the battle from the safety of the international border.
In 1916, the Feria San Diego, California Panamá brought a great number of visitors to the neighboring American city to the north. Tijuana took the opportunity to attract these tourists to the other side of the border with Feria Típica Mexicana. The fair included curio shops, regional foods, thermal baths, horse racing and boxing matches. With this event, the city became universally known as a tourist destination.
The 1920s changed Tijuana forever when the enactment of prohibition in the U.S. sent droves of Americans across the border to partake in legal drinking and gambling. Large and impressive casinos opened, like Agua Caliente in Tijuana.
The international events of the following years had profound repercussions on the city. Tourism increased significantly as innumerable Americans came to Tijuana to enjoy the nightlife. In addition, the large number of Mexican citizens from all over the country began to relocate to Tijuana, tripling the population. From 21,971 inhabitants in 1940, the city grew in excess of 65,364 by 1950.
In the 1950s, when nightlife and tourism began to decline, the city started to restruct its tourist industry, by promoting a more family orientated scene. Tijuana began to develop a greater variety of attractions and activities to offer its visitors.
In 1994 PRI presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was assassinated in Tijuana. The shooter was caught and is now in prison, but doubts remain about who his paymaster was, and if indeed there was one. Every year, the city's inhabitants commerate the anniversary of his assination with a memorial.
Today, the Tijuana-San Ysidro border crossing is the most crossed international land border in the world. Although tourism is a big part of this, Tijuana and its surrounding area has become a major player in NAFTA with new maquiladoras and industrial plants springing up every month.
Tijuana's International Airport (General Abelardo L. Rodríguez International Airport) is known for the approaches the airplanes have to carry out before landing, as they have to fly just over a fence before landing.
- Juan Soldado, a local folk saint and Tijuana's first urban legend
- Gay Tijuana, article with information of gay lesbian interest
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