Guadalajara Quick Facts
Guadalajara is the second largest city in Mexico, located in the Western-Pacific region. 20.67° N 103.35° W. Guadalajara is the capital of the state of Jalisco. During the Colonial era, Guadalajara became the capital of Nueva Galicia and after the Mexican War of Independence it became the capital of the Intendencia of Guadalajara.
Guadalajara was settled in three different locations (Nochistlán, Tonalá and Tlacotlán) before the Atemajac Valley where it now rests. Beatriz Hernández was responsible for choosing the location saying “I bet for my King and it is my belief that we shall go to Atemajac Valley, and if it’s done otherwise, it will be done in God’s and the King’s service, anything else would be showing cowardice”. Guadalajara was then established in Atemajac Valley on February 14th 1542 under the Royal order of king Charles V.
The Municipality of Guadalajara is the most populated in Mexico with 1,646,183 inhabitants. However, The Guadalajara Metropolitan Area also includes the municipalities of Zapopan, Tlaquepaque, Tonalá, Tlajomulco, Zapotlanejo and Ixtlahuacán del Río totaling 3,655,250 inhabitants in 2000. Guadalajara is the second most populous metro area after Mexico City.
Guadalajara is known as La Perla del Occidente (Spanish for “Pearl of the West”), la Perla Tapatía (“tapatío” is an informal adjective of origin for people and things from Guadalajara) and, Ciudad de las Rosas. The city is also the birthplace of mariachi music and charreadas.
The city is named after Guadalajara, Spain whose name originates from the Arabic Wad-al-hidjara, meaning “River Running Between Rocks”. The city refers to itself as the Silicon Valley of Mexico. Such high-technology companies as General Electric, IBM, Intel, Hitachi, Hewlett Packard, Siemens, Flextronics and Solectron have facilities in the city or its suburbs.
Guadalajara is home to three popular soccer teams: Chivas, Atlas and Tecos.
On 28 October 2004 Guadalajara was declared the American Capital of Culture for 2005.