Mexicali is the state capital of Baja California and is the second largest city of the state after Tijuana. The population of the city fluctuates due to seasonal labor demands and the flow of immigrants. The last municipality census count was approximately 900,000 inhabitants.
View of the Civic Center|
Monument to the four original
municipalities in Baja California
Mexicali is a major city of industry and agriculture and represents one of the fastest growing cities in Mexico. The city's close proximity to the United States, its prime access to transportation corridors and its fertile land have built its economy and made Mexicali one of Mexico's most prosperous cities. The city has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Mexico; this can be largely attributed to the great number of maquiladoras that operate here. The city is geographically adjacent to Calexico, California. Mexicali sits in a fertile valley that for centuries has been irrigated by the waters of the Colorado River. The land here produces an abundance of wheat, cotton, asparagus, peppers, radishes and tomatoes that are exported worldwide.
Mexicali is one of most racially diverse cities in all of Mexico. Many of its residents are descendants from railroad workers and farm laborers who originally came from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Japan and China. Mexicali is known for having the largest Chinatown in all of Mexico (La Chinesca) and also for having the most Chinese restaurants. Connoisseurs consider the Chinese food offered in Mexicali as some of the best available on the entire North American continent.
Since Mexicali is located in the desert it experiences the extreme weather conditions that such a location would indicate. During the summer months the temperature can reach 120 degrees plus. Many visitors who come to Mexicali from the US travel through the city on their way to San Felipe, a popular beach town located on the Sea of Cortez. However, there are many things to do and see while staying in Mexicali. For those who enjoy bullfighting, a great venue to visit is the Plaza de Calafia Bullring. From May to October, traditional bullfights are held here. The stadium also serves as a venue for music concerts, local festival and wrestling matches. While visiting Mexicali, a popular place to visit is the Cathedral of the Virgin of Guadalupe. This building is the city's religious landmark and provides some great photographic opportunities.
For those who love golf, Mexicali offers a professional 18 hole golf course Club Campestre where both national and international tournaments take place. Some of the major tournaments that take place here include the Cotton Tournament held each March, the Bishops's and IAMSA Tournament held each November.
A wonderful way to learn more about Mexicali and the surrounding area is to visit the University of Baja California. The campus houses a regional museum that features a multitude of exhibits that showcase the area's history and archaeological finds. One popular tourist highlight is found at the border crossing on Plaza de la Amistad. In homage to the Chinese immigrants that helped contribute to the city's growth, there is a beautiful Chinese Pagoda to explore.
Hunting for quail, goose and pheasant is popular in the surrounding area with the season starting at the end of August and continuing through February. Just outside the city 30 minutes west are some great mountain-biking trails for those who enjoy this sport. The professional baseball team The Mexicali Eagles holds games each season in the city's stadium starting in October and ending in January.
The biggest festival in the region, the Fiesta del Sol (Festival of the Sun) is held each year starting at the end of September and continuing through mid-October. Popular dances and music provide a festive air and there are a wide range of expositions to visit. Parades are held and art exhibits line the streets. Carnival rides and great food booths featuring regional cuisine round out this very popular festival.
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Mexicali * Mex Tel: (686) 149-1176