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Ciudad de Tijuana
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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)
Altitude 20 metres
Latitude 32° 31' 30" N
Longitude 117° 02' W
Time Zones (UTC) Pacific Standard Time – 8 hours (GMT)
Telephone area code 664
Sources: INEGI (http://www.inegi.gob.mx), Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México (http://www.e-local.gob.mx/work/templates/enciclo/bajacalifornia//)

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 by San Diego County, 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 off the coast of the municipality in the Pacific Ocean.



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CECUT, Tijuana's cultural center

According to the INEGI (Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática Eng: National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Data Processing) the municipality of Tijuana in 2000 included 1,210,820 inhabitants. It is a dynamic student sector from the more than 22 universities and centers for higher education. The city ranks fifth in population in Mexico, after Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Puebla.

See also Metropolitan Areas of Mexico.


Tijuana is at Template:Coor dm. 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

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Avenida Revolución has many open bars, pharamacies, and curio shops, that attract many tourists. The majority of these businesses accept the U.S. dollar and use English to conduct everyday business transactions

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.


TJ in English. The nickname is also used as slang by the Spanish speaking residents, who pronounce it as ti yei. They also refer to the city as 'Tijuas' as a nickname, as well.


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Jai Alai Building on Avenida Revolución

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".

Also, it is known as the "Most visited city of the world". The Mexican city is actually the most visited of the world, due to the convenient location.

Culture and education

The city has various schools of superior studies, conservatory music, dance schools, plastic arts, science and culinary arts.

Universities of the region include College of the Northern Frontier (COLEF), the most importnat research institution in Tijuana; Baja California's Autonomous University (UABC), with Baja California's best medical and dentistry school; Tijuana Institute of Technology (ITT), the strongest in engineering majors in the state; [Universidad Iberoamericana]http://www.tij.uia.mx/, the most prestigious private school in Baja California; and Center of Technical and Superior Teaching (CETYS), the best administration-oriented university in the state. Nevertheless, the demand for technical jobs is high in this region. For that reason, other technically-oriented universities such as Colegio Nacional de Educacion Profesional Tecnica (CONALEP), Centro de Ensenanza Tecnica e Industrial (CECATI), Universidad de Tijuana (CUT) and Univer have been founded.

Although there are many high schools in Tijuana, only two of them have prominent presence: Lazaro Cardenas and Instituto Mexico. The former is a public high school that dates back to the 1940's. Currently, it is the biggest high school in Baja California in terms of enrollment and headquarters one of the two international baccalaureate programs in the city. Instituto Mexico, on the other hand, is the largest private and catholic school in Baja California. This institution is known for its academic rigour and also because many regional entrepreneurs send their teenagers to study there.

Tijuana is recognized to be the best in the state by the federal government in cultural facilites. Tijuana has the the Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT). As the cultural impression of the city, the CECUT is comprised of a theatre, lecture rooms, video rooms, a library, exhibition hall, museum of the Californias, a futuristic planetary movie theater, and a restaurant. Since 1992, the CECUT has hosted 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 about a million visitors per year making it Baja California's most important cultural center. Another important culture center is La Casa de la Cultura comprised of a theater, and a public library. Yet, this institution is oriented more toward education. Dance, painting, music, plastic arts, photography and language classes are taught there.

The city also has: Instituto Municipal de Arte y Cultura (Municipal Institute of Art and Culture), the Tijuana Wax Museum, the Museo El Trompo(The Trompo Museum).


The U.S. dollar is an 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.

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

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The border by San Diego's San Ysidro district and Tijuana seemed a lot mellower by modern standards in 1920

Tijuana's most important entertainment center is the Hipodromo de Agua Caliente. It is comprised of a horse and dog race track, a small zoo, and a casino. However, controversy surrounds this place since its eccentric owner, Carlos Hank Rohn Gonzalez, is purportedly involved in drug money washing, poaching and murder cases. In spite of this, he is the current mayor of Tijuana. Parks are another entertainment center in Tijuana. Parque Morelos has a small zoo and big open spaces perfect for recreational activities and weekend barbeque; El Parque de la Amistad has a small pond, and a running and dirt-bike track. Parque Teniente Guerrero is a small park located downtown with a public library and weekend entertainment by clowns. The most popular tourist attraction is Avenida Revolucion. For college students, it is an easy way to be able to drink before their 21st birthday. For older visitors, it is a great way to buy bootleg brand-name clothing and accessories, prescription drugs, and curiosities from Mexico. The city also host the franchise of a soccer team in first division called Chivas Tijuana, a Mexican baseball team that plays the league during the summer, professional and university theater, the opera, many movie theaters, two bullrings, as well as diverse festivals along the year.


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Traffic traveling into Mexico through San Diego's San Ysidro district tends to be less congested than traveling vice versa. The border entering Mexico is also less guarded.

The area in which the city of Tijuana is situated in a region once inhabited by the Kumeyaay 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 100 square kilometres.

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 settlement, 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. Between 1940 and 1950 the city grew from 21,971 to 65,364 inhabitants.

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 assasination 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.

The famous battle between the Tijuana Cartel and the rival Chihuahua-based Juárez Cartel was portrayed in the 2000 Hollywood movie Traffic.

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.

See also


de:Tijuana es:Tijuana ko:띠후아나 nl:Tijuana ja:ティフアナ pl:Tijuana pt:Tihuana sv:Tijuana uk:Тіхуана


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