“Que bonito es Chihuahua!”, the popular song’s lyrics reverberate. There’s no doubt: the hospitality of its people , the XIX old colonial buildings’ wealth and its modern constructions project the new development to locals and visitors.
Although the advances in its infrastructure, it’s still a city where we can breathe a conservative air. Talking to its people is synonymous to warmth and nobleness.
By the way, who doesn’t distinguish a Chihuahuense by the accent and way of speaking, with that dragged “ch” that makes it so distinctive compared to people from other states in Mexico?
In the last 10 years, Chihuahua has become a major tourist spot, not only nationally but globally, by being considered a city with attractive entertainment, art, culture, and exquisite culinary places.
Walking through the historic downtown is a true delight. Its architecture and clean streets embellish a worthy panorama to admire.
From north to south and from west to east, the capital offers a variety of recreation centers within a framework of security and family atmosphere. Walking through the parks, plazas, historic buildings, and shopping centers is to feel the different stages that this city has lived.
The city of Chihuahua was founded in 1709 by Antonio Deza and Ulloa. It’s located on a divided valley by the Chuviscar River. Before colonization, this territory was occupied by creole Indians. Through its history it has been the cradle of major events nationwide. Its name means “a dry and sandy place.”
Its beautiful and stunning historic downtown is adorned with a majestic architecture; it’s located on calle Libertad, today Casa Chihuahua, where we can see an interactive museum where different regions of the state are shown.
In the basement, besides some specimens from Casa de Moneda that previously housed that same building, the final resting dwelling of Don Miguel Hidalgo can be found, the priest who began the War of Independence of Mexico.
Captured in March 1811, Hidalgo was imprisoned nearly five months in a dungeon, where he became friends with his jailers and left, recorded on the walls , words that gave them shortly before his death . We know this because , despite all the renovations that have been done to the building, the adobe walls of this underground corner were respected.
Chihuahua has many landmarks, buildings and stories that have marked Mexico’s destiny. One of these sites is the Museo Casa Redonda, which this time adorns our cover. The wonderful and imposing semicircular building was once a repair shop for railway locomotives. It was built in the nineteenth century and was at the mid- nineties when it stopped working due to technological changes. In 2000, several changes were made in these areas to turn it into what is now the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, which is composed by permanent showrooms and temporary exhibitions of renowned artists, mostly painters and sculptors.
We can’t fail to mention the fabulous cathedral, a true architectural treasure of the eighteenth century and beautiful example of Baroque art in Mexico. The Palacio de Gobierno is also an attractive spot for tourists. Its stone facade, with details carved in stone, makes it an admirable monument; also, inside several large murals depict the history of Chihuahua. Around, is the Plaza Mayor, with his angel of freedom, the Casa Chihuahua and the Palacio Municipal.
Further south, along the Simon Bolivar promenade, the Quinta Gameros is located, a “porfiriana” mansion with exquisite touches of art nouveau, whose soft lines, floral and garden ornaments, refer us to a different time in an European place. The feeling is reinforced when entering, because in its rooms stand out the woodwork , oil paintings of Italian painters and floral carved wood finials. The house now belongs to the Universidad de Chihuahua and functions as an active cultural center.
Walking down the calle Libertad, known locally as the “la liber,” means enjoying the pleasure of shopping in its stores, food stalls and karaoke bars; Plaza Mayor offers the dancing fountains spectacle, where water jets dance in sync with classical and popular music as a light show adorns the event. There is a lookout tower for a practically panoramic view of the city.
At the time of leisure, nothing like Zona Dorada, with its bars and clubs where nightlife is the most cheerful and hectic in the city.
For more distant walks, visit Quinta Carolina, former residence of governor Terrazas. There are also the Nombre de Dios caves, located north of the city, with spectacular formations that nature has created over millions of years.
Other interesting places for nature lovers are the Parque Nacional Cumbres de Majalca, mountain range to the northwest of the city, located in the neighboring municipality of Rivapalacio; the Llorones, family wooded recreation area by the Chiviscar River zone, and the Presa Chihuahua, which provides part of the water consumed in the city and it’s ideal for fishing.
En ésta área también hay algunas sorpresas: la ciudad de Chihuahua ha logrado un avance significativo en el desarrollo de su población, colocándose entre los 10 municipios con más alto desarrollo humano del país, además de ser la ciudad con el índice de desarrollo humano más alto de México. Estos beneficios son disfrutados por los más de 800 mil habitantes, entre los cuales la población económicamente activa asciende a cerca de 348 mil personas. Todos ellos transitan un área urbana de 782.89 km².
In this area there are also some surprises: the city of Chihuahua has made significant progress in developing its population, placing itself among the 10 municipalities with the highest human development in the country, as well as being the city with the highest rate of human development from Mexico. These benefits are enjoyed by more than 800 thousand inhabitants, including the economically active population that sums about 348 thousand people. All this population circulate an urban area of 782.89 square kilometers.
In turn, another report from UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), puts Chihuahua as the second most competitive city in the country, second only to Monterrey and above Mexico City, and as the most competitive in Mexico in the social sphere.
De acuerdo con los economistas, el producto interno bruto (PIB) per cápita, asciende a 10,386 dólares (es el tercero a nivel nacional), mientras el estatal es de 8,819 dólares (el quinto a nivel nacional).
According to economists, the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is $10,386 (the third nationally), while the state is $8.819 (the fifth nationally).
The workforce of the capital is mainly supported by factories called maquiladoras, which employ thousands of people. These are grouped into eight sets: Parque Industrial Las Americas, Complejo Industrial Chihuahua, Parque Industrial El Saucito, Parque Industrial Supra, Parque industrial Impulso, Zona industrial Nombre de Dios, Parque Industrial Intermex-Aeropuerto, Colonia Industrial, and Complejo Industrial on the exit to Cuauhtemoc.
Currently, the maquiladoras dominating the city are Ford Company Motors Chihuahua, which it’s one of the largest Ford industrial branches in the world, the industrial company Jabil and the Coca – Cola corporation that employs a large number of people.
By being in the transition zone between the plateau and the desert, the city has a dry semiarid climate with a cool winter. The average annual temperature is between 17 and 20°C , but the weather is extreme for the usual climate in a country like Mexico: at its coldest month, January , is common at night to reach temperatures of -5°C. As for rainy season, the annual rainfall is around 400mm, scattered mainly in the monsoon months; July, August and September.
One of the great attractions is to travel by train through the route from Chihuahua to the Pacific Ocean. Known as “Chepe”, rolling on the tracks makes it a spectacular and exciting descent through the Copper Canyon, besides crossing tunnels and bridges. It’s well worth the journey, since is considered one of the best railway journeys of the world and the reasons are very good, especially when the landscape is greener thanks to summer rains.
For all these reasons and more that we can’t cover in just a few pages, Chihuahua has become one of the most frequented places by tourists from around the world in the recent years, which has consistently allowed the city to add elements of a modern city without losing its history essence and origin, offering world-class services in all niches to the delight of visitors. The greatness of this northern site of Mexico is confirmed by its customs and its people: “pa’ gente buena Chihuahua, que es valiente, noble y leal.”