What You Need To Know

Guadalajara is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Jalisco, and the seat of the municipality of Guadalajara. The city is in the central region of Jalisco in the Western-Pacific area of Mexico. With a population of 1,495,189 it is Mexico’s fourth most populous municipality. The Guadalajara Metropolitan Area includes seven adjacent municipalities with a reported population of 4,328,584 in 2009, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Mexico, behind Mexico City. The municipality is the second most densely populated in Mexico, the first being Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl in the State of Mexico. It is a strong business and economic center in the Bajio region.Guadalajara is the 10th largest city in Latin America in population, urban area and gross domestic product. The city is named after the Spanish city of Guadalajara, the name of which came from the Andalusian Arabic wād(i) l-ḥijāra (واد الحجارة or وادي الحجارة), meaning “river/valley of stones”. The city’s economy is based on services and industry, especially information technology, with a large number of international firms having regional offices and manufacturing facilities in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, and several domestic IT companies headquartered in the city. Other, more traditional industries, such as shoes, textiles and food processing are also important contributing factors. Guadalajara is a cultural center of Mexico, considered by most to be the home of mariachi music and host to a number of large-scale cultural events such as the Guadalajara International Film Festival, the Guadalajara International Book Fair, and globally renowned cultural events which draw international crowds. It is home to the C.D. Guadalajara, one of the most popular football clubs in Mexico. This city was named the American Capital of Culture for 2005. Guadalajara hosted the 2011 Pan American Games.

Area: 187.9 km²

Population: Estimate  1,5 Million

Currency

  • The Mexican peso (sign: $; code: MXN) is the currency of Mexico. Modern peso and dollar currencies have a common origin in the 15th–19th century Spanish dollar, most continuing to use its sign, “$”.

Culture

Guadalajara is the cultural center of western Mexico and the second most important cultural center in the country. It is nicknamed the “Pearl of the West.” While it is a modern city, it has kept many of the rural traditions of Jalisco, such as mariachi and a strong sense of Catholicism. Cultural tourism is one of the most important economic activities, especially in the historic center. Guadalajara is a center of learning with six universities, two culinary institutes and a thriving art scene. Guadalajara has twenty two museums, which include the Regional Museum of Jalisco, the Wax Museum, the Trompo Mágico children’s museum and the Museum of Anthropology.The Hospicio Cabañas in the historic center is a World Heritage Site. For these attributes and others, the city was named an American Capital of Culture in 2005.

Economy

Guadalajara has the third-largest economy and industrial infrastructure in Mexico and contributes 37% of the state of Jalisco’s total gross production. Its economic base is strong and well diversified, mainly based on commerce and services, although the manufacturing sector plays a defining role. It is ranked in the top ten in Latin America in gross domestic product and the third highest ranking in Mexico. In its 2007 survey entitled “Cities of the Future”, FDi magazine ranked Guadalajara highest among major Mexican cities and designated Guadalajara as having the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city behind Chicago. FDI ranked it as the most business-friendly Latin American city in 2007. In 2009 Moody’s Investors Service assigned ratings of Ba1 (Global scale, local currency) and A1.mx (Mexican national scale). During the prior five years, the municipality’s financial performance had been mixed but had begun to stabilize in the later two years. Guadalajara manages one of the largest budgets among Mexican municipalities and its revenue per capita indicator (Ps. $2,265) places it above the average for Moody’s-rated municipalities in Mexico. The city’s economy has two main sectors. Commerce and tourism employ most: about 60% of the population. The other is industry, which has been the engine of economic growth and the basis of Guadalajara’s economic importance nationally even though it employs only about a third of the population. Industries here produce products such as food and beverages, toys, textiles, auto parts, electronic equipment, pharmaceuticals, footwear, furniture and steel products. Two of the major industries have been textiles and shoes, which are still dynamic and growing. Sixty percent of manufactured products are sold domestically, while forty percent are exported, mostly to the United States. This makes Guadalajara’s economic fortunes dependent on those of the U.S., both as a source of investment and as a market for its goods. However, it is the electronics and information technology sectors that have nicknamed the city the “Silicon Valley of Mexico.” Guadalajara is the main producer of software, electronic and digital components in Mexico. Telecom and computer equipment from Guadalajara accounts for about a quarter of Mexico’s electronics exports. Companies such as General Electric, IBM, Intel Corporation, Freescale Semiconductor, Hitachi Ltd., Hewlett-Packard, Siemens, Flextronics, Oracle, TCS, Cognizant Technology Solutions and Jabil Circuit have facilities in the city or its suburbs. This phenomenon began after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). International firms started building facilities in Mexico, especially Guadalajara, displacing Mexican firms, especially in information technology. One of the problems this has created is that when there are economic downturns, these international firms scale back. In 2007, fDi magazine stated that Guadalajara has the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city, behind only Chicago. The same research noted Guadalajara as a “city of the future” due to its youthful population, low unemployment and large number of recent foreign investment deals; it was found to be the third most business-friendly city in North America. The city has to compete with China, especially for electronics industries which rely on high volume and low wages. This has caused the it to move toward high-mix, mid-volume and value-added services, such as automotive. However, its traditional advantage of proximity to the U.S. market is one reason Guadalajara stays competitive. Mexico ranked third in 2009 in Latin America for the export of information technology services, behind Brazil and Argentina. This kind of service is mostly related to online and telephone technical support. The major challenge this sector has is the lack of university graduates who speak English.

 

Foreign investment and trade

Most of Guadalajara’s economic growth since 1990 has been tied with foreign investment. International firms have invested here to take advantage of the relatively cheap but educated and highly productive labor, establishing manufacturing plants that re-export their products to the United States, as well as provide goods for the internal Mexican market. A media report in early October 2013 stated that five major Indian IT (information technology) companies have established offices in Guadalajara, while several other Indian IT companies continue to explore the option of expanding to Mexico. Due to the competitiveness in the Indian IT sector, companies are expanding internationally and Mexico offers an affordable opportunity for Indian companies to better position themselves to enter the United States market. The trend emerged after 2006 and the Mexican government offers incentives to foreign companies. Exports from the city went from 3.92 billion USD in 1995 to 14.3 billion in 2003. From 1990 to 2000, socio-economic indicators show that quality of life improved overall; however, there is still a large gap between the rich and the poor, and the rich have benefited from the globalization and privatization of the economy more than the poor. International investment has affected the labor market in the metro area and that of the rural towns and villages that surround it. Guadalajara is the distribution center for the region and its demands have led to a shifting of employment, from traditional agriculture and crafts to manufacturing and commerce in urban centers. This has led to mass migration from the rural areas to the metropolitan area.

 

 

Health systems

Healthcare in Mexico is provided via public institutions, private entities, or private physicians. Healthcare delivered through private organizations operates entirely on the free-market system, i.e., it is available to those who can afford it. This is also the case of healthcare obtained from private physicians at their private office or clinic. Public healthcare delivery, on the other hand, is accomplished via an elaborate provisioning and delivery system put in place by the Mexican Federal Government. In 2012, Mexico instituted universal healthcare. As of December 31, 2013, there were 4,466 hospitals in Mexico.

 

Language

 

Mexican Spanish (Spanish: español mexicano) is a set of varieties of theSpanish language as spoken in Mexico

 

Technology

Guadalajara was selected as “Smart City” in 2013 by IEEE, the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology. Several cities invest in the areas of research to design pilot projects and as an example, in early March in 2013 was the first “Cluster Smart Cities ” in the world, composed Dublin, Ireland; San José, California; Cardiff, Wales, and Guadalajara, Jalisco, whose objective is the exchange of information and experiences that can be applied in principle to issues of agribusiness and health sciences. The Secretariat of Communications and Transportation also reported that Guadalajara, Jalisco was chosen as the official venue for the first “Digital Creative City of Mexico and Latin America”, what will be the spearhead for our country to consolidate the potential in this area. The “Cluster Smart Cities” unprecedented in the world, will focus on what each of these cities is making in innovation and the creation of an alliance to attract technology. The Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology ( SICyT ) of Jalisco, said the combination of talent development investments allow Jalisco enter the “knowledge economy” .From 25 to 28 October 2015, the city was the headquarters of the first conference about the initiative of Smart Cities.

 

Transport

Guadalajara is well connected by modern highways to Mexico City, to the northwest and to the major beach resorts of Manzanillo, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. The main highways are Highway 15, which connects the city northwestward to Nogales, Sonora, via Tepic, Nayarit and eastwards to Mexico City via Morelia. Highway 80D leads northwest toward Aguascalientes, and Highway 54D leads southward to the coast via Colima. The city is served by the Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla International Airport, also known as Guadalajara International Airport (ICAO code: MMGL) opened in 1966. It is 16 km (10 mi) south of downtown Guadalajara, and it was built on the Tlajomulco de Zuñiga city, way down to Chapala. This airport is the third most active in the country (after Mexico City and Cancún) with direct flights to many Mexican and American cities. Within the city itself, there are many forms of public transportation. The Guadalajara light rail/metro system, named SITEUR (Sistema de Tren Eléctrico Urbano), Spanish for Urban Electrical Train System, provides rapid transit service within Guadalajara and the neighboring municipalities of Zapopan and Tlaquepaque. It consists of two lines: line 1, running from north to south, with 19 stations, and line 2, running from downtown to the east, with 10 stations. The trains are electric and have a top speed of 70 km/h (43 mph). Currently there are 48 articulated cars in service, built in Mexico by Concarril/Bombardier. Construction of a third line began in 2014. Line 3 will run from Zapopan, in the northwest, to Tlaquepaque and Tonalá, in the southeast, via the city centre. The Guadalajara Macrobus is a public transportation system based on the concept of Bus Rapid Transit, where buses run in lanes specifically for them and have stations for boarding. Phase I of the Macrobús project opened in 2009 with a 16-kilometre-long (9.9 mi) corridor following Calzada Independencia and serving 27 stations. The Guadalajara trolleybus system has been operating since the 1970s, and there are private companies operating regular city buses. It also has a bustling network of pedestrianised streets. Mi Bici Pública, PBSC Urban Solutions-based public bike share system, was launched in 2014. In 2016, the city implemented 242 docking stations and 2116 bikes.

 

Weather

Under the Köppen climate classification, Guadalajara has a humid subtropical climate (Cwa) that is quite close to a tropical climate, featuring dry, warm winters and hot, wet summers. Guadalajara’s climate is influenced by its high altitude and the general seasonality of precipitation patterns in western North America. Although the temperature is warm year-round, Guadalajara has very strong seasonal variation in precipitation. The northward movement of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone brings a great deal of rain in the summer months, whereas for the rest of the year, the climate is rather arid. The extra moisture in the wet months moderates the temperatures, resulting in cooler days and nights during this period. The highest temperatures are usually reached in May averaging 33 °C (91 °F), but can reach up to 39 °C (102 °F) just before the onset of the wet season. March tends to be the driest month and July the wettest, with an average of 273 millimetres (10.7 in) of rain, over a quarter of the annual average of about 1,002 millimetres (39.4 in). During the rainy season, afternoon storms are very common and can sometimes bring hail flurries to the city, especially toward late August or September. Winters are relatively warm despite the city’s altitude, with January daytime temperatures reaching about 25 °C (77 °F) and nighttime temperatures about 10 °C (50 °F). However, the outskirts of the city (generally those close to the Primavera Forest) experience in average cooler temperatures than the city itself. There, temperatures around 0 °C (32 °F) can be recorded during the coldest nights. Frost may also occur during the coldest nights, but temperatures rarely fall below 0 °C (32 °F) in the city, making it an uncommon phenomenon. Cold fronts in winter can sometimes bring light rain to the city for several days in a row. Snowfall is extraordinarily rare, with the last recorded one occurring in December 1997, which was the first time in 116 years, since it last fell in 1881.

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