Guadalajara

Guadalajara´s history dates to 1532, just 40 years after Crhistopher Columbus first reached North America and 11 years after the conquest of Mexico by Hernan Cortés.  Another Spanish explorer. Nuño de Guzmán, founded the tapatio setlement.

Foundation of Guadalajara Mexico

Sculpture at Founders Plaza with mariachis playing guadalajara theme

Guzmán was a cruel conqueror; he and his soldiers slaughtered entire ancient communities in the course of exploring the lands west and north of Mexico City.  He established Guadalajara, named for this hometown in Spain, at the site of present day Nochistlan in the state of Zacatecas.  about 60 miles to the northeast.  Early settlers moved several timeas after Cazcanos attacks before finally settling in the Valley of Atemajac in 1542.   It was a wise choice made by Beatriz Hernandez, for the mile hight plateau ensured unimpeded expansion.

When the Spanish Crown learned of Guzman´s atrocities, he was deported back to Spain and the name of his self appointed country was changed from La Gran España to Nueva Galicia.  Early on Guadalajara figured prominently in the history of this area. The town grew rapidly and by 1769 had become a provincial capital.

Spanish expeditions left from Tapatio land to gain control of such far fling land as the Philippine and Molucca Islands and the island of Guam.and to establish missions in northern Mexico and present day California.  Wealth from the surrounding farms and silver mines was channled into the constrition of lavish churches, mansions and monuments.

After abolishing slavery and launching the War of Independence in September 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo briefly occupied the city.  In the late 1850s and early 1860s Tapatio city withstood army attacks led alternately by Archduke Maximilian and Benito Juarez, who made the city the capital of his reform government for a few months during his forced exile form Mexico City.

City of Roses today is a sprawling motropolis, Mexico´s second larges.  Nearly 5 million residents jam the city and its suburbs.  The surrounding high plains of the Valley of Atemajac, port of Mexico´s great central plateau, are noted for fine horse, cattle and grain ranches.  Factories convert metals, hides and foodstuffs into many different products.

Situated as it is on a plateau a mile above sea level, the city ejoys pringlike weather much of the year, along with abundant sunshine.  High temperatures are normally in the 70s and 80s.   Unconfortably humid days are rare.  In April and May, the warmest months, it can creep into the low 90s, but always cools off int the evening.  The rainy season in June through September.  A sweater or light jacket will come in handy on chilly nights of December.

Guadalajara even has its own word – Tapatio. Derived from tlapatiotl, a term used to denote cacao or other small units of exchange frequently used in the ancients marketplace, it now refers to any person, thing or quality that is indisputably Guadalajaran. Tapatío indeed are such characteristically Mexican pleasures as the charreria, Jarabe or Mexican hat dance, and themusic of the mariachis.